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RATES 2018 - 2019

  • ASBESTOS | AIR, VERMICULITE & MATERIALS
  • MOLDS | AIR, SURFACES & MATERIALS
  • OTHER CONTAMINANTS, all other types of expertise are subject to specific studies so that we can develop a proposal that can meet your specific needs.

With asbestos, the most prudent approach is to retain the services of a company that conducts the sampling and analysis that is completely independent of your asbestos remediation contractor with whom you intend to perform asbestos abatement work. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), https://www.epa.gov advises to AVOID using the services of a single contractor to perform both the asbestos removal work and laboratory analysis.

Depending on the scope and nature of the work, in general, the three steps are...

  • 1) The characterization, that is, the sampling (compliant sampling) and the laboratory analysis (approved methods) of materials likely to contain asbestos (ACM) / Asbestos Containing Materials.
  • 2) The daily assessment of air quality (ambient test) during the work to verify the tightness of the zones and airlocks, when the nature of the work requires them, according to the duration.
  • 3) Final compliance test before dismantling airlock zones after decontamination work is considered final and clean. The dismantling of the airlock zone is granted or not, according to the results obtained, in case of failure the cleaning protocol must be taken all over again by the remediation contractor.

By not respecting this precautionary rule, it will more likely lead to a situation that representing a conflict of interest. For the sake of neutrality and safety, make sure that the company that performs the decontamination is NOT the same company that takes care of the sampling and analysis of MCA before during and after the decontamination work.

THIS IS THE ONLY AND BEST WAY TO PROTECT YOURSELF AGAINST ANY FORM OF FRAUD.

SECTION 1

ASBESTOS

VERMICULITE (Zonolite)

Starting from $ 225

Insulation found in the attic, walls & under floors.

  • Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM) IRSST 244-3
  • Sampling & Report from $145
  • Only $80 per sample analyzed
  • Report issued in just 1 day
  • Including 3 sampling *
  • Economic / stop at 1st positive **
  • Compliance with CNESST
  • Analysis done in compliant laboratories
  • IRSST Method 244-3
  • Trained technicians
  • Report included
  • Photographs included

* 3 samples collected, the first one is analyzed and the 2 others remaining available for analysis (continuity if negative)

** The analysis sequence is governed by the stopping protocol at the first positive (presence of asbestos)

Terms and conditions

The invoice is payable on sampling day at the latest.

The invoice is payable credit card, check or cash.

The rates shown above are…

  • Both taxes applicable.
  • Subject to transportation fees.
  • Effective 01 09 18. Valid until 01 03 19.
  • Subject to change without notice.
  • In Canadian dollars.

ASBESTOS BUILDING MATERIALS

From $ 225

Cement, plaster, stucco, heat insulating, ceiling tile, etc.

  • Suspected asbestos-containing materials MCA
  • Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM) IRSST 244-3
  • Sampling & Report from $ 145
  • Only $80 per analyzed sample
  • Analysis done in compliant laboratories
  • Report issued in just 1 day
  • Including 3 sampling *
  • $ 25 / per additional sampling
  • 1st positive stop by HAM **
  • Trained technician
  • Compliance with CNESST
  • IRSST Method 244-3
  • Report included
  • Photographs included

* If samples are directly accessible.
** HAM Homogeneous Area Materials or (an area presenting similarities of work).

Terms and conditions

The invoice is payable on sampling day at the latest.

The invoice is payable credit card, check or cash.

The rates shown above are…

  • Both taxes applicable.
  • Subject to transportation fees.
  • Effective 01 09 18. Valid until 01 03 19.
  • Subject to change without notice.
  • In Canadian dollars.

