The Author, Margaret Palmer, is an Account Executive at Gougeon Insurance Brokers.

Do you have water seeping into your building?

It’s important to know that wet rooms like basements can quickly turn into a bigger problem. Have you guessed it yet? Yes, that’s right: MOLD!

Here’s some knowledge for your next trivia night.

Did you know there are 3 different categories of water?

  • Clean Water: It’s clean at the releasing source and doesn’t pose a hazard if consumed. This water may become progressively contaminated as it mixes with soils on or within floor coverings or buildings (e.g., walls, decking, sub-floors). Time and temperature, which may promote the growth and amplification of microorganisms in water, can cause clean water to degrade.
  • Grey Water: Begins with some degree of contamination and could cause sickness or discomfort if consumed. As with clean water, time and temperature can cause grey water to become progressively contaminated.
  • Black Water: It’s highly contaminated and could cause death or serious illness if consumed. Examples include: sewage, flood waters, and ground surface waters.

Did you also know?

Fun Fact #1: Mold can start to grow in as little as 48 hours under the right conditions.

#2: To grow, it requires appropriate levels of moisture, temperatures, and an organic food source such as a cellulose-based material like drywall, cardboard, and woods.

#3: Trust your nose! Do you detect a musty or earthy smell in one area of your building? It may be the first sign of mold.

#4: If you experience water seepage, leakage, overflow, or burst pipe, it’s important to take immediate action to dry the area.

Whether you’re cleaning the area yourself or having a trained professional do it, here are some things you should know:

  • First step is to remove all items that you can that have been affected by the water.
  • Secondly, you need to start drying the area. During the drying phase, you need to ensure that the humidity levels are kept down and that there are fans or air movers in place to keep the air circulating.
  • Next step after the area has been completely dried and humidity levels have normalized, is to survey the damage.
  • If you notice the start of mold growth on the walls or in corners, you need to wash the area thoroughly with a mild soap solution, such as antibacterial dish soap. This will kill the mold and prevent further growth.

Here are some basic steps you can do regularly to prevent or reduce mold growth:

  • Keep the building dry.
  • Check the building for signs of moisture and molds.
  • Think of the different ways moisture is produced inside a building (e.g., cooking, bathing, plant jungle). Remove the moisture as it’s produced by using exhaust fans. In the absence of fans, open windows for a short time, but note that the wind can push the moisture to other parts of the home.
  • Find out if water is coming in from the outside and if substantial moisture is produced inside.
  • Measure how much moisture is in the air. To find the relative humidity in a building, you’ll need a hygrometer. If necessary, use a dehumidifier to lower the relative humidity.
  • Discard, clutter, and reduce excess-stored materials. Remember, mold grows on any cellulose-based items.
  • Fix any water leaks promptly.
  • Clean and maintain the building regularly.

And there you have it, everything you’ll ever need to know about mold.

Further Resources

Download our Mold Prevention and Restoration Checklist in our Resource Centre, for a comprehensive version of these tips.

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Topics: Summer Resort, mould prevention, property damage, winter resorts, tips, workplace health, Margaret Palmer, Mold Prevention

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Tips you should know about mold prevention and restoration for your property. Available for download is a Mold Prevention and Restoration Checklist in our Resource Centre.

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