Category: Mold Insulation

Mold Prevention and Solutions – General Tips to Prevent Mold

The rainy season brings high atmospheric humidity and seasonal issues such as the build-up of moisture from water flowing in undesirable places. These factors can unfortunately lead to mold growth throughout a home. When mold is found in homes, it must never be left unaddressed as it presents a structural risk to the building and leaves unpleasant wall stains. Most importantly, mold infestation can be detrimental to your health, by causing breathing issues, severe allergies and infections.

Mold can grow anywhere, be it on your floors, carpet, furniture, or even in places you cannot see such as areas inside walls around leaking pipes, the backside of drywall, and above ceiling tiles. Mold spores can spread across the home easily, therefore making the problem difficult and expensive to fix.

The most effective strategy for preventing a serious mold problem in the home is moisture control. In this article, we at IAQ Strategies list general tips to help prevent mold growth.

How To Prevent Mold:

1. Fresh Air

Keeping the windows open will help to increase the ventilation throughout the house, and is an ideal way to lower indoor carbon dioxide levels. High levels of carbon dioxide can cause decreasing oxygen levels in your body, thereby interfering with the flow of oxygen to your brain. 

When a house has been closed up for several months during the winter, carbon dioxide can build up, especially in rooms where you spend the most time. Fresh air will help to dry out damp, musty areas and reduce stuffiness and odor. Open up the windows for 10-15 minutes every day to provide some natural ventilation.

2. Dry Out Damp or Wet Areas Immediately

Mold grows in moisture, so be sure to dry any wet areas immediately. Wet areas can include seepage into the basement after a heavy rainfall, accumulation from a leaky pipe, or even a spill on your rug. All must be dried within 24 to 48 hours.

Major events such as a flood require immediate attention. Water-damaged carpets, furniture, bedding and more must be dried or removed completely. 

Regular occurrences need daily attention as well; make sure to dry the walls and floors after taking a shower, and do not leave wet items lying on the floor. Make sure to never leave wet clothes in the washing machine as mold can spread quickly in the washing cavity. Hang clothes to dry, preferably outside or somewhere in the house with good ventilation.

3. Proper Ventilation

Ensure that all rooms in the house are properly ventilated. This includes the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room, as daily domestic activities encourage moisture and therefore mold growth. Use dehumidifiers and AC units, however, make sure they do not produce moisture themselves by keeping a check on them regularly and cleaning them as directed.

4. Balance Humidity Levels

As mold thrives in humid environments, keep the humidity levels in the house low. In spaces that are prone to excessive moisture, such as the bathroom, kitchen, or laundry room, leave the vent fans on for a while after use. Another option is to use plug in dehumidifiers or install a home humidification system.

5. Repair or Clean Roof Gutters

A leaking roof or full gutters is often a reason for mold growth in a home. Keep the roof gutters cleaned and inspected for damage on a regular basis. Repair them when needed, and pay close attention to water stains after storms that may indicate a leak.

6. Use Green Cleaning Products

Cleaning products with an overwhelming odor are a source of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in your home. This is particularly true of artificial pine and lemon products. When using these cleaners to get rid of mold and other pollutants, it is simply trading one contaminant for another. To help avoid mold build-up it is best to use non-toxic, water-based, and non-aerosol cleaners.

If you have or suspect a mold problem in your home, it is imperative to call for professional mold inspection and removal services. Mold prevention professionals will take the necessary steps to help avoid or stop mold growth immediately.

IAQ Strategies is a leading mold removal company in Montreal that provides immediate mold inspection services. If you have found mold in your home, get in touch with the IAQ team today so we can bring your home back to a clean, safe and healthy space for you and your family.

Why Choose Professional Mold Testing and Removal Experts?

Like most homeowners, you’re probably already aware that mold can damage the structure of your home and potentially cause serious health problems for residents. Mold doesn’t always grow in visible areas—air conditioners are also highly prone to mold spores. 

A contaminated air conditioning unit or air ducts will circulate air throughout the house and cause mold spores to spread. Mold can also flourish in drywall, behind walls, and in hidden spaces within basements and attics. Some of the most severe impacts of mold exposure include asthma flare-ups and allergies, fungal infections, and respiratory illness. If you suspect there may be mold in your home or you’re looking to purchase a new home, it’s essential to get a home mold inspection from a professional mold removal company. 