FLOOR TILES

Starting from $ 145*

Carrelage de plancher à base de produit pétrolier

  • Floor tile, petroleum / vinyl based
  • Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)
  • (TEM aka Electronic Microscopy)
  • TEM Method IRSST - 244-3 / NYS ELAP 198.4
  • Only $ 145* per analyzed sample
  • Analysis done in compliant laboratories
  • Report issued in 3 days only
  • Including 3 sampling **
  • Trained technician
  • Compliance with CNESST
  • IRSST Method 244-3
  • Report included
  • Photographs included

* As a complementary (additional) samples, if the technician is already on site to perform other sampling (i.e. same time, on the same site). If we are being requested to perform uniquely this type of sampling, then, sampling and transportation charges will apply, contact us for more details.

** Samples easily accessible, additional charges apply when access is difficult and/or hard to reach

Terms and conditions

The invoice is payable on sampling day at the latest.

The invoice is payable credit card, check or cash.

The rates shown above are…

  • Both taxes applicable.
  • Subject to transportation fees.
  • Effective 01 09 18. Valid until 01 03 19.
  • Subject to change without notice.
  • In Canadian dollars.

TEST FINAL (AIR)

From $ 390

Compliance testing before withdrawal of airlock zone

  • 4 hrs / 3800 liters in volume
  • Phase Contrast Microscopy (PCM)
  • Recognized method IRSST 243-1
  • Sampling & Reporting from $ 245
  • Only $ 145 per sample analyzed
  • 1x air sampling / sample included
  • 1x lab white, analysis included
  • 30% discount on 2nd sampling * nearby **
  • Report issued in 1 day only
  • am/pm service available, conditions applies
  • Analysis done in certified laboratories
  • Trained technician
  • Full report included
  • Photographs Included

* Applicable to 2nd and subsequent samples

** Same jobsite: same floor, in less than 10 m2.

Terms and conditions

The invoice is payable on sampling day at the latest.

The invoice is payable credit card, check or cash.

The rates shown above are…

  • Both taxes applicable.
  • Subject to transportation fees.
  • Effective 01 09 18. Valid until 01 03 19.
  • Subject to change without notice.
  • In Canadian dollars.

DAILY SAMPLING (AIR)

From $ 290 Compliance test

Tests (journalier) de conformité quotidienne

  • Phase Contrast Microscopy (PCM)
  • Recognized Method IRSST 243-1
  • Sampling & Reporting from $ 145
  • Only $ 145 per sample submitted
  • 1x air sample / matrix included
  • 1x lab white / matrix included
  • 50% on 2nd samples in the same zone*
  • ** Report issued on the same day, am/pm
  • *** Analysis done in compliant laboratories
  • Equipment and matrices free of charge
  • Trained technician
  • Conformity with CNESST
  • Complete report included
  • Photographs included

* Applicable to 2nd and subsequent samples

** Two contiguous zones accepted, otherwise fees add.

*** Conditional to a session ended before 10h30am

Terms and conditions

The invoice is payable on sampling day at the latest.

The invoice is payable credit card, check or cash.

The rates shown above are…

  • Both taxes applicable.
  • Subject to transportation fees.
  • Effective 01 09 18. Valid until 01 03 19.
  • Subject to change without notice.
  • In Canadian dollars.

CAUTION AIRBORNE ASBESTOS FIBERS MAY CAUSE A SIRIOUS HEALTH THREAT

This why WE DO NOT ACCEPT any self-sampling samples over the counter from individuals or commercial client. Otherwise we do accept samples coming from industrial plants and more specifically for industries whose staff has been trained for the extraction and handling of hazardous materials that may contain asbestos fibers.

The option of depositing self-sampling samples IS NOT AVAILABLE for the following reasons:

  • a) In general, doing the asbestos sampling by yourself is a dangerous task because you are not wearing the appropriate protective equipment, which in itself can be a health hazard.
  • b) Extraction of materials that may contain asbestos improperly can contaminate places creating a subsequent state of danger to the health of occupants.
  • c) Generally, the self-service samples are taken without the application of required protocols for this very purposes, hence the possibility of obtaining a false negative result and potentially erroneous results.
  • d) Since the sampling sites are technically unknown to the laboratory, there will not be any official address is stated on the laboratory report. Since we cannot certify the origin of the samples, the report issued without an official address will consequently be considered to have no legal value.

