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Where does mould grow?
In order for mould to grow it requires water (or high humidity), food, and a temperature between 40-100 degree Fahrenheit. Mould can grow on a wide range of materials within your house such as wood, drywall, and even paint.
Mould is often found in rooms with higher levels of humidity and increased risk of leaks such as basements, kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms. It's important to regularly use exhaust fans when cooking or showering to help keep these rooms mould free. The use of dehumidifiers to keep humidity below 60% will also greatly reduce your chances of developing mould issues.
Invisible, Toxic Mould
It can be difficult to visually identify areas of mould in a home. This is because mould often grows in out of sight areas such as the back of drywall and wall paper, on the tops of ceiling tiles, and underneath carpet. You can also find mould growing within your walls, typically around pipes where minor leaks or condensation may have been an issue. Mould can also grow inside air conditioning, ventilation, and HVAC systems.
Because of this, mould is actually often easier to smell than it is to see. If you detect a musty odour around your home, chances are that you have a mould problem. Most of the more toxic moulds are microscopic spores that float through the air, and are virtually impossible to see.
Health Effects of Living with Mould
Did you know that living with mould can cause you and your family to get sick? Symptoms of mould illness can be varied and therefore hard to pinpoint as being caused by mould.
Common signs of mould illness include asthmatic or allergic symptoms such as sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, itchy eyes, and dry skin. Other symptoms can include muscle and joint pain, gastrointestinal problems, shortness of breath, headaches, anxiety or depression, memory loss, and visual disturbances.
One way for people to determine if their home is making them sick is to pay close attention to when they experience symptoms. If you feel worse when you've been in the house for a while, and better once you've left for the day, there's a good chance your home could be making you sick. If your symptoms (asthmatic, allergic, or otherwise) indicate that mould may be present in your home, you should have your home or building inspected for mould.
Mould Inspection & Removal
If you're able to see mould growing in your home, it's a good idea to have a mould inspection done. Often times the mould we're able to see is just the start of the problem, with plenty more mould hiding just out of sight. If mould is found in your home it needs to be removed safely, and in compliance with WorkSafeBC to ensure the health of your family. Proper care needs to be taken when removing mould to ensure the mould spores don't spread to other parts of your home.