Would a Solar Water Heater be a Good Fit for Your Home?

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Having a hot water heater in your home that is efficient, in good repair and is less likely to break down or leak (and as water damage restoration experts we have seen a lot of leaking boiler disasters) If the hot water heater in your home is getting on in age in the long term (and for the safety of your home and your family) it really is best to consider replacing it. But before you do you may want to explore a newer option that is available to you.                  .

Heating the hot water you need for use in your home can be a rather expensive business, as well as not particularly eco friendly. One alternative that some people are turning to to help cut costs and go green is a solar water heater. And although it may surprise you they can be used in any climate year round – they are not just a solution for those living in warmer places.

How a Solar Water Heater Works

A solar water heater has to do three things before hot water generated from it actually flows out of the faucets in your home or supplies appliances like a washer or a dishwasher. This process breaks down as follows:

Energy Collection – The first step in the process is the actual collection of energy from the sun. In the case of a standard residential solar water heater a collection plate is usually mounted somewhere on the south facing side of your home. As the sun shines and hits the collection plate’s glass it strikes either a rubber of metal absorbing layer. This material then converts the sun’s rays into long wave heat while also preventing the energy from escaping again. The effect inside is a bit like the one you get if you leave your car sitting in the sun all day with the windows rolled up – very hot. In fact the basic temperature in the collector can be up to 300F!

Energy Transfer – Once the energy has been collected it has to be put to work by transferring it from the solar water heater collection plate to the solar water heater’s tank. In most solar water heater models this is achieved by using a hot fluid that is pumped from the collector to the water tank. The pump itself does use a certain amount of electricity, usually provided from a standard electrical wall outlet although to go even greener a photo-valvic cell mounted near the tank can be used instead.

Storage – Once it is heated the water is stored inside the well insulated tank until it is needed. There is a certain amount of residual heat loss at this point but it tends to be very minimal. When a faucet is turned on the hot water is drawn up out of the tank and cold “make up” water flows in behind it.

The Downside of Solar Water Heaters

Energy savings and eco friendliness are the big upsides of a solar water heater but like almost any other appliance they do have their downsides as well. Since the sun only shines a certain number of hours a day a solar water tank usually needs to be larger than a conventional one in order to supply the home with enough hot water to see it through the day. Still occasionally this leads to a lack of hot water in the later evening or early morning hours and some homeowners do maintain a smaller backup source of hot water to be used in emergencies to avoid this. But, this kind of system is still well worth considering before you opt for a more traditional energy guzzler!

Should You Consider Buying a Home with a Mould Problem?

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No one really sets out to buy a home with mould but given the sometimes sneaky nature of the pesky stuff it is not always apparent that perhaps you are. And does mould have to be a dealbreaker anyway, if you really love the rest of the house?

The Trouble with Mould

Although mould is often clearly visible that is not always the case. So even if you don’t immediately spot that telltale black/brown/yellow/green discoloration does not mean it is not there. Often the appearance of surface moulds can be decreased simply by wiping over them with a bleach solution.

Doing so doesn’t kill the mould and the chances are pretty good that if the patches are large it has already made its way into the walls and floorboards where it will lurk unseen anyway. However, many a homeseller, obviously keen to impress potential buyers and avoid complications will employ the bleach ‘trick’ to fix the cosmetic evidence that there is a bit of a problem. So as a savvy homebuyer, how are you ever going to determine whether or not a home has a mould problem – which often also means there is a water/moisture problem causing the mould – and avoid all kinds of heartache down the road? Here are a few tips:

Take a Much Closer Look – Even if you cannot see – or smell – mould immediately there are often other visible signs and clues that indicate its probably around somewhere. Keep your eyes peeled for standing pools of water outside close to the foundations of the home or in the corners of an unfinished basement. Water stains on the walls indicate that there may have been water or flooding problems in the past, increasing the risk that mould is still lurking somewhere. And musty smells, especially in attics and basements are a bit of a dead giveaway as well.

Ask a Home Inspector – The chances that a homeowner will voluntarily reveal an unseen mould problem are, sadly, rather slim. And to be fair, if the mould is growing behind the walls or under the floors, or is in the corner of an attic that they rarely venture into themselves they probably don’t even know that there is a problem in the first place.

A home inspector however is far more likely to be able to tell you if a potentially problematic mould situation exists. Technically looking out for mould is not something that they have to do, but they are on the lookout for structural problems related to things like water damage and so should they find it most home inspectors will alert you to the potential problem even if they do not include it in their final written report. and even if they do not, it never hurts to ask.

