What is mold?
Molds are a group of fungi that are found almost everywhere. They exist outdoors in nature and inside our homes or offices under the right conditions. Currently there are more than 270 known mold types, some of which are harmful to humans, while others are symptomatic only to sensitive individuals. Contaminations may be found indoors in wet, damp or moist conditions and where a food source is present. Food sources include wood, drywall, cloth, insulation, wallpaper and more. Click to learn more about mold growth conditions.
Mold health effects
Although some mold types are toxigenic to humans, the majority of mold types are alergenic in nature and potentially impactful only to sensitive individuals. The elderly, pregnant women, infants and those with weakened immune systems, pre-existing allergies, repiratory weakness or hypersensitivity may be the most at risk. Toxigenic molds are significant due to their ability to produce mycotoxins and exposure can occur through inhalation, ingestion or skin exposure.
How do I prevent mold growth?
What do I do if I have mold?
Health Canada specifies that small areas of mold (less than 10 square feet) can be cleaned on your own. Their guidelines are:
- It is recommended that any visible mold found growing indoors be removed.
- The underlying moisture condition causing the mold growth is resolved.
When removing mold, proper protective equipment including gloves, eye protection and a respirator should always be worn. Isolating the area to prevent the spread of particulates is also recommended. Click here to learn how to kill mold with household products
Health Canada goes on to recommend that you consider hiring a professional mold remediatior if there is a large amount of mold present, or if the mold keeps coming back after you have cleaned it. A large amount of mold is often the result of a larger problem which may require professional help to resolve.
Hiring a professional, unbiased mold inspection service, that does not get involved in the mold removal or remediation process, can recommend your best course of action.