What is the ideal humidity level in you home?

To maintain a comfortable and healthy living and work environment, it is important to sustain proper humidity levels. Indoor humidity should be between 30 to 50 percent. Humidity levels can be checked with a Hygrometer
- an inexpensive gauge that looks like a thermometer. Controlling the humidity in your home can also help lower your heating and air conditioning bills!

Reducing humidity in your home

Excess moisture can stain ceilings and walls, peel paint and wallpaper, and provide a ripe breeding ground for mould, mildew and insects. If you have a problem only once or twice during the winter, you can reduce or eliminate the problem by briefly opening two windows located on opposite walls or by turning on a kitchen or bathroom fan. If persistent condensation problems occur, think about installing a controlled mechanical ventilation system. Other tips on reducing humidity in your home includes:
  • Disconnect humidifiers that are either fixed to your heating system or are portable.
  • Vent your clothes dryer to the outside.
  • Use bathroom and kitchen fans that vent to the outside when bathing, showering or cooking.
  • If you have a crawl space, cover the beaten earth with 0.15mm [6mill] polyethylene. The crawl space may have to be ventilated during summer months.
  • Make sure your basement is well drained and protected against excess moisture.
  • Ensure gutters and slope of land around the house drain water away from your foundation.
  • Store firewood outside.
  • Consider having a heat recovery ventilator system [HVR] installed.
  • Have your mechanical ventilation system serviced.

Increasing humidity in your home

Dry air can lead to a host of problems, for both you and your home. Without proper moisture in the air, you may experience nosebleeds, dry nose and throat, dry, flaky skin and an increased risk of catching a cold. An arid environment can cause cracks in drywall and wood. To increase humidity, consider:

- Installing a humidifier. Humidifiers increase the moisture in your home; choose one for a single room or have one connected to your home’s HVAC system to humidify the entire house.

ARS would be pleased to assess the humidity level in your home or workplace, assess your needs and assist in providing a solution that meets your needs.

Mould and your home

Mould is the common word for fungus that grows on organic or inorganic material, such as damp or wet drywall and wood, fabric, insulation, or cardboard boxes. Mould is an insidious fungus that can wreak havoc on your home, hiding inside walls and ceiling tiles. If left untreated, mould can contribute to poor indoor air quality and cause potentially serious health problems.

Health risks

People living in homes with mould and/or damp conditions are more likely to experience:
  • Eye, nose and throat irritation
  • Coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath
  • Worsening of asthma symptoms
  • Other allergic reactions
Children, seniors and people with medical issues may be more vulnerable to the effects of mold. There is no safe limit for mould.

How do i know if i have a mould problem?

Check for mould in places that are damp, especially if water damage has occurred. There may be discolouration or stains on the drywall, tile, flooring, window panes or carpet. Often, though not always, mould has a musty odour.

It is recommended to you hire an Environmental Engineer if you discover or suspect mould is present. The Engineer will choose the best test for your situation.

Non-Viable Air Sampling – A specimen of air is captured and observed directly under a microscope.

Viable Air Sampling – A sample of air is taken on a growth medium and incubated in a petri dish over time until colonies form. This process reveals the exact genus and species of the microorganism gathered by the sample.

If mould is detected, the Engineering firm will outline the necessary procedures to eliminate the mould problem. The work must be completed by a company that is certified in the removal of mould. Once work has been completed, the Engineer will perform air sample tests to certify that mould is no longer present in your residence.

ASCO Restoration Services can take care of all areas of the mould remediation process, from assessing your mould situation, through the testing and the elimination process.

Preparing Your Home For Winter

The winter season is drawing near which means subzero temperatures, icy conditions and snow. Taking charge now may help you avoid a home insurance claim later.

Inspect all windows and doors for leaks. To prevent heat loss, make sure your windows and doors are properly. Check the stripping around windows and door frames and replace where necessary. Check for drafts and caulk both inside and out where necessary.

Sweep the chimney Before you use your fireplace make sure the chimney and vents are clean and in good condition by having your chimney inspected by a professional. This will help prevent chimney fires and carbon monoxide from building up and finding its way into your home.

Clean out gutters It is important your eaves are free of any debris such as leaves and sticks. Clogged gutters prevent the draining of rain and metlting snow which could result in household leaks. Make sure downspouts extend away from your house by at least 2 meters.

Inspect your roof Inspect your roof for any missing, loose or damaged shingles. If your roof nreeds attention call us. We will be happy to provide you with a repair estimate. Check for caulking around the chimney and air vents.

Turn off any faucets outside. Water left undrained can freeze which will cause the pipes to burst. Disconnect your garden hoses.

Insulate exposed pipes in unheated areas. Pipes in the basement, attic or crawl space are some examples of pipes you may want to cover. Even the smallest of pipes can cause a lot of damage if they freeze and burst.