One wouldn’t think we have a problem with mould in such a dry climate as Calgary’s. However, any time there is a leak, moisture buildup or damage, there is a chance for mould accumulation to occur.
I sat down and chatted with Mike Wald, a local disaster and remediation specialist with Emerald Remediation Solutions about mould and what Calgarians need to know about it.
How prevalent is mould in Calgary since it’s such a dry climate?
It is quite prevalent, actually. Mould requires two things to survive – moisture and warmth and you’d be surprised how often Calgary homes have that combination occur in some way, shape or form.
Are there areas of a home that is more susceptible to mould?
The most common areas are the attic (underside of roof sheeting material because of condensation issues/poor ventilation), Bathrooms (because of poor ventilation and/or leaks) and the basement (because of poor foundations or failures in the foundation).
How does one go about finding out if they have mould in their home? Are there tools? Should homeowners be searching for it? Or will they just smell/see it when it happen?
Thermal imagery is commonly used to locate any moisture issues in the home. It’s a starting point. But most of the time we look for visual indicators. Black spots, defects in the walls such as paint peeling, wood crumbling and cracking are examples. Sometimes, a musty smell can be an indicator.
We also use a moisture reading tool that tells us levels of moisture in concrete or drywall. This can help determine any high levels of moisture where there shouldn’t be and allow us to make decisions about investigating further by opening up the space.
What can people do to prevent mould from forming?
We recommend having your home inspected regularly by a qualified inspector. Plus, do regular maintenance on your home. Some ideas are: Check your roof and attic, make sure your downspouts are down during rain, check you irrigation system. On a new build, make sure your builder does a thorough job of sealing your home from the exterior elements and the interior finishing workmanship is at the best quality.
What can people do if they have a mould outbreak?
If people see a mould outbreak they should call a remediation company to come take test samples and have a report done on the issue. This only takes a few days. Then, the proper remediation solutions will be presented and the homeowner can take the next steps.
Mike Wald is a Project Manager with Emerald Remediation Solutions, which has been helping Calgarians with disaster remediation and restorations for over 25 years. They provide a number of services in Calgary and Edmonton including asbestos abatement, mould remediation, thermal imaging, demolition, 24/7 emergency response and rebuilds. Visit them at emeraldremediation.com.