by Harry Magill

In the past few years, I have attended a number of courses pertaining to MOLD and I wanted to bring certain information to your attention.

Mold or fungus is a microscopic plant like organism that grows on organic material and reproduces by spreading spores.

How does mold begin? There are three things that are required for mold to appear; 1. relative humidity of 38% or greater, 2. Moisture, 3. Stale air. Mold can grow on anything organic which includes wood, carpet, drywall and food. One of the areas where mold can be found in our homes and we don’t realize it, is behind our venetian blinds. Dampness in the air, cooking, and humidity in the summer along with dead air behind your blinds, will allow mold to begin growing within 24 – 72 hours. Look in the corners of your windows, it is often black in colour. To protect against mold, open your blinds so that the area can breathe. The same applies to the bathroom, open the window even in the winter, so that moisture doesn’t have a chance to form.

One of the locations of most concern in our homes is the bathroom. Mold can be behind our shower walls and in the corners of the grout of the ceramic tiles. To determine if there is any mold present, press on the wall and on the wall where the taps and spout are. If the walls “give”, then water has gotten behind there and has broken down the strength of the drywall allowing mold to begin to form and the only way to remove it is to remove the wall of the bathtub and possibly the wood studs as well. You have to go back to where you can find dry wood, drywall or both, and if necessary, you may need to purchase a “Moisture Meter”, known as a Thermolhydrometer which will detect moisture in the air. This can be purchased through a firm in Toronto called Safe Express at 1-800-465-3898.

I talked to a lady at Safe Express, who informed me that there are many makes and different models of Moisture Meters, ranging in price from $500 to $1,395 plus G.S.T. The most preferred Meter costs $1,395, this is a Kit which will detect “moisture in the air” in drywall and under hardwood flooring, using Wall Probes and Needles. This lady was not aware that a Mold Meter exists that would detect mold in the air. You can purchase a “Humidity Sensor” at Canadian Tire or Home Depot for $20 to $165.

How to detect if mold is in your home can be determined by smell, dampness, visible microbial growth and past water problems. These are indications that there is a good chance mold is in your home. Most likely, if it’s winter, it could well be behind your venetian blinds. Symptoms people may experience are allergies and respiratory problems.

There are many varieties of mold found in the home, but the two of most concern are “Aspergillus” which may be any colour – white, brown, gold, tan purple, yellow or red. This is not “Black Mold”. “Stachybotrys” is brown to black in colour and is the most toxic mold – this is the “Black Mold”.

With our homes becoming more airtight and with winter weather bringing drier air, we usually have some humidity added. Mold is more prevalent in the winter as we tend to not open windows as much.

To give you more information on Mold in your home, I have referenced the CMHC's article “Fighting Mold”. I hope, if mold is a concern of yours or if just for your knowledge, it will be of help to you.. Thanks.

The information in this Letter was reviewed and approved by:

Denise Eckert
(705) 382-5219
Graduate and Member of the National Association of Mold
Graduate and Member of the Professional Home Inspection Institute
Member of the Indoor Air Quality Association Inc.

Denise states that she has used Concrobium XT in the past to deal with Mold. Concrobium XT is a cure for the common mold and has been approved by Health Canada, It is available at Home Depot

Harry Magill
Sales Representative
Century 21
B.J. Roth Realty Ltd.

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