Q: What is mould?
A: Moulds are fungi. Tiny particles of mould or spores are present both in indoor and outdoor air. Moulds of various types are very common in buildings and homes. Mould will grow anywhere there is moisture.
Q: How does mould get into a building?
A: Mould spores can enter a building through open apertures and can attach themselves to people and animals. When mould spores drop on places that are moist, they will grow.
Q: How can I tell if there is mould in my home?
A: Look for visible mould growth. Mould often appears as an off colour, a stain, or fuzzy growth on furnishings or building surfaces. Must or mildew odours are usually a clear indication of the presence of mould.
Q: Should I be concerned about mould in my home?
A: Never allow mould to grow and multiply indoors. When mould grows indoors, health problems can occur. Building materials, personal belongings, and furnishings may be damaged by mould over time.
Q: What are the health risks?
A: When mould deposits are disturbed, spores are released into the air. Health risks can occur if people inhale the spores, directly handle materials bearing mould, or accidentally ingest it. For some people - including the very young and very old, those with allergies or compromised immune systems - mould exposure can cause health issues including:
Q: Can I remove the mould myself?
A: Yes, smaller areas (under 2 square feet) usually can be remedied effectively by cleaning using bleach and water, but when larger areas are involved, the risk of contaminating other areas in a building is greatly increased. Often, when people try to remove the mould in their homes and businesses, they find that the problem returns, because the mould wasn't properly removed, or the moisture problem was not remedied.
Q: Should I be concerned about toxic mould?
A: There are many common moulds that are black in colour, but two of them – Strachybotrys and Memnoniella by name – are dangerous because of their highly toxic nature –particularly to some people that have allergic reactions to these spores. Because of potential dangers, people should be cautious about disturbing or attempting to remove large deposits of black mould.
Q: What should I do if I suspect that I have a mould problem?
A: If the problem is beyond a limited visible presence of mould, call a professional to conduct an air test to determine mould concentrations in your home or building. If concentrations are high, the next step is a thorough investigation of the premises. This investigation typically followed by a determination of the location and extent of the problem, as well as of the source of the moisture giving rise to the problem.
Q: Who should remove the mould?
A: Professionals with proper equipment and techniques should be contracted to remove significant and/or hidden infestations of mould. It is very important that prior to proceeding with removal, any defined problem behind the moisture build-up must be corrected at its source. When this is done, remediation professionals will construct containment apparatus to restrict mould spores to an enclosed area, will enact appropriate techniques to remove mould deposits, and will treat affected surfaces with biocide solutions. Because of the risk of spreading mould spores as airborne particles, it is not recommended that remediation work of this nature be attempted by untrained and improperly equipped individuals.
Q: How can I help prevent mould?
A: Moisture is the key factor. Without it, moulds cannot get started, much less spread. The easiest way to prevent the mould from gaining a foothold is to control humidity or dampness in your home, to eliminate moisture, and to repair any problem or condition that is at the source of a moisture build-up.