The thought of a mould infestation is something that makes every cottage owner shudder. Mould is a problem in too many cottages, especially seasonal cottages that are shut down every winter. Moisture levels often go unchecked during the winter season, leaving cottage owners with a nasty surprise when they return in the spring.
If it’s not addressed immediately, mould can spread to uncontrollable levels, affecting your health and the structural integrity of your cottage. Black mould can be especially damaging, causing serious health complications and wreaking havoc on the interior and exterior of a home.
A Muskoka family recently found out the hard way about the devastating nature of mould, unknowingly purchasing a home that had been infested with black mould. The couple had been told that the house was built in 2016, despite the fact that the foundation had sat exposed to the elements for years prior.
Mould specialists deemed the property to be a complete loss, and so the family was forced to move out of their home after just one month.
Control the humidity in your cottage
It takes just 48 hours for mould to run rampant in your cottage, affecting the air quality, leaving unsightly stains, causing odors that can be tough to remove, and impacting the integrity of walls, windows, and everything inside the property including furniture and clothing. The most effective way to curb this is by more effectively controlling the humidity inside your cottage.
Mould thrives in humid conditions, and so addressing the humidity will ultimately halt the spread of mould. Running a dehumidifier in your cottage, and opening windows or using exhaust fans when showering, cooking, or doing dishes can go a long way in eliminating humidity, as will drying wet towels and clothing outside of your cottage rather than inside.
Prevent moisture from accumulating whenever possible
Without moisture, mould can’t grow. This makes it extremely important for cottage owners to take immediate action to dry wet areas like leaky windows or appliances, basement seepage, or any rain water or snowmelt that has made its way inside. Spills on carpets should also be quickly dried, as this can be a source for moderate mould growth.
Downspouts should be directed away from your cottage in order to minimize the risk of water entering your home, and snow should be shoveled away from the foundation of your home wherever possible. Taking these proactive measures will prevent excess moisture from accumulating in your home, making it an unsuitable habitat for mould growth.
Take appropriate flood prevention measures
One of the most common sources of mould growth in cottages is seasonal flooding, which typically takes place during the cottage off-season. Flooding causes snowmelt and rain water to enter your cottage and its foundation, going unchecked until you arrive to re-open the cottage and allowing mould to grow at uncontrollable levels.
Taking flood prevention measures is important in reducing the risk of mould growth, especially for properties in high-risk flood zones. Sandbags should be used around waterfront properties to slow flooding, and proactive measures like installing foundation vents and sump pumps, applying dry flood proofing coatings and sealants to the foundation and walls, and grading your lawn away from the cottage. While many of these precautions likely won’t eliminate the risk of flooding, they can go a long way in reducing the damage done, and the mould growth that inevitably follows flooding. To find out more about the high performance window and door products offered by Muskoka Window & Door Centre, contact us today.