Mould as a Bargaining Chip – So now we are back to one of our original questions; does mould have to be a dealbreaker? The answer is no, not necessarily, but it can become a bargaining chip.

If you have pretty solid evidence that a mould problem exists you can choose to do one of a couple of things. You can ask that the seller commision a mold inspection at their own expense and then foot the bill for any mould remediation work themselves or alternately that they reduce the asking price so that you can do the same thing yourself. be cautious about choosing the latter option though, unless you know the true extent of the mould situation, or fixing it may end up being far more costly than you bargained for.

Many mould problems can be effectively eliminated by a professional mould remediation company, so it does not have to be a bar between you and the dream home you’ve found, you simply have to proceed with care and caution to ensure it does not spoil your future enjoyment of your new home.

Landscaping and Water Damage: Understanding the Connection

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Are you the kind of homeowner who keeps a wet dry vacuum on hand at all times because you know that every time it even rains heavily you’ll be left with at least an inch of water in the basement to deal with? have you stopped using the space at all because water is such a problem? And yet your really can’t figure out why because you keep your gutters in excellent condition and your downspouts empty out well away from the house? There may be one culprit you have overlooked though; your landscaping.

Proper landscaping is not only key to adding that all important curb appeal to your home but also in keeping excess water away from your home and preventing flooding and water damage. Follow these tips on how to prevent basement leaks with landscaping and rest easier knowing your home – and your basement – should remain damp free from now on.

How Does Landscaping Make a Difference?

When it rains all of that water has to go someplace. And it does, into the soil in your yard. But that soil is like a sponge; it can only absorb so much water before some of it begins to ‘leak out’. And once that absorption limit has been reached – which can happen quickly in a heavy rainstorm – water begins to pool and will eventually flow downwards. Often right towards a home’s basement and then the trouble begins…

Checking the Slope of Your Landscaping

The majority of homes built over the last several decades were built with  proper drainage in mind but even new homes ‘settle’ over time and the work that the original builders put into making sure that everything drained away properly is slowly undone. Every season, make a point of taking a long, hard  look at your landscaping to make sure that  slopes away from your home, rather than towards it. If that does not seem to be the case then its a good time to contact a professional landscaper to suggest what might be down to rectify the situation.

Tree and Shrub Issues

Trees and shrubs, when properly maintained, can be beautiful additions to any yard and when properly placed can even help you cut your home’s energy costs. But if they are not properly maintained not only can they quickly become and eyesore but they can become a major water damage threat as well.  Trim them regularly to avoid interior leaks, and pay extra attention to excess leaves and overhanging branches that make their way into gutters and downspouts.

Driveway Issues

Unlike the soil and grass in your yard the concrete or stone your driveways and patios are likely constructed from has no moisture absorption properties at all. That means driveways and patios tend to accumulate a lot of standing water and if they slope towards your home that could be a real problem (and the reason your basement is always at least a bit wet)

To avoid this potentially rather costly, and damaging, problem talk to a landscaper or builder about installing channel drains in these areas. These are very much like the French drains that are installed directly into yards. They are installed directly into concrete and contain vents that easily catch water. It is an additional expense but one that often ends up being far less than the cost of dealing with water damage.

This all being said even after you have enhanced your landscaping, maintained your sump pump, and cleaned your gutters, water damage always a possibility. If you find yourself faced with an intense water damage situation, act fast and call a professional restoration team immediately. Putting off the process could lead to an even more serious problem: mould. The very best way to prevent water damage is to be a pro-active homeowner and knowing when to scrap the DIY for pro help.

Hard Water vs Soft Water – Is There Really a Big Difference?

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Even if you have never given much thought to how it might affect your home you have probably at least heard about the concept of hard water versus soft water. But do you really understand the concept and what the differences are between the two?

What is Hard Water?

All water that falls as rain begins “life” as soft water. Along the way though, as it trickles through the ground it picks up all kinds of minerals that dissolve into it. Calcium and magnesium are the most common but limestone, chalk, copper and a number of other substances can be present as well.

Water treatment plants do not remove these deposits. They cannot, as the minerals have already dissolved into it and extracting them at the plant would be difficult and expensive. Therefore most of the water that flows from the plant into a home is considered hard.

What is Soft Water?

Soft water contains only sodium ions. This rarely occurs naturally as more than 85% of Canadian households have hard water and the same figures tend to hold true all over the world. Soft water is actually created by being treated by a water softener, usually one located in the individual home itself.

