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Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation Do We Live in a Plastic Bag? Bill Crawford CMHC Research, Technology Transfer.

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Presentation on theme: "Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation Do We Live in a Plastic Bag? Bill Crawford CMHC Research, Technology Transfer."— Presentation transcript:

1 Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation Do We Live in a Plastic Bag? Bill Crawford CMHC Research, Technology Transfer

2 This presentation will cover The Importance of Indoor Air Quality Your House as a System Managing Moisture Air Circulation Tips to Make Your Home Healthier

3 Why is CMHC concerned with Indoor Air Quality? (IAQ) CMHC is the federal agency responsible for housing CMHC has been doing research on indoor air quality (IAQ) and mold for the past 20 years.

4 Why is IAQ important? We spend on average 90% of our time inside Studies have shown linkages between health and the indoor environment Up to 30% of households in Canada have humidity problems and possible mold issues 20%+ of the population suffer from respiratory problems (asthma, allergies & sensitivities)

5 Your house as a system A home needs to BREATHE in both directions Be aware of back-drafting

6 The contaminated cocktail  Chemical Pollutants (voc’s)  Biological Pollutants (mites, skin dander, pollen, molds, etc)

7 Source Control The # 1 Answer card board boxes, newspapers, carpets & fabrics, opened paint cans, thinners, household cleaners* C. seal surfaces emitting voc’s under surface of counter tops, drawers, shelves, trims, wall, door and ceilings, baseboards B. use no or low voc products Install hardwood, ceramic floor coverings Solid wood furniture and cabinets Use water based sealants and adhesives A. discard excess materials

8 Good ventilation is essential  Removes contaminated air and replace it with fresh air.  Reduces humidity levels in your home.  Better for you to control ventilation, than have air leaks.

9 Check kitchen and bathroom fans Does your bathroom fan work? Is it used? Try a paper test Where is the moisture ventilated to? Clean the grill often.

10 Full House Ventilation

11 All HRV’s must be balancedHRAI 1-800-267-2231

12 For approved installers call: HRAI 1-800-267-2231

13 Reducing air particulates Don’t allow anyone to smoke Replace furnace filters regularly Remove shoes in your home Select hard surface flooring Pets are a major source of partculates We are a dust cloud

14 Should you be concerned about mold? Mold will grow on almost any surface that is exposed to moisture. A musty odour is also good indication that your home has mold. Mold can make you and your family sick, usually with flu-like symptoms, and breathing problems.

15 Surfaces should be kept warm Heat all areas of the house Cold walls and surfaces condense moisture and grow mold Excess materials should be discarded Cardboard boxes, newspapers, magazines, carpets and fabrics provide a food source

16 Mold requires moisture & nutrients to grow, remember it is is a living organism Soap and water is preferred for removing mold, (bleach or vinegar kills on contact, but harsh) Reducing moisture eliminates mold

17 No or reduced insulation at ceiling/wall (thermal bridging) High-heel trusses allow for increased insulation

18 Why is managing moisture important? 10L to 50L of moisture can be released everyday in your home Dust mites thrive at relative humidity greater than 55%. Moisture causes mold growth Moisture leads to wood rot and structural damage.

19 Manage moisture inside Keep relative humidity low enough to avoid condensation on the window in winter (usually 30%) ………….Consider purchasing a hygrometer Use de-humidifiers when necessary. Keep basement windows closed in summer Do not carpet basement & bathroom floors. Crawlspace or basement dirt floors must be covered Vent dryer outside Use bath and kitchen fans often Fix all leaks

20 Manage moisture from the outside Repair roof leaks promptly, clean the gutter and extend downspouts Improve the grading so the soil slopes away from the house. Fix leaky outside water taps. Do not plant too near to the foundation.

21 Poor grading Elbow & extension? Splash pad? Window well

22 Tips to Make Your Home Healthier Product selection, low VOC’s Good ventilation Regulate moisture Reduce air particulates Remove cleaning products and no odourizers Change filters often Do not use un-vented appliances Remove surplus storage items Soil grading Clean eaves troughs & extend down spouts Don’t use pesticides Reduce chemical fertilizers Don’t allow water to pool around foundations Don’t idle car in garage Inside Outside

23 LIFESTYLE CMHC research shows that chemical contaminants from new house or renovation materials are generally replaced by contaminants from contents and lifestyle after several years.


25 CMHC information that can help you Moisture and Air – Free Healthy Housing Practical Tips – Free Clean Air Guide - $5.95

26 Want more information? To order any CMHC information related to housing call: 1-800-668-2642 or visit our website at:

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