SECTION 2

INDOOR AIR QUALITY ANALYSIS

AIR AND IDENTIFICATION SPORES MOISISSURES

AIR TEST 1

Airborne molds

From $ 395

Ideal for...

  • For a floor of the house, to choose basement or floor.
  • For an apartment or condominium on a level.

AIR TEST 2

Airborne molds

From $ 495

Ideal for...

  • For a bungalow, in the basement and on the ground floor.
  • For an apartment or condominium on 2 floors.

AIR TEST 3

Airborne molds

From $ 595

Ideal for...

  • For a cottage, in the basement, on the ground floor and 1st floor.
  • For an apartment or condominium on three floors.

OUR INTERVENTIONS IN BRIEF

(MOLD AIR TESTS)

  • Indoor air quality analysis, identification of mold spore genera;
  • Outdoor air quality analysis identification of mold spore genera;
  • Environmental parameters of the building, indoor vs outdoor;
  • Overview of the appearance of conformity (obvious defect) of the building;
  • Overview of the appearance of conformity of the physical layout of the building;
  • Overview of the kinetics of the water potential for infiltration, etc.; (except in winter)
  • Overview of air kinetics, air movement, floor to floor;
  • Overview of a potential for cross-contamination, floor to floor;
  • Overview of heating and air-conditioning systems (HVAC), state of cleanliness.

OUR DETAILED INTERVENTIONS

(MOLD AIR TESTS)

  • Report issued in 1 to 2 working days with no surcharge fees;
  • Identification of mechanical deficiencies of the building;
  • Genera spores count, both viable and nonviable;
  • Enumeration, total counts of mold spores;
  • Identification of the species of mold spores;
  • Internal air collection (s) with spores trap;
  • Outdoor air collection, comparative standard;
  • Gas aldehyde gas (CH2O / HCHO);
  • Volatiles organic compounds, TVOC;
  • Trained sampling technician
  • Equipment & sampling pumps;
  • Sampling matrix (spore traps);
  • Carbon dioxide ppm CO2;
  • Relative humidity% RH;
  • Site’s true temperature;
  • Pictures of the premises;
  • Photographs of processes;
  • Certified laboratory analysis;
  • Certified laboratory report;
  • Pictogram interpretation results;
  • Easy to understand results;
  • Confirmation of wholesomeness, if so;
  • Safety and Security Guidelines;
  • Comprehensive report in PDF;
  • Explanatory grid for comparison;
  • Recommendation, options offered, next step;
  • Mold management guide, remediation;
  • Mould compendium, pathological impacts;
  • Information and prevention guide;
  • Diagnostic immune test guide;

OPTIONAL LEVELS

(TESTING D AIR & SURFACES MISISSURES & BACTERIA)

  • Various optional extras are made available, rates are subject to a specific quote.
  • On site, if and only when needed we will recommend available options;
  • Additional air sampling for ambient air by spore trap (direct)
  • Inner-wall air sampling with probe and spore trap (direct)
  • Mold sampling on surface mold on slide or swab (direct)
  • Removal of building material to be analysed in lab (direct)
  • Mold sampling on the surfaces, swab (viable) enumeration, genera and species
  • Air sampling by bio impaction molds, enumeration, genera ID with species (viable)
  • Air sampling by bio-impaction bacteria, enumeration (viable)
  • Bio-impaction air sampling bacteria, enumeration, species identification (viable)
  • Bio-impaction air sampling bacteria, enumeration, species and gender identification (viable)

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

The invoice is payable on sampling day at the latest.

The invoice is payable credit card, check or cash.

The rates shown above are…

  • Both taxes applicable.
  • Subject to transportation fees.
  • Effective 01 09 18. Valid until 01 03 19.
  • Subject to change without notice.
  • In Canadian dollars.