Hard Water Vs Soft Water

Although you cannot see any difference between hard and soft water as it flows from the tap there are major differences between the two that can impact the quality of your everyday life at home:

Hard Water

  • Often leaves dishes coated in a slimy film because the dish washing liquid’s capabilities are lessened by the minerals in the water
  • Is responsible for that scummy “ring around the bath tub” that is so annoying.
  • Can make it hard to get a good lather with your favorite soaps and shampoos
  • Can shorten the useful life of appliances that use it as a layer of minerals can build up on their workings, causing them to be far less efficient and may lead to leakage and water damage.
  • Is sometimes considered a better drinking water because of the minerals it contains. Some of the minerals are indeed good for the human body, especially calcium.
  • May have elements in it that are not so nice to drink including dissolved sewage
  • Is free, with the exception of any charges you owe a water company.


Soft Water

  • Is a better choice for dish washing and laundry as it works well with the detergents used in it.
  • Does not leave that telltale ring around the bath tub behind.
  • Does not affect the efficiency of your soaps and shampoos and makes it easier to get a good lather.
  • Will not leave a residue in the workings of appliances, allowing them to operate more efficiently.
  • Is fine for drinking but may occasionally have a slightly salty taste thanks to the sodium ions.
  • Has all minerals removed so is reasonably “pure” compared to hard water
  • Costs money to create because it has to be treated by a water softener.

Getting Softer Water

As you can now see there are not too many advantages to be gained from having hard water in your home. A home with hard water rarely produces sparkly clean dishes or bright white clothes because the detergents simply do not work as well. A home with hard water’s appliances usually have a shorter life expectancy however expensive they are and a homeowners with hard water may never quite get all the benefits they expected from their expensive shampoo.

Softening your water does come at a price. You do have to purchase – and then maintain – a water softener or water softening system. Before you dismiss this out of hand as an unnecessary expense you may want to look at the long term first.

Softer water should mean that you use fewer detergents and cleaning products trying to get things clean. Expensive appliances like clothes washers, dishwashers and coffee makers should last longer and work more efficiently, using less energy and the risk that they will malfunction leading to expensive  water damage is reduced. All of these things will save you money and keep saving you money while also making you home – and the water in it – that little bit more pleasant.

Dealing with a Flooded Bathroom – Not a Laughing Matter

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Somehow when it happens on TV it’s really funny. A clumsy person leaves the bath taps on and the bathroom floods. It’s been a plot device over the years on countless comedy shows and it always draws big laughs. In real life a flooded bathroom really isn’t a laughing matter though. Nor is a clogged bathroom sink that overflows, or, possibly worst of all, a toilet that backs up.

So should it happen to you there  won’t be a laugh track, mild panic is more likely. But just what should you do to minimize damage and risk until the water restoration team can arrive to help? Well panicking won’t help but these tips should:

  • Turn off the water supply to the bathroom.
  • Remove as much water from the floor as possible using a mop or a wet dry/vac if you have one. DO NOT however use a regular vacuum. No, we should not even have to say that but sadly yes, we have heard of people doing just that and with some horrible consequences (as in water + electricity = bad things.)
  • Open cabinet doors if possible to allow air to get in
  • If your bathroom has been flooded by clean water (from the bath or sink) open the windows or turn on the A/C. If the toilet flooded and there may be the risk of a sewage leak do not, as that will only potentially make the smell – and the spread of germs, worse.
  • If possible turn off the electric supply in the bathroom. If that is not possible make sure you don’t flick light switches or try turning on wall lighting.
  • Don’t leave anything like magazines lying on any wet carpeting, as they are likely to bleed ink into it and minimize the chance it can be salvaged in any way.
  • Check the ceiling under the bathroom. If it is starting to sag or crack leave it alone and make sure everyone stays out of the affected room until the pros arrive too take over.
  • If it’s possible – and safe – to do so take as many snaps of the damage as you can. If it is not jot down written notes instead, as you are going to need this kind of information for any insurance claim you make.
  • Get help right away. Whether it is 9am, 11pm or 3 in the morning calling in the cavalry  as soon as possible is a must, even if you think you have mopped up most of the water. The biggest risk to your property is still present in a damp room; the formation of mold.

Mold is very industrious stuff and needs just 24 hours (sometimes less in certain weather conditions) to begin to really take hold, get comfy and get growing, often under floorboards and even in walls and baseboards where it can lurk unseen to wreak its havoc. Most good water damage restoration services maintain a 24 hour emergency line and, unlike plumbers, won’t charge you an arm and a leg extra for calling them outside of ‘normal’ business hours.

