Basement Mold in Alberta
More than ever before, basement and crawl space mold is becoming a serious concern for homeowners. Other than damaged personal property and a musty smell that can seep upwards through the home, there have been many very serious mold-related issues in Alberta in recent years.
With the sharply rising costs of mold remediation in recent years (having almost doubled due to rising insurance costs), Basement Systems Edmonton recommends preventing mold as the best, most clear solution. Sealing off the crawl space or basement and lowering the humidity level below 60% can help prevent serious damage to the home and to the health of its inhabitants. For a free dry basement or crawl space inspection and quote, call or e-mail Basement Systems Edmonton today. They currently serve Edson, Elk Point, Grand Centre, Kitscoty nearby areas of Alberta.
"If you are reacting to a problem because somebody's been sick, you've waited way too long to address indoor air quality"
- Glenn Fellman, Executive Director of the Indoor Air Quality Association
If you experience headaches, a stuffy nose, or any other allergic reaction in a building that is relieved soon after leaving, it's possible that the symptoms have been caused or worsened by indoor air pollutants and allergens such as mold spores.
Human Ecology Magazine [PDF] has reported that dead mold and spores can still trigger allergic reactions, and microscopic mold spores that were not removed can lay dormant for years while they wait for the opportunity to grow.
Mold spores can damage someone through skin contact, inhalation, and ingestion. Mold can lead to symptoms of allergic rhinitis, including a runny nose, watery eyes, a scratchy throat, fatigue, and mild allergic reactions. In extreme cases, mold is even toxic.
To date, The American Lung Association reports that 88 million people in the United States suffer from some sort of respiratory distress, and 50% of homes have at least one person living inside that has allergies, asthma, or another respiratory ailment.
Time Magazine reports hundreds of thousands of mold spores in a single cubic meter of air indoors; a single person inhales 10 or 12 cubic meters daily.
Mold Damage in a Basement or Crawl Space
The Journal of Property Management warns that ignoring mold in the home can lead to extensive property damage. Repairs can be lengthy and in the most extreme situations can require the home's inhabitants to be relocated while the work is being done.
Mold can grow anywhere there's moisture, including near plumbing leaks, leaking roofs, and especially in wet and damp crawl spaces and basements. If there is a water problem within the home, it's extremely important to fix the problem and dry the area within 48 hours. Mold growth is common on drywall, cardboard, photos, memorabilia, wood, furniture, leather, cloth, fiberglass resins and paper backings, and anything else organic in the space. In a crawl space, structural damage is common as mold eats away at mold, and especially when termites, attracted to the rotting lumber, inhabit the space.
Mold, Insurance, and Lawsuits
Mold, mildew, and dust mites are a problem that homeowners, landlords, and building mangers are becoming increasingly concerned with. According to the Journal of Property Management, lawsuits have been filed by the tens of thousands against landlords, developers, and insurance companies over mold-related issues.
In response to this, many general liability and property insurance companies have begun to exclude mold from their protection policies. There are few regulations for acceptable levels set by the EPA for the results of mold testing. Ultimately, it's become a legal battleground, where homeowners and building managers have become the casualties.
Eliminating Mold in Alberta
Trying to clean and remove mold in a crawl space with biocides or bleach is a temporary solution at best. While this can remove mold in the short term, this work can only be safely done by a trained professional. Bleach will not stop mold from growing in the long-term, and mold coatings can only protect what they coat, meaning that everything that enters the space will have to be treated from then on. Additionally, mold will still have a surface to grow on and spread its spores unless you can also coat your ventilation ducts inside and out.
One of the primary methods recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency, is to reduce indoor humidity within the home to below 60%. They also recommend removing all sources of water leakage within the home, sealing penetrations in walls and floors especially below in below-ground areas, checking for moldy odors, and removing all sources of freestanding water.
To lower the humidity level, you're going to need a strong basement dehumidifier, like the SaniDry, available from Basement Systems Edmonton. The SaniDry is a self-draining, ENERGY STAR® rated dehumidifier that's just what you need to eliminate mold in your basement. With a powerful blower, large cold coil, and an air filter that can remove particles as small as 2 microns, it can help prevent allergens such as mold spores, dust mite waste, pet dander, and pollen. If you have a finished basement, the SaniDry can easily be stored in a closet or unfinished area and ducted into the space. Smaller SaniDry CSB dehumidifiers are available just for the crawl space environment. For your FREE estimate and written quote on a basement or crawl space dehumidifier, call or e-mail us today!
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