A Saskatchewan woman’s housing nightmare is typical of what many renters and in particular lower income tenants have to deal with across Canada, but it uncovers a common issue many property owners will relate to: a mouldy basement.
The woman has been living in the basement apartment of what was originally designed as a one family unit. A few months after she moved in, she noticed black mould growing around the windows in the bedroom and bathroom, which she says also floods whenever anyone showers.
The landlord acknowledges that the mould comes from structural issues and in fact has issued an eviction notice because of the situation. A representative of the company – one of the province’s largest landlords – now admits that “The basement should not have been tenanted.” The house leaks along the base, causing flooding and mould infestation.
Your Basement Too?
Our climate is difficult for any type of architecture to handle – extremes of temperature, damp, wet, snowy and windy.
Your basement may already be finished as a family or entertainment room or you may be planning on adding a little extra income with a basement rental unit. Either way mould detection (if warranted), mould removal and then prevention needs to be on the top of your checklist.
Signs of Mould Infestation
Mould can grow where you never see it under floors or inside walls; anywhere that moisture can linger. Even small seepage can cause big problems. Here are some signs that your basement has moisture issues:
- Rusting steel objects
- “Efflorescence” on the walls – this is a whitish mineral deposit that occurs where water has come in through the walls
- Dark or stained wood
- A telltale musty odour
- If you or members of your family are experiencing persistent and unexplained respiratory symptoms, coughing, irritated eyes, nose or throat
Mould spores can get into your duc twork and travel throughout your home, compromising indoor air quality. The EPA suggests that you keep humidity levels at less than 60% with proper ventilation of basements and crawlspaces as well as the use of dehumidifiers.
Aside from ensuring there are no inherent structural issues like a leaky foundation or basement walls, there are things you can do to protect yourself going forward.
- Don’t use carpets – it can seep up water from concrete flooring and retain moisture, an ideal breeding ground for mould – hard flooring is your best bet
- Ensure that there is adequate ventilation, especially in crawlspaces and unfinished areas like the laundry room
- Be vigilant and inspect your basement periodically and especially after heavy rains, melting snow, etcetera
We Can Help
At GreenStream Environmental Services, we offer professional mould removal services . Get peace of mind from GreenStream Environmental – call us for an asbestos inspection or removal quote today.
In the Toronto area contact GreenStreamEnvironmental.ca at (416) 818-9414.
Featured in Mike Holmes’ magazine, HGTV’s Income Properties, W Network’s Love It Or List It and chosen by Homestars.com as “Best Toronto Asbestos Removal Company” based on customer ratings and reviews, GreenStream Environmental Services are fully-certified, trusted and insured professionals in the removal and disposal of commercial, industrial, institutional and residential asbestos, vermiculite and mould (hazardous and non-hazardous). Providing emergency service 24/7/365 for all of Toronto and the GTA (North York, Mississauga, Markham, Brampton, Scarborough, Ajax, Oshawa, and beyond) GreenStream has over 40 combined years of experience serving clients such as the City of Toronto, the Toronto District School Board and many more. For a free estimate in Toronto, the GTA and Southern Ontario, call today at 416-818-9414. You’ll be glad you did.