Fire Pit Safety Basics

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A fire pit makes a great addition to almost any home’s outdoor space. It allows you to use your backyard even on cool nights, extending the useful life of your outdoor living space. It is a great gathering point for get togethers and relaxing in front of the warm flames of a fire pit after a long hard day is one of life’s lovely little pleasures.

Whatever type of fire pit you do choose to install though you need to be aware of some basic fire pit safety rules, as well as understand what you should do if the flames should ever burn a little too bright.

Fire Pit Safety – Fire Pit Placement

A lot of homeowners want a fire pit they can add to their patio, making it more of a comfortable outdoor living room than anything else. There are a number of great fire pit choices that can help them achieve this goal (fire tables are an especially good choice if you enjoy al fresco dining) You do have to be careful where you place them, for safety’s sake, whether you have a more traditional wood burning fire pit or a gas fueled one.

You should not locate your gas fire pit any closer than about six to ten feet from your home itself though and you should never place it underneath overhanging branches. If you have a gas burning fire pit it is very important that all the vents are clear at all times to avoid smoky flare ups. Gas fire pits are safe if used properly but do not think that because you have a gas fire pit you will never experience a problem with a fire that gets out of control if you do things like turn the flame too high or allow very flammable materials to enter its flames.

Wood burning fire pits are very safe, as long as you use them responsibly. The first thing to remember is that a fire needs to be lit carefully and slowly. The wood you use should be dry and preferably well seasoned. You should never load it too full with smaller pieces of wood or kindling as that increases the risk that a lit piece of wood could fall out of the fire pit. and most of all even if you have been trying to light a fire for a while and it is taking longer than you had hoped never be tempted to use an something like lighter fuel to get it going. Even using a very small amount can have disastrous consequences.

What Do in An Emergency

Whatever kind of fire pit you own it is always a good idea to keep a supply of dry sand nearby. Some fire pits cannot withstand a blast of water and a focused spray from a garden hose can easily spread burning embers. A bucket of dry sand dumped onto the flames of a small fire will usually do the trick but if yours is a gas fire pit you first move should always be to turn the gas off.

If you choose to keep a fire extinguisher on hand instead it should be a  dry-chemical extinguisher with a Class B and C or multipurpose rating. If you do have to use it for safety’s sake you should follow the pass procedure – pull the pin; aim at the base of the fire; squeeze the trigger slowly; sweep the nozzle from side to side.

If the fire is larger than you can deal with do not stick around – get everyone away from the fire, away from the house and then use a cell phone to call for help.

Preventing Water Damage: Basement Remodeling Considerations

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There is really no other home remodeling project that stirs the imagination quite like a basement remodel. For some homeowners that dark concrete cavern below their feet represents a new game room, a home theatre, the gym they have always wanted or even a whole suite of rooms that could change the way the whole house functions.

Before you start buying huge plasma screen TVs or the latest in gym machines in anticipation of such things there are several things to consider about basement remodeling before you get started on such a project.

If you live in Ontario the harsh winter weather weather conditions that you experience year in and year out can pose an extra challenge when it comes to basement remodeling.

Most basements in the area have a natural tendency to be damp and even prone to flooding, especially when the winter rain and snow storms arrive. Before any basement remodeling work of any kind can begin, all such issues have to be resolved permanently or your basement remodeling efforts could all be (literally) washed away in a single rainy afternoon.

Drying Out Your Unfinished Basement

The first order of business then when planing a basement remodel is to call in an experienced general contractor or basement remodeling specialist to diagnose, and then treat, what ails your leaky basement. There can be any number of culprits that cause a basement to be damp , from cracks in walls to the pitch of the house itself, but the majority of those problems can be overcome with the help of such professionals.

Once everything below ground is nice and dry you have to decide what you actually want to do with your basement space and begin drawing up (or have an architect draw up) some solid plans. If you have a large basement, which many homes, especially the older ones, do you may not have to limit yourself to planning to use your remodeled basement for just one purpose. Why not consider a home gym/home office/game room? Or a combined guest room and home theater? In fact the possibilities are limited only by your imagination and your budget.

Choosing a Basement Remodeling Contractor

Since a basement does present some unique challenges, especially in terms of water and weather proofing, it is important that you hire a professional who is specifically experienced in the art of the basement remodel. Although a certain contractor may be the king (or queen) of kitchen remodeling those skills do not always translate so well to work performed below stairs.

