Mould can be found in any home or building.
In order for mould to grow, it needs warm temperatures, nutrients and water.
Finding the source of moisture is the key.
One’s reaction to mould exposure varies greatly. While some may have little or no reaction, others may be more susceptible (i.e., elderly, infants, immuno-compromised or those with pre-existing health conditions such as asthma). People with asthma are at increased risk of developing health effects from exposure to mould.
Symptoms are often asthma-related: eye, nose and throat irritation, wheezing and shortness of breath, coughing, allergic reactions (i.e., runny nose, skin rash & sneezing).
Since there are no measurable exposure limits set by Health Canada, assessing mould exposures can be challenging.
Testing is generally not recommended. What testing will determine is the type of mould present only.
Testing will not determine the source of the moisture.
Since mould requires moisture to grow, it is important to remove the source of moisture. Ways to do this include:
- Repairing water leaks promptly
- Remove moisture from rooms using fans or opening windows (i.e., kitchen, bathrooms).
The process of cleaning up mould depends largely on the size of the area affected. The size is categorized in three methods (small, moderate and extensive):
- Small Area:
- No more than 3 patches (1 patch=1 m2).
- Clean-up method: area can be cleaned effectively by the homeowner.
- Use safety goggles, gloves and a dust mask (min. N95)
- Scrub surface with unscented detergent solution
- Rinse off area and let air dry
- Moderate Area:
- More than 3 patches OR one or more patches larger than a square meter but smaller than 3 m2.
- Strongly advise seeking a professional assessment. It is possible depending on the severity to clean and sanitize area.
- Wear proper protective gear (i.e. goggles, gloves, dust mask)
- Be sure to isolate affected area by tapping plastic sheeting to the wall and vacuum surface
- Use a vacuum that has a efficient filter or system that vents to the outside
- Follow process outlined for Small Area clean-up
- Extensive Area:
- Single patch, larger than a sheet of plywood.
- ONLY seek professional assistance to eliminate or properly clean up the mould properly.
**NOTE: Bleach is not recommended for cleaning up mould.