Mold is a fungus which grows and thrives in moist environments. Mold may take on various colors, which signify various types or stages of growth. In all its forms, it becomes dangerous when inhaled or ingested. It simultaneously grows on and decomposes organic matter.

Mold, especially black mold in particular, forms in your home in the presence of prolonged moisture. This can be anything from a poorly ventilated kitchen or bath, a pipe leak, or an extreme event producing water damage. Noteworthy too would be organic materials which may hold on to moisture such as expired food, old books or newspapers or other organic materials, like leather, wood, and straw.

While airborne spores have not necessarily been substantiated as dangerous to immediate health, many find black mold to be the cause of, at the very least, an allergen response, being as it were, your body’s first line of defense. Allergic responses would include, but not be limited to, coughing, sneezing, itchy, watery eyes, nasal congestion, sore throat, and rashes. In some, this can even lead to an extreme asthmatic response, which can become an emergency. More than that, those with compromised immune systems are especially susceptible to symptoms and are at risk of fungal infections. In a post-pandemic world where nearly all of us have felt the effects of COVID-19, removing allergens and lung irritants is imperative, as many have developed lung and/or breathing issues. Where mold once posed no real threat may now be an entirely different ballgame.

While this foul-smelling fungus may seem imposing, it is easily treatable and requires minimal effort and expense to remove, provided it has not grown out of control (larger than 10 square feet), or is out of sight, in which case, professional remediation is a must. For manageable remediation, safety is imperative. It is noteworthy to remember that while removing black mold is simple, it does become more airborne, and thus poses a serious allergen to eyes, ears, nose, throat, and skin. Therefore, PPE is required, even if using the most natural solvents to remove.

You will need:

  • Protective Eyewear
  • Gloves
  • Mask
  • Clothing that can be sanitized or disposed
  • Rubber shoes that can be disinfected

Mold is classically known for its musty smell and clustered, spotted appearance, but can also appear as red or pink (generally in bathrooms). As you remove the mold, you will need plenty of ventilation as it becomes airborne, especially when applying solvents. Remove and throw away anything which can not be cleaned. And of course, before you expend time and energy cleaning, be sure you have first addressed that which has sourced the black mold (water leak, dampness, damage).

Effective treatments include:

  • Tea Tree Oil and Water Solution
  • Vinegar and Baking Soda Solution
  • Bleach and Water Solution
  • Hydrogen Peroxide and Water Solution


Preventing mold is never absolute, but helpful measures would include having good ventilation, especially in baths, laundry, and kitchens, limiting the overall humidity in your home to 50%, by means of a dehumidifier if necessary, as well as dealing with any water issue, leak, or flooding PROMPTLY.

Keeping your home clean and dry both inside and out and keeping gutters clean will limit the moisture and mold potential. Keeping your home’s exterior mold and fungus free can also assist by decreasing the amount of airborne spores that may enter from your home’s central air unit or via window and door.

Being sure to address the source of any mold or fungus that can affect your home may take time, energy, and money, but it will be far worth the effort to keep your home and your family healthy, preventing costly remodels, remediation, and remedies.

Empathy for Enthalpy

We are all looking for ways to save money. Challenging our energy consumption thinking can really pay off.

Enthalpy, or the energy measured in thermodynamics, may seem a strange visitor to a discussion of your home’s energy consumption. But a brief breakdown of heating and cooling gains and losses will leave you well equipped to be a more energy-savvy consumer, and have a cleaner home, too.

Energy Consumption

It’s challenging to think of reducing energy consumption in the middle of summer’s heatwave. But there are small, individual choices we can make with great impact on our personal energy demand and the environment.

Problem: Rising population, rising cost of living, rising energy costs and consumption…Affects the environment.

“In the next 20 years…global energy consumption is expected to rise 40%”, according to The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, Medicine.

According to the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University (, how we use energy affects our environment. Toxic fumes and harmful byproducts are the unseen evils of energy production and consumption. As is stated in their article, “Reduce Your Household Energy Use”: “When we consume less power, we reduce the amount of toxic fumes released by power plants, conserve the earth’s natural resources, and help protect ecosystems from destruction… Cutting back on energy consumption reduces the amount of electricity that power plants have to make.”

Solution: Changes in how we think and use energy.