When interviewing contractors ask to see specific examples of the basement remodeling work they have undertaken in the past. You should also ask if you can speak to some of those former clients, preferably those who had their basements converted a while ago, since in many instances it can be several months before problems in a basement that has been remodeled actually manifest themselves, especially water and damp issues.

Measuring Relative Humidity – How Its Done and Why Its Important

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Humidity is the amount of moisture or water vapor that is found in the air. Relative humidity is a term that is used to define just how much of that moisture there is, expressed as a percentage. You probably hear the term when the weatherman is giving out the forecast in the evening.

There is not very much you can do about the relative humidity being high outdoors. All you can really do is dress for the heat and take plenty of water with you as it is going to be hot and sticky all around you. A better idea may be to head for the nearest air conditioned space to keep cool instead!

Having a high level of relative humidity inside your home can be more of a problem. And it can be the middle of winter and you can find that your home is still sticky and warm.

How Does Humidity Occur Inside the Home?

You and everyone in your family, including your pets, add moisture to the air in your home when you breathe or when you perspire. Any houseplants you might have can add to that moisture level too. Then we add even more moisture to the air when we cook, do laundry, shower and even when we wash dishes.

The Importance of the Right Humidity Level

Our homes need a certain humidity level to be present for our health and comfort. Too much relative humidity, or too little can cause all kinds of problems. Consider these facts:

Too Much Humidity:

  • Causes condensation on windows
  • Causes wet stains to appear on walls, even on ceilings
  • Causes mould to form in damper areas like the bathroom
  • Can cause, or worsen, indoor allergy symptoms.
  • Over time can cause permanent damage to the structure of your home.
  • Can cause ongoing health problems

Too Little Humidity:

  • Can cause excess static electricity and unsafe sparking
  • Can cause electronic equipment to malfunction
  • Can cause damage to delicate home furnishings
  • Will make the air feel very dry and uncomfortable
  • Can cause breathing problems
  • Homeowners often experience chapped lips, very dry skin and sore throats

Measuring Relative Humidity

If you have any of these problems in your home the humidity level there may certainly be the problem. The first thing you have to do is measure it. This is not difficult, all you need is a little device called a hygrometer. It may go by other names sometimes – a humidity sensor or a relative humidity indicator – but they all do the same thing,  measure the relative humidity level in your home and display it as a percentage.

There are two main types of hygrometers – electronic and mechanical. There are differences between the two that may help you make a purchase decision:

Mechanical Hygrometer

Costs as little as $5 rarely ever more than $30. Can often be found as a part of a decorative “weather center”
Is usually made from plastic, has a round design and can be made to be quite attractive.
Does not need batteries or a power source
Fairly accurate if it is calibrated correctly

Electronic Hygrometer

Costs between $20 and $60
Usually made of plastic with an LCD display screen
Runs on batteries
Very accurate, does not need calibration

Whichever method you choose once you have measured the relative humidity in your home you need to decide if it is indeed too high or low. Most humans feel comfortable in about 45% humidity so that is a good figure to look for.

If you do discover that humidity – either too much or too little – is a problem in your home the fix is usually fairly easy. There are both humidifiers and dehumidifiers on the market that can be purchased relatively inexpensively that can solve your home humidity woes fairly easily. If they do not you may have water leakage issues in your home that should be investigated by a professional.

Key Maintenance for Your Ceramic Tile Shower Enclosure and Bathroom Floor

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Ceramic tile showers are truly beautiful to behold and certainly add a huge decor boost to any bathroom they are installed in. They are usually a somewhat safer option as well, as the ceramic tiled shower floor is far less slippery than a porcelain bathtub. In actual fact there really only is a single common complaint that homeowners with such a shower installed in their home have to make; that keeping the grout in their ceramic tile shower clean, especially in the floor area.

That does not have to be the case though. Maintaining a sparkling clean ceramic tile shower – and gleaming grout to go along with it – is perfectly possible. It calls for a little effort, but not too much, and the beautiful shower you will be left with will be well worth it.

Getting Great Grout

To maintain great, clean grout you have to start off with it. Grout is tricky stuff, its porous; in many cases it is light colored and in the case of the floor of a ceramic tile shower – and the ceramic tile floor that usually surrounds it – sees plenty of (dirty) foot traffic. Having the grout professionally cleaned, and then expertly sealed, can go a long way towards helping maintain its look in the long run.

