Time to check your house for winter mold damage which can affect indoor air quality.
This year has been a fairly mild winter with very little in precipitation and very little in accumulating snow. For the most part temperatures have been around or slightly above freezing. However, there have been a few days where the temperature did dip well below the freezing mark and most recently we had temperatures well below minus 20 degrees celsius.
The risk for the indoor environment or more importantly indoor air quality is mold growth. Winter is the ideal time for mold grow indoors due to the fact that surface temperatures of roof and exterior wall surfaces are low. This cold surfaces are susceptible to condensation and freezing from warm, slightly more humid indoor air.
Attics, cold rooms and exterior or perimeter walls could have sustained condensation leading to mould growth. Spring and spring cleaning is the perfect time to check your home for this winter time mold growth danger.
We recommend you check the following areas of your home. If you find and issue or something that looks out of place, you can take a picture of it.
- Check around the attic hatch for any signs of water staining, water damage or mold growth.
- Lift the hatch and check the wood skirt that keeps the insulation from falling down into the home for any signs of mould growth.
- Use a flashlight and check the underside of the roof sheathing for any moisture or mold growth
- Check the insulation to make sure it is not damp.
- Check to make sure your cold room is not finished with drywall, especially on the ceiling. This is an area for potentially hidden mold.
- Check to make sure the cold room ceiling no longer has the wood framing and plywood concrete forms in place. This can grow mold.
- Check the walls or ceiling for mold growth.
Outer walls/perimeter walls:
- Move large furniture such as sofas or cabinets away from outer walls and inspect the back of the furniture for spotting or mold growth
- Check the wall surface that was blocked by the large furniture for any signs of water staining, dampness or mold growth.
- Open all blinds and check the window frames for any signs of excessive condensation
- Check the window frames for any mold spotting or mold growth
Should you find mold growth, mold spotting, or any other signs of dampness in any of the above areas, please take a picture of it. You can email your picture to us and we would be more than happy to talk to you about what is potentially happening in your home.
Mold growth in attics, cold rooms, outer walls and on windows can have a negative effect on the indoor air quality of the home. Mold growth indoors can create airborne mold spores that can carry mycotoxins. These mycotoxins can have a negative effect on your health and the indoor air quality of your home.
We can now also analyze your dust for the presence of mycotoxins. Mycotoxins come from mold growth and are responsible for allergic reactions or more serious health issues. Mold spores from actual mold growth can become airborne inside your home. These spores can then settle and become part of ordinary household dust. This dust can contain mycotoxins and can be inhaled into your body where it can have serious health consequences.
We would recommend having your air quality and indoor environment assessed each spring to make sure that you have good air quality and that your home has not developed a mold issue.
Airborne mold spore testing as well as mycotoxin testing of the dust that you are inhaling while in your home can provide important indoor air quality information for you and your family.
If you’ve had excessive condensation in the above areas you may also want to consider installing an air exchanger or HRV system. In many cases, condensation can form due to elevated humidity due to poor ventilation. This slightly humid air can seep into attics through pot lights or the attic hatch where it condenses on the underside of the roof sheathing which is cold. Mold then develops.
In addition, this slightly warmer and humid air can enter cold rooms leading to mold on the ceiling and walls which are colder than the rest of the basement.
An air exchanger keeps proper ventilation of the home thereby reducing the overall humidity in the air. Less humidity means less condensation on colder surfaces such as attics, windows and outer walls. This prevents mold from starting.
Proper ventilation can also reduce allergic reactions and respiratory issues.
Call us, we will be more than happy to speak to you about your indoor air quality needs. We can answer any question you may have about what your have seen in your spring check of your home.