- Water damage and Mould growth on the upper floor perimeter walls.
This case study involved a home owner who was concerned with mould growth on the perimeter walls of the upper floor of a three story home in southern Ontario. At the time of the initial site visit, it was observed that mould growth was present on the outer edges of the ceiling in all rooms on the perimeter of the upper floor and on the perimeter walls approximately two feet from the ceiling. Upon further investigation, some mould growth was also present at the baseboards of the perimeter walls.
Thermal imaging scans of the perimeter walls revealed cold spots (indicating moisture) at the ceiling edges of the perimeter walls. This prompted us to look in the attic space of the subject property. The time of the inspection was in the late winter months when the weather had started to get warmer. Upon inspection of the attic space, it was observed that some ice was present on the perimeter edges of the attic space and a thin layer of frost was present on the attic sheathing. It was also observed that the bathroom vent exhausting into the attic space was not connected properly.
We were told that there were 3 daughters and the parents in the house that took at least one hot shower each every day. Over the course of the winter months, the heat and humidity from these showers were being exhausted directly into the attic space instead of outdoors. Over time ice started to form and began to melt along the perimeter space of the attic to the perimeter drywall and ceiling of the upper floor.
The owners immediately repaired the bathroom vent. The affected drywall was removed and the attic space was properly treated. No mould has grown back since.
COMMERCIAL POOL AND SPA RESORT
- High Moisture Environment
In the late fall of 2005, the pool and spa’s facilities manager, contacted Canadian INvironmental Services, primarily to resolve the leaks he attributed to ice dams on the pool and spa roofs. He had heard of our work diagnosing ice dam remediation at other ski-area complexes around Ontario. The leaks were so severe that they had planned to remove the skylights because they believed that many of the problems with melting snow, roof leaks, and condensation resulted from the skylights and their flashing.
During our inspection of the building, we discovered that severe mold and mildew problems existed in the attic spaces. We were able to determine that the leakage only occurred in the winter months. Inspection included testing the air barrier.
We discovered localized melting areas (and related ice formation) on the roof. Follow-up testing revealed that the make-up air supply for the large hot water boiler still originated in the attic, rather than extending to the outside. This was only a problem when the boiler was not firing and the stack-effect of the building would reverse the normally inward flow of cold outside combustion air, pumping hot, moist pool room air into the attic. Since this was addressed, the roof and attic have been performing well.
The ice dam and attic moisture symptoms were so severe that we proposed to address those two problems before looking at the performance of the skylights. This would reduce costs and possibly save the natural light the skylights provided. The overall plan included managing how the HVAC systems were insulated and sealed where they passed through the attics, as well as installing air leakage and vapour control materials at the truss ceiling of the pool and the slopes of the roof of the spa portion of the building. The building envelope work included the skylight wells. After the first round of repair work, the roof leaks had stopped and the skylights were able to be kept as an aesthetic feature of the building. Only the clean-up of the mold and mildew in the pool attic remains to be completed.
MARIJUANA grow operation
- Mould growth
Canadian Invironmental Services were informed from a rental property owner that their home was raided by Police because the tenant was using the property for a marijuana grow operation. The tenant was arrested, but the house was not deemed safe for human occupancy.
Upon arrival to the site, it was noted that the grow operation had occurred in areas of the house where water was accessible. This included the basement area, with pipes connected to the laundry room sink, main floor kitchen, and all bathrooms. Considerable damage to the flooring and drywall in these areas were visible. Mould growth and water damage was present in these areas. This grow operation in particular had occurred for approximately 18 months. Canadian INvironmental Services provided testing, inspection, a thermal image scan of the property and prepared a report with findings and a detailed scope of work for the homeowner.
The impacted materials properly removed by an environmental contractor certified for mould remediation. Upon completion of the scope of work outlined, he called us back for a clearance test to determine the safety of the subject property. We concluded the removal of all water damage and mould growth was sufficiently removed and the house was safe for human occupancy. This was a considerable head-ache for the homeowner, however, with a smile on his face told us that he will be careful who he rents to next time.