What We See In Condo’s
Posted in Air Quality, on December 07, 2015
We do a lot of air quality tests and mold inspections in condominium apartments throughout the GTA. We inspect new condo’s and old condo’s. We do mold inspections in large condo’s and small condo’s, clean condo’s....and not so clean condo’s. We get calls to do air quality testing and mold inspections in condo’s that are owner occupied or rented to tenants. Basically all sorts of condo’s.
The most common mold growth or air quality issues in condo’s appear to be the following:
- Condensation leading to mold growth on windows due to high humidity.
- Odor issues in the condo unit.
- Water leaks from other units (usually from above).
- Airborne dust and settled dust issues.
- General air quality complaints
- Specific mold growth issues from past water damage (usually a dishwasher over flow or toilet back up).
Many of the above air quality complaints or specific mold growth issues can be avoided.
Let’s look at these one at a time.
- Elevated humidity can come from a variety of sources. The most obvious is overuse of a portable humidifier. Indoor RH levels should never exceed 45%RH in winter. This can lead to condensation of colder outer walls or window surfaces and lead to mold growth on window sill and walls. The other source for elevated humidity could be lack of air flow. Make sure there is no weather stripping on the door frame of the entry door restricting air flow. This can be the prime source for mold growth in a condo. Other things to check is the bathroom exhaust and kitchen exhaust to ensure moisture from shower and cooking is properly vented.
- Poor air flow into the condo can lead to air quality complaints and mold growth. So also for this issue...proper air flow through the entry door is essential.
- Water leaks are the prime source for mold growth issues indoors. A bathtub over flow, dishwasher malfunction or other plumbing leak or toilet malfunction will lead to mold growth if not properly dried as fast as possible. Usually anything that remains wet for more than a few days can grow mold.
- Airborne dust can be the cause of poor quality air filters in the heating and cooling units. Make sure these are replaced with a good quality filter every 3 months. Make sure all vacuum cleaners in the condo are HEPA filtered. This will reduce the dust load in the air.
- General Air Quality complaints can also come from VOC’s from furniture or contents. The more natural the furniture...the lower the VOC’s.
- Mold growth can be from many sources. The building envelope could have issues around windows allowing moisture penetration into the condo unit. There could also be plumbing issues (already listed) or even drain issues in the heating and cooling unit that could lead to a mold growth problem.
The key with any indoor air quality issue or mold growth problem is getting it properly assessed.
A mold inspection or air quality test can show you where your issues are and what steps are needed to correct it. Call us today and we will be more than happy to discuss your mold inspection needs. We have the most updated and state-of-the-art air quality testing instruments and use only qualified laboratories in the USA and Canada. We can help you make your condo a healthy place to live. Air quality testing does not need to be complicated, scary or even expensive. There are solutions for all sorts of budgets and all sorts of condo sizes. We are here for you. Give us a call