At IAQ Strategies, we understand the severity of mold and how difficult it can be for homeowners to identify and treat themselves. We’re created this quick guide to help you make an informed decision about hiring professional mold inspection and mold removal services

Why You Should Schedule Mold Inspection For Your Home?

1. Minimize Mold Exposure

If left to flourish inside your home, mold can cause serious health issues. Toxic mold plays a major role in cases of chronic inflammatory response syndrome (CIRS)—a multi-symptom illness that impacts the heart, lungs, skin, and central nervous system. Mold also aggravates asthma attacks and other preexisting respiratory issues. Professional mold testing and home mold inspection services work to isolate traces of toxic mold inside your house. Once the mold is found, your mold removal specialists will work with you to minimize exposure. 

2. Thoroughly Treat Existing Mold Issues

Once you get in touch with a mold removal company that specializes in mold remediation, you’ll have their skills and experience on your side. The first step to treating mold in your home is to identify the source of excess moisture. There’s no point treating the surface mold if there’s still issues with moisture—the mold will grow just grow back. The industry standard procedure for home mold removal includes controlling humidity levels, sealing off the mold, removing the mold physically, and decontaminating surface areas afterwards.

3. Prevent Future Mold Growth

Professional mold testing, treatment, and removal of existing mold issues in your home are the most effective ways to prevent mold from growing and spreading in the future. If left untreated, mold can easily spread to other areas in your home. If treated or removed improperly, there may be spores left behind that will cause continued issues with mold going forward. When you hire a professional mold removal company, they will identify and treat the problem areas and help you understand how to prevent issues with mold growth in the future.

4. Protect Your Home From Structural Damage

Treating and removing mold as soon as it’s identified can save your house from enormous structural damage. Mold is similar to a parasite that feeds on organic hosts like cardboard, paper, wood, ceiling tiles, and drywall. When left unattended, mold will essentially eat through the building materials in your house and create ideal conditions for dry rot. In the worst cases, homeowners may have no other choice but to raze the entire structure to the ground. A professional mold inspection service will check behind walls, inside ceiling tubes or flooring, under plumbing fixtures, as well as underneath appliances—areas that most homeowners wouldn’t consider. With professional mold treatment, you’re much more likely to stop the mold infestation before it affects other area of your home.

5. Improve Indoor Air Quality

If you have mold issues in your air conditioner, air ducts, or around windows and doors, airborne mold spores can directly affect your indoor air quality. A high concentration of airborne mold spores can result in allergic reactions like a scratchy throat, eye irritation, congested sinuses, and chronic respiratory problems. Professional mold inspectors will sample your indoor air quality and provide treatment options to greatly improve the indoor air quality of your home.

6. Maintain Property Value

If you’re in the market to sell you home, you know how important it is for your home to be structurally and internally sound. Potential homebuyers will run for the hills if they learn your house has a mold problem. Before a real estate transaction occurs, most homebuyers will hire a contractor to do a full home inspection—including for mold. The presence of mold will greatly impact your home’s market value, and it may even fail to sell because of it. If you’re planning to list your home, it’s essential to fix any mold issues first. A professional mold inspector in Montreal can help identify and treat mold issues to make your home move-in ready for potential buyers.

Not only does mold removal improve the air quality inside your home, but it also saves a lot of money in the long run. The average cost of mold removal in Montreal typically depends on the location of the mold, its type, and how extensive the infestation is. Therefore, if your mold has spread to multiple areas within your home, it will be more expensive to remove than if you had treated the mold as soon as it was identified. At IAQ Strategies, we deliver mold removal services to your doorstep at affordable prices. Contact us today to book an appointment or to learn more about our indoor air quality strategies.

What To Do When There’s Mold In Your Insulation?

Your home’s air quality may not be on your mind all the time—unless you have a mold allergy.

If you’re one of the millions of people worldwide who have allergic reactions to mold, it’s essential that you check for mold in your insulation. Symptoms of a mold allergy include a scratchy throat, sneezing, and headache. Under the right conditions, there are plenty of spaces in your home that are prone to mold infestations.

Mold needs three things to grow: a food source, mold spores, and moisture. The most common location for mold to grow is in the attic because it’s typically humid, dark, and warm due to poor ventilation — an ideal environment for mold spores to settle and colonize/grow. Although there’s no such thing as a mold-free home, mold detection, prevention and control should be on the top of your priority list.