ANALYSIS ARE EXCLUSIVELY DONE IN THE ENCLOSURE OF CERTIFIED LABORATORIES.

The laboratory analysis work is certified according to the international standard ISO 17025. All sampling methods are in compliance with the standards and regulations of the Health and Safety Research Institute. Quebec Labor (IRSST) and the Health and Safety at Work Regulations (CNESST). The management of samples in the laboratory is carried out by biotechnologists, microbiologists and chemists specializing in the cutting-edge sectors of their respective disciplines. All laboratory analysis operations are recognized or accredited according to ISO / IEC 17025. The various laboratory analysis methodologies are in accordance with international standards recognized by NIOSH, OSHA, ASTM, AOAC, FDA BAM, CTFA, USP, APHA, ASM and US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Quality Assurance & Quality Control (QA / QC) internal laboratory programs are also compliant with ISO 17025. The laboratory analytical work is also compliant with the CMHC Standards and from Health Canada. https://airtests.ca/laboratoires.php

MOLD

MOLD | DEFINITION

Image of mold seen under a microscope

What is mold? The mushroom kingdom is composed of diverse organisms and is divided into two major forms: macroscopic (visible to the naked eye), and microscopic (invisible to the naked eye). Molds become visible to the naked eye when they become entangled to form colonies. We can conclude that when they are visible to the naked eye, it is because their number is then important. The appearance of a colony is very diverse; it may be cottony, granular or velvety; white, black, green, blue, etc. Colonies are ubiquitous in all environments and participate actively to the organic matter recycling by degrading plant matter.

All fungal particles are likely to cause various adverse health effects, depending on their nature and quantity, depending on the degree of exposure and sensitivity of the exposed individuals. The term mold is a common name for microscopic fungi that form on food and building materials. They multiply by emitting spores in the air. These have a diameter of about five (5) micrometers. They are particularly harmful because, when they are present in the ambient air, they can be inhaled and subsequently deposited in the pulmonary alveoli; this can cause respiratory problems.

Fungi can cause diseases in many ways: by the mycotoxins and allergens they produce, and by biologically active components from their cell wall that can cause severe signs of discomfort to the occupants. These effects are mainly respiratory (irritation and allergies) and immunological. A report from Health Canada's House Mushroom Working Group and two recent Canadian studies clearly showed that high humidity and the presence of fungi (molds) and their toxins can lead to the following health problems: in humans:

  • Respiratory tract symptoms: cough, sputum, nose and throat irritation, runny nose, sneezing, noisy breathing difficulty breathing, chest pain;
  • Respiratory allergies: rhinitis, alveolitis, bronchitis, asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonias;
  • Non-respiratory symptoms: eye irritation, tissue lesions and infections, skin allergies (skin irritation, dermatitis);
  • General toxic effects: fever, chills, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, deficiencies of the immune system, fatigue, hair loss.

Why is there mold in houses and buildings? The term mold refers to fungi, yeast, mildew and all types of mold. These and fungi are natural elements of the environment and play an essential role in the decomposition of leaves, trees and plant debris. These microorganisms can enter a building directly or enter it as spores suspended in the air. In a house or building, molds and fungi will generally be lodged on walls, drywall such as gypsum board and plasterboard and Sheetrock® panels, furniture, fabrics, wallpaper, draperies, tiles in a ceiling covering as well as carpets and rugs. Nevertheless, no fungal contamination or water accumulation favoring it should be tolerated in the interior.

Mold and moisture

Moisture is one of the most common causes of poor air quality in offices, homes, classrooms and public indoor spaces as it promotes the growth of mold and mildew, mites. Mold can grow in damp or wet places in a building due to water leakage, flooding, seepage, or high humidity from activities human. Molds can appear on wood, paper, fabrics, drywall and insulation. They can be found on the fabrics, the contours of windows, the carpets ... They can hide themselves inside the walls and above the tiles of the ceiling. If mold is growing in a humid place, it can lead to deterioration of air quality and health problems.

