Many owners of older homes in Toronto are all too familiar with the feeling of cold drafts making their way into the house when the winter wind is howling. They spend countless hours finding and sealing every crack to stamp out air leakage to control the air temperature and save money on their heating and cooling bills. And we don’t blame them! But before you go crazy with the caulking gun, be sure to think about the effects of poor ventilation and moisture in your house.
How Mould Grows
Mould spores are incredibly resilient. If you have ever had a good look at something that got stuck at the back of the fridge, you quickly learn that even temperatures barely above freezing aren’t cold enough to keep mould at bay. Moisture is the key ingredient in growing huge mould colonies that will require professional mould remediation services further down the line.
The smell of mildew in the basement so common, most of us in Southern Ontario have just accepted it as normal. A dehumidifier can help a little, but that’s really only a band aid solution. Turning off the air conditioner and opening all the windows for a day will do more for moisture conditions in your house than any dehumidifier on the market.
Moisture out, Dry air in
If mould is a constant problem in your house, it’s time to stop scrubbing and actually do something permanent to fix the problem. For example, that dampness in the basement may be the result of continuous leaking. Cleaning up the mould is definitely important, of course, but ultimately repairing the foundation will be required to take care of the problem altogether.
Let Insulation Be Your Guide
If your home was already renovated when you purchased it, it’s worth removing a piece of drywall in an inconspicuous spot to have a look at what, if any, insulation has been used. If your attic is open, have a look up there too. Hopefully you’ll see the reassuring pink of a well-insulated space. If you don’t, it’s time to consider some renovations to bring your home’s insulation up to the new modern standards.
Tips to a Dry House
There are several things you can do every day to help keep the ventilation up and the moisture down in your home. When you’re showering, remember to keep the bathroom door closed and the window open. If there isn’t a window in the bathroom, be sure to keep the fan on. While we’re on the subject of the fan, have you given it a good dusting lately? Yes, it’s a pain to reach it all the way up at the ceiling, but it the fan can’t do its job if it’s covered in dust. When you’re cooking, keep the kitchen door closed and the windows open, and keep pot lids on when boiling water. This can help keep the steamy windows to a minimum and reduce the moisture in the kitchen.
Though mould is a common home contaminant, it’s not something you just have to live with forever. If you can’t clear it up on your own, consider enlisting a mould remediation company. Once your mould problem is cleaned up, a professional can provide tips and strategies to keep mould from returning.
Image courtesy of winnond / FreeDigitalPhotos.net