Mould! How does it grow and become problematic in our homes? The Good News!

By Janet Bedford, Broker: Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd. 326 Lakeshore Road East, Oakville Ontario

Call: 905-845-4267

Mould spores are everywhere! How does it grow and become problematic in our homes?

Mould propagation requires 4 elements: Mould/Fungi Spores, Nutrients (food – such as cardboard, drywall, rugs etc.), Temperature (18-24 C or 66-80 F) and Moisture (Bulk moisture, water vapour & relative humidity). Remove any one of these components and mould will remain dormant.

There must be a water source for mould to grow. This water source must be found and fixed. Common source of moisture are foundation and window leaks, plumbing and condensation from any number of sources. Efflorescence is not considered to be mould. Mould does not grow on dry materials.

Tips:

Do not paint over mould! Clean with hot soapy water or baking soda – not bleach! Always wear a mask and rubber gloves to do this.

If the mould returns, find and fix the water source. Paint once the mould has been removed and the area is completely dry.

Basements hold moisture. Use dehumidifies to pull the moisture from the air and close off all vents that lead from the basement to the upper floors. This will prevent the basement moisture from rising and affecting the humidity upstairs. Control the basement humidity with the dehumidifiers.

Check that the basement carpets and underpads are not laid directly onto the concrete floor. There is a product available that will protect the carpets from unwanted moisture created by the concrete floor. It comes in dimpled plastic “bubble” sheets and can be purchased at any building supply store. Put this down and proceed with laying on underpadding and carpets.

Have all vents extended to an outside wall – in bathrooms, stove hoods and dryer vents. Check for leaks around kitchen and bathroom drainpipes. Wipe down shower stalls and the floor of the shower after use. Use silicone caulking in the bathroom. Grout absorbs the moisture, cracks and attracts mould growth. Do not use a towel more than 2 days! It cannot dry thoroughly and is a breeding place for bacteria! Clean the drip pan on your refrigerator. Take your garbage out daily. Open your windows often to allow excess moisture to escape. Good ventilation prevents mould from growing.

In the attic, check that all the air vents are open and not clogged with insulation. When adding attic insulation, ensure that there are adequate air vents to allow the air to circulate freely. Clean eavestroughs often. Extend drain pipes away from the house. Build up the grade surrounding the house to allow water to run freely from the foundation.

Discard all furnishings that smell musty. Reduce the amount of clothes and paper and cardboard boxes to eliminate clutter and reduce areas that are growing grounds for mould. Use the easy tips for removing any mould you find!

If mould has had the opportunity to grow to the point that it is not easily washed and removed, there are many good Mould contractors who are experienced in mould removal.

Mould is toxic and needs to be treated with respect! Be sure to remedy mould issues as soon as they are discovered.

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