Indoor Air Quality Continued
Mold! It’s everywhere, lying dormant, waiting for a little dampness to grow and spread. It’s getting lots of attention in the media these first few months in 2010. Mold is a problem when it is allowed to grow indoors. Our current real estate market puts demands on the construction of a more tightly sealed indoor environment. The tighter envelope with higher humidity levels and ventilation control has generated more interest in dialogue on the topics of indoor humidity, mold and its effects on indoor air quality. The construction of homes takes place quickly and the materials are exposed to the outside elements. Building materials may not always dry out before the construction process is complete.
Health Canada recommends controlling the level of moisture in our indoor environments as the best and easiest way to improve indoor air & protect our health. That means keeping things as dry as possible and providing ample ventilation without compromising heat loss. Tackling mold problems requires, mopping up spills immediately, repairing leaks from pipes, gutters, roofs, making sure drains and duct work are not backed up, heating all indoor spaces and using ventilating fans to remove or minimize humidity caused by; body heat, showers, bathing, cooking, and cleaning. This government web site indicates that the effect of mold on our health can range from symptoms as simple as minor eye, nose or throat irritations, to persistent coughing due to over production of phlegm, to shortness of breath. Studies have not proven that mold causes respiratory problems like asthma however they are sure it will “worsen” the symptoms of allergies including asthma.
CMHC along with Health Canada recommends dealing with underlying water or humidity problems. Just cleaning mold is not a remedy. Both agencies indicate that stains or discolouration on floors and walls, windows, fabric or carpet and other indoor surfaces could mean a mold problem. This is why they recommend contacting a trained Indoor Air Quality Inspector who will perform a visual inspection to identify concerns and make recommendations. Mold however is not always visible on surfaces. It could be growing behind concealed areas like walls, ceilings or underneath insulation.
One of the most interesting articles we’ve come across at Iron View Inspections can be found at www.growopsolutions.ca, referred reading by our trainers at Inspect4U. The site educates us on everything we need to know about Grow Ops and the effects on dwellings. It also exposes how infrared thermo-graphic cameras are rendered ineffective if the surfaces have been masked with military type ceramic insulating paints. In these instances it is beneficial to hire a Mold Inspector who can take air and swab samples to be assessed by a lab.
Sr. Inspector, Jim Bodnarchuk of Iron View Inspections has been trained to investigate mold in this way. If we can’t smell mold or see it, we may certainly suffer its effects when we inhale it. If mold is suspected and not visible, Jim will upon request perform a Mold Inspection that consists of a full visual Inspection as well as an air test with lift samples that will be sent to labs in the GTA for a 48-hr. report.
The purpose of a Mold Inspection is to competently identify the source of moisture problems and or water penetration and or humidity build-up within the building. At the same time the intrusion may not be located immediately but simply treating the surface mold will not remedy the problem. It may even be more harmful to try and clean the problem on your own especially using chemicals. Iron View Inspections always recommends a professional mold removal and restoration company, preferably one that does not use chemicals. The goal is to determine the cause for mold growth, so that solutions can be suggested, eliminating the chance for further mold growth.
~Be As Fully Informed As You Can Be~
Sources: Health Canada/CMHC/Inspect4U