In addition, neither grout nor the tiles it holds together can ever be said to be completely waterproof and if the grout is not properly sealed it will hang on to a small amount of moisture every time the shower is used, something that is more than likely to eventually lead to a nasty case of mold, a potentially much larger problem than a bit of grime.

Maintaining a Great Looking Ceramic Tile Shower (and Bathroom Floor)

The real trick to a maintaining a clean shower is not a certain cleaning product, or special solution. Instead the very best thing you can do is make sure that the floor and walls of the shower, as well as the ceramic floor surrounding it, is completely dried off every time after every use. In order to do this easily you can make use of a simple window cleaning squeegee to pull moisture off the walls onto the floor and then use a ‘shower towel’ to wipe it dry.

There are a couple of things that will happen if a homeowner will often find happens if they do not take the time to have their grout properly sealed and then follow the drying procedure every day.

The first is that the grout will become very grimy and even a few hours with a toothbrush probably won’t get it clean. The second is that the chances that mold and mildew will develop are increased. And finally, the minerals in your water, especially if you live in a hard water area, may pit the glaze on the surface of the ceramic tiles, weakening them and detracting from their beauty. And that is the last thing that anyone wants isn’t it?

Carpets and Mould- What You Need to Know

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Carpeting is one of the elements of a home that is at serious risk for mould growth, even if you have never experienced what you might call a real flood. Even something as simple as a spilled cup of water that is never mopped up can lead to the beginnings of mold growth in just a few days. And if you don’t see it, still that growth can continue unchecked until things really begin to get out of control.

Identifying Mould in Your Carpet

As we just mentioned, mould may not always be easy to spot on carpeting. In fact easily visible mould is rare, and only really occurs when a carpet has been damage in flooding and not dried out properly. But just because you can’t see it right away does not mean mould is not enjoying life in your carpet. Often it is growing on the underside of the carpet or in the carpet padding.

There are some telltale signs though. A musky smell is a big clue that something may be amiss as is the appearance of thin white mildew strands (mould and mildew are great mates and they usually hang out together.) Sometimes underside mould can discolor the carpet as well, so odd color variations should be investigated too.

Can Mouldy Carpet Be Saved?  

Your worst fears have been confirmed and indeed, when you pulled up the carpet to look there indeed is mould. Does this then spell the end for the whole thing or can it be saved?
The answer is, quite simply, it depends. It depends upon just how much mould has already been allowed to set in.

If the mouldy area is small you may be able to remove it with a stuff brush and baking soda, but that will only be effective if you are sure you know why the mould is there (that spilled drink for example) and you are quite sure that the ‘threat’ has been removed. if the area is larger though it is very likely that the damage has been done and it’s time for a trip to the carpet store.

But not right away. First you’ll need to consult with a specialist to determine the best way to make sure that the floor is free of mould and that the cause of the problem has been properly addressed.

Preventing Mould Growth in Carpeting

Obviously preventing a problem is better than trying to cure one and that applies to your carpets in this instance. Although you cannot guarantee to banish it forever here are some steps you can take to help prevent mould growth in your carpets.

Smart Installation

You have lots of choices for your home when it comes to flooring and as nice as carpet is there are simply some places in the home it probably should not go. The bathroom for one, although all too often in the Seventies people did and it caused all kinds of problems. The kitchen isn’t a great idea either as it tends to be a humid place when lots of cooking goes on, not to mention the potential of all those wet spills.

Also, even if you have a finished basement you should use carpet down there with care as it is still a below grade space and naturally more humid than other spaces in the home.

When your carpet is being installed you should also opt for a higher quality carpet pad, one that has anti-microbial properties that will help prevent mould and mildew too.

Never Allow Wet Spots to Stay Wet

Even if it just a spilled tumbler of water make sure that any carpet moisture is addressed, and dried out, immediately. And be very careful when cleaning your carpets. Many people hire a machine from their local supermarket to clean their own carpet. The problem is that these are almost always carpet shampooers and will leave the carpet wet for hours. And considering that mould can begin growing in as little as 24 hours then you are taking a big risk. Stick to dry cleaning methods or, better yet, invest in a professional carpet cleaning once a year.

Keep the Humidity in Check

Humidity is a general enemy to your home and while your air conditioning system may keep it at bay in the summer in the winter, when your heating system is keeping things nice and warm and cosy, the humidity in the air will rise, and often rise enough that carpeting and even soft furnishings can become just damp enough to allow mould to begin to form.

To keep humidity in check run a humidifier in the winter and try to keep humidity levels to between 40 and 50%.