Exposure to moisture and mold in buildings is a significant risk factor for respiratory disease. In particular, it is estimated that 40% of Canadian residences could show signs of moisture and mold. These are microscopic fungi whose growth is favored by high humidity, the presence of stagnant water and inadequate ventilation. When they develop significantly, molds disperse respirable particles that can cause, especially in children, health problems: irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, discharge and nasal congestion, and increased frequency and severity of asthma attacks.

It should be noted that it is difficult to directly associate the symptoms experienced by the occupants of a building with a fungal profile revealed by laboratory analysis results. For this purpose, it is better to have the advice of a doctor. In addition, these results cannot be used alone to report poor indoor air quality. They must be combined with in situ observations, and their interpretation depends on the accuracy of the analysis performed. Nevertheless, no fungal contamination or water accumulation favoring should be tolerated indoor. Indoor, the main determinant of fungal growth is water and its corollary, moisture (infiltration, condensation, humid climate of an inner plantation, etc.). Without them, there is no possible growth of mold. The activity that results from the presence of water (and moisture) is therefore the most important element to monitor to avoid contamination.

AIRTESTS evaluates air quality in all indoor environments, we can help you detect VOCs (volatile organic compounds), asbestos, bacteria, mold and dust that disturb occupants of places. By knowing the real state of the place, you will be better able to intervene to alleviate the problems related to the bad quality of the air, you will increase the feeling of well-being of your employees and the productivity of the in addition to reducing absenteeism

MOLD | SAMPLING

Prevents mold on the floor

Sampling and analysis of biological contaminants (molds) Laboratory mold tests are accredited by the ministère du Développement durable, de l'Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques (MDDELCC) du Québec. All mold samples collected are analyzed in the laboratory and approved by microbiologists specialized in microbiology. Laboratory technicians are certified by the Société canadienne d'hypothèques et de logement du Canada (SCHL). All laboratory operations are carried out according to the international standard ISO / IEC 17025. All sampling methods are in compliance with the standards and regulations of the Institut de recherche en santé et sécurité au travail du Québec (IRSST) and the règlement sur la santé et sur la sécurité au travail de Santé Canada. AIRTESTS sampling technicians are continuously trained according to the protocols prescribed by the laboratory.

Depending on the nature of the specific needs of each situation and the time available to obtain the results provided by the laboratory, here are the different sampling methods used by AIRTESTS in the search for indoor environmental contaminants:

Method 1 Mold sampling in air by Spores Trap.

Microbiological records of total spores of mold in air are made using Spore Trap. The parameters obtained by these samples are the enumeration of total mold in the air and identification of the types of molds. In order to establish such a type of microbiological air survey, total mold spores (both viable and non-viable) must be sampled in order to obtain an accurate count of total fungal particles in the air. To do this, the air samples are taken using a pump and an Air-O-Cell type cassette. This spore trap sampler pumps 75 liters of surrounding air through the cassette for 5 minutes (or 150 liters for 10 minutes). This cassette is equipped with a microscope slide with an adhesive film on which the particles present in the air taken are impacted. Sampling techniques apply to viable and non-viable mold spores (total spore count). It is possible to perform intramural sampling to inspect the air behind the walls or under a floor. It will be possible to perform this analysis using a probe that passes through an opening. The sampling time will be decreased to 2 minutes for a total of 30 liters of air. The sampling time is reduced since the environment behind the walls is generally dustier. Dust can limit and compromise the reading of the results.

Method 2 Air mold sampling by Bio Impaction Andersen Microbiological records of fungal-yeast molds in the air made by bio-impaction Andersen. The parameters obtained by these samples are enumeration, identification with genera and species. Only viable molds in the air are identified by this method, it does not detect dead molds that can still remain allergenic.

