April 30, 2014 8:57 am

Damp conditions lead to mould issues for residents

Watch above: cold and wet weather has led to mould and flood damage for some homeowners

SASKATOON – After enduring a frigid winter with temperatures that plunged into extreme negative territory, Saskatoon residents have spent the last week in conditions reminiscent to what Londoners are typically accustomed to.

The accumulation of cold and moist has led to a number of issues for homeowners, including seepage and mould.

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“This year we’re a lot busier than we have been in the past,” said Got Mold? Disaster Recover Services Inc. president James Watson.

Though Watson says the ground has yet to thaw, they have been seeing major issues with ice damming.

“We’ve had some issues where there’s been water intruding into the home,” he told Global News.

“Eavestroughs not being cleaned out properly and of course, drain spouts not going far away from the buildings.”

While many homeowners wait until they see a problem to fix it, there is one you may smell sooner than you catch sight of it.

“Musty, mildew,” said Watson.

“Some people describe it as grandma’s basement odour. That’s the biggest one. That’s a micro-toxin being given off by mould.”

It often varies in degree of pungence due to too much water or too little of it.

According to the City of Saskatoon, there have been 130 registered complaints about catch basins over the last week. As a result, eight properties were affected, mainly due to water encroaching upon them.

“We had up towards 50 mm of rain, which is a fairly significant amount,” said water utility manager Andrew Hildebrandt with the City of Saskatoon.

“However, our systems are very capable of taking that.”

As for new homeowners who believe they are immune to the elements, Watson says think again.

“We run into more issues in newer homes than the older ones and the reason being is a lot of the building code, as it has changed. They’re sealing up the building envelopes more so than before where the home would actually breathe.

“Now what ends up happening is with cheaper building materials like OSB (oriented strand board) instead of plywood and stuff like that, it’s really subject to mould.”

It is recommended that you have a preventative maintenance inspection done as the weather warms up. It is also recommended that you contact a professional to deal with the presence of mould in your home.

Experts advise not touching mould with bare hands or breathing in spores, as this may impact an individual’s health.

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