There’s so much misinformation about mold out there that property owners and tenants alike are confused. It’s not always easy to tell what’s reliable and who you can trust. As a result, many people have many questions about mold.
We separate the facts from the myths on a daily basis: in person, at appointments; over the phone, speaking with callers from near and far; and through our website’s live-chat system.
To achieve mold-free, healthy homes across Ontario and Quebec, home owners and tenants must first be aware of the problem. They must first know the facts.
Question 1: Will mold make me sick?
“Will mold make me sick?” is, without a doubt, one of the most common questions we’re asked. And rightfully so; when your health and that of your family is at risk, you’re going to want as much information as possible.
Exposure to mold can lead to illness. However, your reaction depends on a few different factors, namely the extent of exposure and your degree of sensitivity.
Some people are especially susceptible to the adverse health effects of mold exposure, including children, the elderly and people whose immune systems are weak prior to exposure. So, even if you’re not exhibiting symptoms of exposure, pay attention to whether your child or grandmother is.
The following are common symptoms of mold exposure:
- Coughing, sneezing, wheezing and trouble breathing
- Eye, throat and nose irritation
- Worsened asthma
Health Canada advises that all mold growing in your home, regardless of the amount and type, be removed. Thorough remediation helps ensure you and your family are protected against its negative effects, which become only worse with time.
Question 2: “What causes mold to grow?”
Mold requires three key ingredients to grow:
- A food source
- The right temperature
Too often people assume mold grows in strictly dirty, unkempt homes. This, however, is not true: mold grows in even the cleanest, most orderly homes.
This is because every house, regardless of its size, location and tidiness, is prone to moisture intrusion. Basements flood, plumbing fails and structural cracks develop.
If moisture accumulates on or near cellulose-rich material (think drywall) while the relative humidity exceeds 30 to 50 per cent, it’s safe to assume mold will grow sooner or later.
While you can take preventative measures—ensuring proper ventilation, controlling moisture and keeping your eyes peeled—you cannot eliminate your home’s risk of developing mold, even when it’s spick and span.
Question 3: I cleaned mold, but it grew back. Now what?
Unless you are trained and equipped to remove mold, it’s neither effective nor safe that you try.
Perhaps you can’t see the extent of the problem, without an infrared camera, and you’ve scrubbed away only what you could see. In this case, mold may be still growing rapidly behind walls and underneath floors.
Perhaps you don’t have (or don’t know how to use) reliable mold removal equipment. Proper use of this equipment—sand blasting machines, dry ice blasting machines, etc— requires certification and experience. Unfortunately, many homeowners waste a great deal of their time and their energy, trying to remove mold.
What’s more, for anyone who’s not a certified remediation expert, cleaning mold can be dangerous. You risk helping spread spores to otherwise unaffected areas and increasing exposure.
There is a lot to learn about mold… too much to squeeze into one post. So, stay tuned as we continue to teach the ever-important facts about mold in the home. Again, awareness leads to prevention. And prevention is always the number one option.
If you suspect there’s mold growing in your home, call us today.