Microbiological air samples are taken using an Andersen impactor. Through the impaction process, air enters from above the unit, and the microorganisms are separated and stored in a culture medium by centrifugal force. The culture medium used for molds and yeasts is YM (Rose Bengal Agar). The samples are kept at 4 ° C until they are returned to the laboratory where they will be incubated for several days. The results of the laboratory analysis are given in CFU/m3 (colony forming unit/cubic meter of air). Data interpretation is performed comparing volumetric results between indoor and outdoor air. On the other hand, in both types of air, a similar distribution of mold types should be found or a lower concentration of mold in the indoor air. These techniques apply to viable molds only. Bio-impaction research is very useful when it comes to in-depth investigations; because this technique requires a waiting period in the laboratory that corresponds to the incubation, transplanting and re-incubation time of the living material (agar cultures). In-depth environmental research is the subject of elaborate and custom-built submissions on a case-by-case basis.

Method 3 Mold sampling from surfaces by smear A sample of surface contaminants for microbiological analyzes is collected using a swab specifically designed for the sampling and transport of micro-organisms. This mold sampling method is defined as "Frottis-Contact". For example, a surface of 100 cm2 (10cmx10cm) is sampled with a swab to obtain the results in CFU/100 cm2. Sampling applies to viable molds only, however, it should be noted that these results do not reflect indoor air quality. These samples are taken generally inside the ducts or on the ventilation grills and on any other surfaces with a suspect appearance. The parameters obtained are the enumeration of surface molds, the identification of the genus from surface molds and the identification of the surface mold species.

Method 4 Sampling molds from surfaces by gluing Samples are made using a tape-lift tape applied against mold, this method is generally used to establish a partial identification of molds. The results, however, do not reflect the quality of indoor air.

AIRTESTS evaluates air quality in all indoor environments, we can help you detect VOCs (volatile organic compounds), asbestos, bacteria, mold and dust that disturb occupants of places. By knowing the real state of the place, you will be better able to intervene to alleviate the problems related to the bad quality of the air, you will increase the feeling of well-being of your employees and the productivity of the in addition to reducing absenteeism

GYMS & LOCKER ROOM

Image of sports locker

In 20 years, the turnover of fitness market has multiplied by 10. A clear progression that is due to diversification of the offer and strong increase of members who see a safe and effective way to get in shape in gyms. Yet, training rooms are mostly enclosed spaces where ventilation is often inadequate, and poor air quality can pose health risks to customers and staff. Indeed, the particular context of such places, perspiration and promiscuity, promotes the emergence of a panoply of bacteria, microbes and viruses found on the equipment (treadmill, stationary bike, free weights, etc.) and in the locker room. In addition, gymnasiums often concentrate 20 to 30 people who breathe deeply during their exercises, which increases the emission and inhalation of pollutant particles; while the locker rooms are very wet (showers and water vapor) besides the fact that a lot of chemicals are emitted through the use of sprays and aerosols (perfumes and deodorants).

A study of air quality in the training rooms. In North America, climatic constraints cause many athletes to train indoors, and this exposes them to often unhealthy and contaminated air. To demonstrate this, we will rely on a European study that has focused on this issue. In this study, academic researchers from Lisbon, Portugal, and Delft, Netherlands, placed air quality monitoring equipment in eleven rooms across Lisbon. As a result, sensors measured pollutant levels at times when gyms were experiencing peak attendance in the late afternoon and evening. The detectors have been set to measure, for a minimum of two hours per day, pollutant levels such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, ozone, suspended particles such as dust, and various products. Chemicals released from carpets, cleaning products, furniture or paint, including formaldehyde.