As individuals, we can be more aware of how we use the energy we consume by making optimal use of appliances:

Keep refrigerator at 36-38 degrees Fahrenheit, limiting frequency and duration of door opening.

When using oven and stovetop, make larger meals to afford leftovers for another day, requiring less energy to reheat.

Unplug technology including TV’s, chargers, small appliances when not in use.

Wash a full load of laundry in cold water, whenever possible.

Air dry laundry as much as possible, reducing the need for the dryer, the 5th most energy-consuming appliance.

Heaters, the most energy-consuming appliance, are responsible for over 30% of home energy use. Addressing poor insulation and gaps contributing to energy loss are the main ways to reclaim, lowering heating costs.

Cooling appliances account for about 10% of home energy consumption, also being affected by poor insulation and gaps, leading to loss of cooled air.

The state of your windows accounts for nearly 30% of potential heating and cooling losses. Dirty panes, debris, cracks and gaps, and broken weather stripping all contribute to higher energy consumption, as your heating and cooling must work harder to maintain a temperate environment.

Overall, a cleaner home, inside and out, increases the quality of air you breathe inside and outside your home. It also has a direct bearing on the efficiency of your home’s heating and cooling systems. Clean homes using clean, energy efficient appliances will work easier, saving you money as well as reducing energy consumption.

Professional House Washing protects your home from deterioration from elements, buildup of grime, bacteria, and fungus, which can work their way beneath your home’s exterior, ‘infecting’ and deteriorating the efficiency of your home’s energy.

Professional Window Cleaning likewise promotes better use of your home’s energy consumption. Clean windows allow more natural heat and light to enter your home, reducing incessant reliance on appliances and electric lighting.

There are many other appliances, electronics, and habits that affect your home’s energy consumption. While most of these depend on YOUR use and habits as a homeowner, why not depend on US to make the most of your heating and cooling energy expenditure, by scheduling a Professional House Wash and Window Cleaning Service.

With all of the “smart” technology available, let’s be smarter consumers, making better use of our energy consumption.

Algae and Altruism

Learning manners from microorganisms.

Over the last two years we’ve learned a lot about bacteria, viruses, and the spread of germs. We’ve learned how the simplest of actions, washing one’s hands with soap and water, helps to reduce and prevent the spread of germs. Ironically, the same principle applies to keeping your home’s exterior clean and algae free.

Algae grows by photosynthesis. Algae have been referred to as “the most important photosynthesizing organisms on earth.” While there are various types of Algae, they share a common structure which is unique in that they do not have roots or leaves. Because of this unique structure, they occupy various habitats which would normally be inhospitable to plants, including porous rocks such as sandstone and limestone. But algae does not work alone. Forming a symbiotic partnership with Fungus, it forms Lichen, which behave as a plant-like growth. Both provide a beneficial environment for the other, including an exchange of oxygen, nutrients, and protection, allowing the symbiotic whole to become strong and resistant, able to grow and thrive where it could not do so alone.

Fungus lives by decomposing and absorbing the organic material in which they grow. Algae, on the other hand, is a chlorophyll containing aquatic organism. This symbiosis allows the organism to reproduce, withstanding extremes of weather and light, resulting in acid-producing lichens capable of disintegrating rock and damaging to zinc and lead used in flashing or gutters.

What does this mean for homeowners? Since a variety of microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, protozoa, and algae are airborne, they can easily be spread from home to home. So just as proper handwashing can do much to prevent the spread of germs, viruses, and bacteria, so a PROFESSIONAL HOUSE WASH can protect your home from the spread of this insidious organism. While bacteria, fungi, and algae DO have an imperative function in our environment, they can also mean the slow destruction of your home. Just like disease, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Perhaps you have heard, or even repeated the adage, “Seeing is Believing”. The reality is that there are many environmental processes that occur which are unseen. However, we do see the effects. The symbiotic growth of algae and fungus may go unseen for a time, until it is all too evident. We’ve all seen a house or two, perhaps even in a row, smeared by the effects of the unseen.

So if your home is “sick”, your neighbour’s might be too. Why not take advantage of a special 15% DISCOUNT for a NEIGHBOUR REFERRAL HOUSEWASH. Partner with at least one neighbour to schedule a PROFESSIONAL HOUSE WASH to both receive the discount.