Heavy rains in Toronto during 2013 caused serious damage to buildings throughout the city.
Months later the growth of mould in some buildings can be attributed to these rains.
Mould nearly always exists in buildings. It occurs when susceptible building materials remain wet and allow spores to grow. Buildings with poor ventilation and ongoing water problems are more likely to have extensive mould growth. This mould may be hidden behind cabinets, under carpets, in the ceiling or in other dark and moist environments that may be hidden from view. It can occur when flooring materials do not dry completely. Mould can result from flooding, maintenance problems or leaky roofs. Other common sites for mould growth include ceiling tiles, drywall, carpets, wood and any paper products.
Mould does not go away on its own. Unless properly removed, it will grow to affect neighbouring rooms and condo suites.
CCI Group, an engineering firm that provides mould detection and remediation services for condo buildings, advises condo residents to be on the lookout for signs of mould in their condo suites and common areas. Early detection and remediation of mould is important. Visible evidence of mould can be due to more extensive and hidden mould behind walls and ceilings. It is important to make condo management aware whenever mould is suspected.
Mould may first appear as discolouration that may be black, brown, green or grey. It may appear as patterns on furniture, walls or ceilings. It may but not necessarily have a detectable musty odour.
As mould grows due to damp conditions or poor ventilation, those susceptible to mould can have allergic reactions or breathing problems. This may be in the form of irritations to skin, throat, eyes or nose. Those with asthma may experience more severe problems.
Maintenance Suggestions to Prevent Mould:
- Open internal doors in a condo suite
- Move furniture or other items away from walls to improve internal circulation
- Open windows to improve ventilation
- Eliminate any sources of leaking water
- Clean up excess moisture or water
- Use fans to increase internal circulation and speed up drying
- Use dehumidifiers or air conditioning to decrease humidity
- Move wet items to an area that is dry and properly ventilated to facilitate drying
- If carpets or rugs are wet, pull them up as early as possible so they can dry out
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