Breaking the Mold
Getting Proactive is Key to Vanquishing H2Woe
Impacting both quality of life and quality of property, mold is a persistent threat to homeowners everywhere. According to the U.S. Centre for Disease Control (CDC) mold can cause.
“…nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing or wheezing, eye irritation, or, in some cases, skin irritation. People with mold allergies may have more severe reactions. Immune-compromised people and people with chronic lung illnesses, such as obstructive lung disease, may get serious infections as a result of mold exposure.
Other recent studies have suggested a potential link of early mold exposure to development of asthma in some children, particularly among children who may be genetically susceptible to asthma development, and that selected interventions that improve housing conditions can reduce morbidity from asthma and respiratory allergies, but more research is needed in this regard.”
Mold also has the potential to drastically impact the health of your finances – by attacking that which represents most people’s most significant investment: their home.
Understanding the negative impact mold has on the economy, and their industry, the Canadian Mortgage Housing Corporation (CMHC) suggests homeowners employ this list of preventative steps to stop mold from getting a hold.
Step 1 — Discard moldy or damaged materials
Wear a dust mask and gloves. Furnishings, such as mattresses, carpets, or sofas that got wet or have been stored in damp conditions should be discarded. Discard items that are no longer needed. Use this opportunity to reduce the amount of furnishings — this means fewer materials to absorb moisture and grow mold. Clothes and other items that have been cleaned should be stored in sealed plastic bags to prevent re-contamination.
Step 2 — Vacuum
Proper vacuuming reduces the amount of mold spores. All surfaces in the home (floors, walls, ceilings, shelves) and non-washable furnishings (such as sofas, chairs, etc.) must be vacuumed thoroughly.
Step 3 — Prevent
Keep moisture generated within the home to a minimum by conscientiously following the prevention steps presented in the next section.
Step 4 — Clear wet areas
Pull carpets and furnishings away from walls that get wet. Carpets and underpads that are moldy should be cut out and discarded.
Step 5 — Dry
Take steps to dry up areas that get wet. Monitor the relative humidity of the air. Use a portable dehumidifier, if necessary. Ensure that the condensate drain pan of the dehumidifier is emptied regularly.
Step 6 — Isolate
If the mold is limited to one area, isolate the area if possible. Cover the affected surfaces with plastic sheeting secured at the edges with duct tape. Note that this is only a temporary measure to minimize your exposure.
Step 7 — Clean
Healthy individuals can regularly clean “small” and “moderate” areas of mold, thus preventing these from getting out of hand, by following the safety precautions and cleaning guidelines.
Step 8 — Seek professional help
Consider seeking professional help from trained IAQ investigators to identify appropriate remediation steps inside the home. Removing large amounts of mold will require the services of mold clean-up contractors.
No moisture – no mold. It isn’t quite that simple, but that’s the general idea. When you understand that water is required for mold to grow, you have met the enemy. From there, the battle plan is straightforward: to defend your home from mold, you must minimize the presence of water, both as a liquid, and in its airborne form (humidity).
To-date, all serious mold attacks have involved fiberglass-based – not cellulose based – insulation. Improve your defenses by opting for something other than fiberglass.
The enemy attacks on three fronts. Know them:
- Groundwater: Water in the form of melted snow or rain, usually in the form of leaks through the basement, roof, windows or other breaches in the envelope
- External Humid Air: Moisture that enters the envelope in warm air and condenses on cooler surfaces
- Internally Generated Humidity: Moisture resulting from respiration, body heat, cooking, hot showers etc.
To defeat water, we require a two-pronged plan of attack:
- Keep water and humidity outside of the envelope
- Effectively exhaust interior humidity out of the envelope
Seems simple really. But decades of building design approaches and technology have been dedicated to the evolution of this war against water.
Implementing Part One of the plan of attack involves sealing the envelope
Part Two requires keeping indoor humidity levels below 40 per cent (mold growth slows drastically below this level). This is accomplished by properly venting things like showers, stoves and clothes dryers.
But what if… the unthinkable does happen. What if, for whatever reason, mold is discovered in your home. Do not despair. Removal is not only an option – it can also be an opportunity!
Mold Removal: AKA a Chance for Newer, Better Insulation!
Despite the word on the street, use of bleach is not recommended. The presence of organic (humic) material, and the variability of surface materials, pH (acidity/alkalinity), and contact time represent uncontrolled variables that limit the effectiveness of bleach. Also, fumes from overuse of bleach can harm your health, and the health of the environment.
If you understand the seriousness of having mold – the right thing to do is to talk to qualified professionals.
Insta-Insulation, in partnership with Canada’s Restoration Services, offers a comprehensive 3-4 day, in-and-out Mold Removal process that involves removal of contaminated material (including insulation), blasting of mold from contaminated surfaces, anti-microbial treatment and insulation of new – and in most cases better-performing insulation.
As service experts endorsed by both Mike Holmes and Bryan Beaulmer, you can rest assured that Insta-Insulation will provide a fresh, mold-free reboot with minimal inconvenience and no mess.
And look on the bright side. Mold can be an opportunity. New, better sealing and insulation will add value (equity) to your home and will enable you to keep more of the money you once spent on heating and cooling.
Ensure the safety of your home environment, start keeping more of your money right away, and secure the value of your investment in your home by booking a free consultation today.
It’s been said before, but we’re happy to repeat it. When it comes to helping people return to normal after mold-related problems, or helping them prevent those problems in the first place, Insta-Insulation breaks the mold.