The indicators revealed pollutant concentrations exceeding accepted limit values. Maximum levels were reached during aerobic classes in the evening, when many clients were gathered in a confined space, stirring dust, perspiring and blowing heavily, producing carbon dioxide at each breath. High levels of carbon dioxide can be a hallmark of a poorly ventilated building, especially when these values remain high for hours, as was the case during the study. As a result, the levels of these indicators are much higher at peak times than at other times of the day, posing a direct danger to customers. High concentrations of dust and chemicals, such as formaldehyde, represent real health risks. In excess, these substances can contribute to the development of asthma and other respiratory problems. However, almost all the gyms in the study had concentrations of these substances well above the generally accepted standards. It is poor ventilation, poor air circulation, which increases the presence of contaminants, such as moisture. Training halls should therefore address the source of this problem: and their credibility is at stake.

AIRTESTS evaluates air quality in all indoor environments, we can help you detect VOCs (volatile organic compounds), asbestos, bacteria, mold and dust that disturb occupants of places. By knowing the real state of the place, you will be better able to intervene to alleviate the problems related to the bad quality of the air, you will increase the feeling of well-being of your employees and the productivity of the in addition to reducing absenteeism

WINE CELLAR

Image of dusty wine cellar

The wine cellar is not just a place where you keep your bottles. It should rather be conceived as the place where the wines live, their habitat in a way, where they can flourish in the best conditions and where it will be possible to come and taste them. Essential rules must be respected for their conservation, but also for the health of the wine-lovers who frequent it.

Temperature. The ideal temperature of a wine cellar is at 12 ° C. In general, seasonal differences in temperature must be limited to 5 °C, and the cellar temperature must never fall below 8 °C in winter or rise above 18 °C in summer. In most cases, the basements of houses or buildings meet this requirement (to be sure, it is best to check the temperature with a thermometer). However, if this is not the case, insulation work or the installation of a refrigeration system is necessary. There are special air conditioners for wine cellars that do not dry the air. It should be noted that the deeper a cellar is, the lower its temperature is constant throughout the year.

Moisture. The hygrometry (moisture content in the air) ideal wine cellars is 70% will say some, but this rate of RH is also ideal for fungal proliferation! The humidity should be neither too low, because the plugs would dry out (and would not be completely waterproof, and the wine would deteriorate), nor too high, otherwise the labels and plugs would mold. The natural hygrometry of cellars is generally good, as soil, sand and stone naturally regulate humidity. However, it is important to control the humidity of the cellars using a hygrometer. If the air is too humid, it is possible to reduce the humidity by adding clay, gravel or sand on the ground. If, on the contrary, the air is too dry, there are air humidifiers.

No smell. Cork is a permeable material: the wine communicates with the air of the cellar. In order to preserve the wine, it must be kept safe from any source of strong odor (heating oil, paint, fruits, vegetables, cheese, garage, etc.).

Aeration. Light and continuous aeration is essential in a wine cellar; it prevents the development of fungi related to too high humidity, without disturbing the temperature of the room (case of aeration too strong). The ideal is to have a ventilation on the outside, but often a small hole in the inner door of the cellar is enough.

Absence of vibrations. The wine must be kept away from vibrations, from outdoor sources (metro, road and parking) and indoor (washing machine, fitness equipment and stairs). Indeed, the age of the wine is disturbed by the jolts.

Location. The best location for cellars is the cave. Ideally, the room should be buried at least two-thirds of its height and located at the northeast corner of the building (minimum exposure to the sun). A room of sufficient size and, if possible, an airlock that acts as a transition between the wine cellar and the rest of the building (reducing temperature variations), and perhaps even a tasting room, must be provided. .

Storage lockers. The bottles must be kept lying down, either in their original box or in lockers. The choice of individual or multiple bins depends on wine buying habits. When buying multiple crates of the same wine, multiple crates can store more bottles. Otherwise, it is better to opt for simple lockers. There are different models: clay cylinders, wooden or metal lockers, bottle shelves. When searching for storage solutions for wine bottles, some keywords are very useful: "bottle rack", "bottle rack", "racks", "bottle rack".