To make sure that your home is as mold-resistant as possible, take a look at your current insulation. Insulation helps to maintain indoor temperatures and stop condensation, a key contributor to mold growth.

Inadequate or improperly installed insulation (and or vapor barrier) can cause condensation and mold growth to accelerate. At IAQ Strategies, we understand how serious a mold situation in your home can be. We’ve created this list of tips and tricks to guide you when you find mold in your insulation.

Choose The Right Insulation For The Job

Many people assume that any insulation will work when they’re remodeling or constructing a new home. Picking out the right insulation for the job can be the difference between years of increased comfort or increased mold allergies.

The two primary types of insulation are:

  • Cellulose Insulation

Cellulose is the most popular material used for home insulation. It has superior insulative properties because it’s a loose, biodegradable material. Cellulose insulation has several unique benefits—it’s a green choice for your home and ideal if you’re concerned about your environmental impact. This type of insulation is typically installed in the attic or as a blow-fill between walls.

Since it’s highly efficient and has the ability to stop air flow better than fiberglass, cellulose insulation is an excellent choice for hard-to-fill spaces.

Mold growth is also less likely to take place in cellulose insulation due to the anti-fungal properties commonly found in the cellulose itself. When you install cellulose installation over existing fiberglass, be cautious—its weight can be a concern since it can compress the fiberglass and reduce its insulating properties.

  • Fiberglass Insulation

Fiberglass insulation is made up of thin shreds of glass that create pockets to trap air and help restrict the transfer of heat. It’s naturally mold-resistant as the material itself does not provide a food source for mold.

However, due to the high amount of air that moves through fiberglass charging it with static electricity, particles of mold can be filtered out of the air trapped within.

Fiberglass insulation can also moisture and lead to condensation issues. Fiberglass must be well-maintained to prevent water vapor from creating a friendly environment for mold growth.

How To Get Rid of Mold In Insulation:

Since mold growth in insulation is directly related to moisture content, it’s necessary to target the moisture issue at the source.

If your mold issue is severe, consider one of the following home improvements:

1. Insulation Removal

Naturally, if the insulation in your home is damaged due to water or mold, you should schedule insulation removal as soon as possible. Make sure to work closely with a professional home insulation contractor who specializes in the safe removal of moldy insulation.

 2. New Insulation

Once the damaged insulation has been removed, ask your insulation contractor to air seal and install new insulation immediately after the decontamination process. An experienced insulation installer will know how much insulation your home needs and can identify any unique insulation needs of your home.

3. Crawlspace Encapsulation

It’s not uncommon for indoor moisture problems to begin in the crawlspace. Crawlspace encapsulation mainly targets moisture problems at the source. The process involves installing a heavy-duty vapor barrier to restrict excess moisture.

How To Manage Mold Growth:

1. Mold Detection

Your attic provides conditions that may favor mold. If you’re greeted by an unpleasant earthy odor when you enter your attic, it’s a sign that you should get a mold inspection. Mold identification should be followed by mold removal from a professional mold removal service.

 2. Identifying Mold In Insulation

The same mold that infects your insulation can also affect your home’s heating and cooling systems. As mold and moisture grow and begin to overtake large areas like your attic, saturated structure, drywall, and insulation will likely become less effective. Mold will eat and destroy the structure, roofing plywood, and drywall. However, with the help of a professional mold removal company, you can make your home safe and energy-efficient and save money on appliances and utilities each month.

3. Mold And Ventilation

When a professional conduct a mold inspection in your attic to determine if there is a contamination issue, She, he, or they, will also identify airflow issues that are conducive to mold growth. With sufficient ventilation, your attic will have significantly less chance of developing condensation/ mold growth.

It’s not recommended that you look for mold on your own because getting into contact with it or disturbing an area with a large amount of mold can disturb spores, causing them to enter into the air, and potentially spread to other areas of your home. If you have an allergy, stirring up mold particles into the air can cause allergy symptoms to worsen. If you suspect you may have mold hidden within your house, you should call for a professional mold removal service immediately.

Whether you’re building a new home or remodeling your existing one, it’s essential that you understand how insulation can impact your home—and your health. At IAQ Strategies, we ensure healthy indoor air quality for your home.

Our team of mold detection and inspection experts are fully equipped, skilled technicians who offer professional solutions in indoor analytics, moisture infiltration, and mold remediation. If you’re looking for a mold removal company to free your home of mold, IAQ Strategies is your ideal choice.