In late 2008, an independent contractor was working on a kitchen cupboard refurbishing project in The Beaches neighbourhood of Toronto’s east end. Once he began the work, however, he got a nasty surprise – toxic black mold was rampant throughout the walls in virtually all of the building’s 27 units, and it was causing indoor air quality problems.
The building, near Queen Street East and Woodbine Avenue, was owned by Toronto Community Housing (TCH) which took action immediately. Within weeks, all the tenants were relocated with promises that they would be able to move back in once the building had been completely remediated. Just recently, after a three year wait, they finally started to move back into their renovated apartments.
Remediation = Reconstruction
The construction project itself took approximately 18 months and involved retaining the structure’s historic circa 1928 façade, while completely reconstructing the interior. While the ornate exterior is undoubtedly worth the effort it took to preserve it, the interior problems illustrate many of the construction issues typical of that era.
The building, as it originally existed, contained no insulation whatsoever, with old leaky windows. There was no ventilation system, and there was a dirt floor in the crawl space. A sump pump was used regularly to remove excess water caused by insufficient exterior waterproofing. All of these elements undoubtedly contributed to the build-up of moisture and encouraged mold growth. Among other innovations, the new window sills are furnished in manmade marble to prevent moisture build-up, and new fibreglass windows add energy efficiency along with keeping rain and other moisture out.
Old Buildings – and New
Some residents say they’re still feeling the effects of the toxic mold. While this happened to an older structure, new buildings aren’t immune from the hazards and risks of mold. You should know the common signs and symptoms of mold exposure, and be on the look out for moisture and mold in your dwelling. Mold can grow virtually anywhere, and you may not know that it’s there spreading in your floors and walls.
Watch for a persistent musty odour and symptoms such as irritation of the eyes, nose and skin, and chronic headaches. If you suspect the presence of mold in your home, get help from the experts at MoldInspections.ca. Please call us for a hassle-free quote today.
MoldInspections.ca is the trusted leader for mold-free homes and breathable indoor air spaces in Toronto, the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), and beyond. Providing certified mold inspection, detection and testing since 2005, we service home owners, real-estate agents, landlords, property managers, insurance companies and businesses. Featured on CP24’s Wylde on Health, CTV and recommended by contractors, we regularly serve as expert witnesses in court proceeding relating to Mold and Indoor Air Quality issues. Do you have mold? Call us today for a free quote at (416) 575-6111.