Saturday, 6 May 2017
Is mould affecting your home and health?
By: Scott McGillivray(NC)
All homes can be susceptible to mould growth. In fact, mould could be present without you even realizing it. Exposure can cause an array of health issues from coughing, wheezing, headache and nausea to nasal stuffiness, sore throat, skin irritation, fatigue and more.
Virtually anywhere can be a breeding ground for mould, as long as there's air, moisture, organic material (a food source) and adequate temperatures––between 40˚F (5˚C) and 104˚F (40˚C). It's most commonly found in areas where moisture levels tend to be higher, like basements, kitchens, bathrooms or near water leaks in roofs, attics, walls, and pipes.
Identifying a mould problem can be a challenge, because mold can grow in hidden areas such as behind walls. Signs include discoloration of indoor surfaces, dark spots or patches. Musty odours can also be an indication that harmful mould is present.
Swift action is necessary to ensure your health and prevent mould from damaging your home. Start by containing it, then begin remediation. Resolving small amounts of surface mould can be a simple to moderate DIY project, but large areas should be left to professionals. Finally, take preventative measures to keep mould away for good.
Several mould prevention strategies can safeguard your home and health. When building, renovating or remediating an existing mould issue, it's wise to carefully consider building materials, especially within your wall assembly, which is a common area for mould growth. Certain types of insulation are especially vulnerable. Only use insulation with high drying potential, made from inorganic material that will not promote the growth of mould when exposed to moisture. I recommend a stone wool insulation, like Roxul Comfortbatt and Safe 'n' Sound. It's Greenguard certified to the highest standard for indoor air quality. Mould-resistant wood, drywall, caulking, paint, and other moisture management materials are also available.
Always be sure to immediately dry any areas in your home that get wet. Prevent moisture with proper ventilation. Monitor indoor humidity, aiming for 30 to 50 per cent. Direct water away from your home and its foundation. Keep gutters clear and stay on top of roof maintenance and repairs. Improve air flow in your home.
Finally, inspect your home regularly to ensure your family breathes easy.
Scott McGillivray is host and executive producer of the hit HGTV series Income Property and Moving the McGillivrays, a real estate investor, contractor, author, and educator.
(NC) Small adjustments to everyday items you rarely think about can create a big impact. Try these easy, chic ideas the next time you're looking for a weekend project.
Fresh furniture. Use white or light-coloured furniture to open up any space. Think cream couches and white dressers or side tables. Design experts are loving acrylic furniture right now, so if you're feeling fashion forward, try it in a coffee table or shelving unit.
Seamless window treatments. Sleek and streamlined window treatments allow sunlight to stream through without glare. A sheer shade in a natural material like linen is key, which you can find in the Pirouette line from Hunter Douglas. The shadings feature soft fabric vanes attached to a sheer backing that appears to be floating, drawing natural light into your room.
Magic mirrors. Fake extra square footage with strategic use of mirrors. A cramped entryway with mirrored closets will double in size, while a decorative mirror in a dark corner will make your space appear bigger and brighter. Metallic finishes in semi-reflective materials, like on-trend copper, are another way to get this look.
Bright bulbs. Clean dusty lamps and switch out yellow-tinted bulbs for bright white LEDs in the highest recommended wattage. You can also try “invisible lighting” — clear glass lamps that hang for the ceiling to illuminate without taking up valuable floor space.
Curated accessories. Select accents and decorative elements thoughtfully to eliminate visual clutter and create a cheery mood. Artisan pieces like glass-blown vases and handcrafted baskets are sure to make a statement.
Paint power. Almost nothing is easier and quicker than using a fresh coat of paint to update a space. Choose pale pastels, which are perfect for spring and summer décor and will keep you calm and cool in warmer months. Don't think you have to commit to painting a whole room — choose an accent wall to highlight or revive kitchen cabinets to breathe new life into your home.
Open shelving. Closed bookcases and shelves darken and break up the flow of a room. Opt for open shelving instead, showcasing pretty items with a nautical or tropical theme for the season.
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