Finish. There is a certain pleasure in refining a wine cellar: the imagination is solicited, released, and we can create a space for its own image. Here are some ideas for the choice of materials to coat the ceiling and walls: noble wood, ceramic, stone, gypsum. Do not forget that a wine cellar must make you want to go get a bottle.

Darkness. The light degrades the tannins of the wine and accelerates its aging by disturbing the natural cycles of maturation. Wine bottles must therefore be kept in the dark. Thus, low power bulbs and opaque bins are highly recommended for lighting and storage.

Interview. A wine cellar does not need intensive maintenance. Nevertheless, a certain rigor in terms of cleanliness is necessary to reduce the risk of odors and rot. Finally, taking care to exterminate insects prevents them from attacking bottle caps.

The danger of molds

Molds and fungi are the main problem of rooms located in the basement. Since they appear often with high humidity level in the air (greater than 50%), it must be systematically monitored. Walls, pieces of wood (planks, beams, etc.), paper, cardboard (and plasterboard) and fabrics are the first to be affected by molds and fungi, as they are covered with dust or made up cellulose, an organic material that fungi feed on.

Molds are recognized mainly because of their fibrous appearance or thick circular foam, and the musty smell they emit in the room. However, their color can be very different depending on the type of mushroom and its maturity: black, brown, white, purple blue, etc.

The risks caused by the presence of molds and fungi are multiple:

  • Health risk. Mycotoxin is a mold-released substance that can develop in the lungs and cause aspergillosis;
  • Risk for the contents of the room. Molds can spread on all items stored in the cellar or garage box. In addition, fungi are often responsible for cockroaches;
  • Risk for your wine cellar. An excessive rate of humidity greatly affects the wine quality, as explained above;
  • Risk for the building. Who says mold shows the presence of high humidity in the room. This can eventually weaken the foundations of the building (outdoor walls, ceilings, etc.).

On this subject here is a beautiful article by Marc André Gagnon from Vin Québec … https://vinquebec.com/node/5091 The humidity of the wine cellar: another myth
There are many myths in the world of wine. That of the humidity of the wine cellar is one. While browsing the forums on wine, we see that this subject is a constant concern, a very stress for many people who want to age wine. It has been observed that in France, some cellars are very humid: 75%. So, we say and we repeat that it is an ideal rate.
However, we are not in Bordeaux here. It is less winter in Quebec and a humidity level higher than 50% may lead to problems of condensation and mold on the walls. It is also normal that the humidity rate lowers the winter in our cold countries. It's a question of balance. In any case, if you keep your bottles lying, the mirror side of the cap will be constantly soaked with wine, so very wet. Thus, corks generally remain intact a good 15-20 years.
I have (Marc André Gagnon) a wine cellar for over 35 years (not that of the photo). Bottles have been well preserved for 20 years. The humidity is usually 40% in winter, 50% and more in summer, and I never had problems with dry corks. Except some bottles, often freshly purchased. This is also the case of many of my acquaintances.
40% moisture content helps keep wines
If the humidity is close to 30%, it will be enough to dry the laundry in the basement, or to place a tray of water and a cloth soaked to significantly increase the humidity.
The latest edition of Cellier magazine tackles this question frankly and simply in its Myths and Realities section. Patrick Désy interviewed Mario Brossoit, who manages the winery at L'Express restaurant in Montreal. "I have the impression that the optimal conditions have become the minimum conditions ... In 28 years of service, I have never opened a bad bottle whose fault could be connected to a deficient hydrometry. "

Véronique Dalle, who teaches at the Quebec Tourism and Hotel Institute, adds that humidity is important if you keep barrels, but not bottles. This myth is spread by vendors of wine cabinets and compressors. I must say that I fear more the vibrations of the compressors as well as the waves emitted by these devices than of supposed deficiencies in humidity. So, do not stress with that. The humidity rate of the winery at 40% in winter is quite normal and not detrimental to your beautiful bottles.

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