It’s mould-hunting season!
Mould is a microscopic fungus that thrives in humid environments. Mould present in a house contaminates the air you breathe and can cause health problems for you and your family.
Here are few tips on how to detect, dispose of, and prevent mould from returning.
Mould and your family’s health
Mould can cause recurrent colds, irritate your eyes, nose and throat, and trigger asthma attacks. Obviously, the presence of these symptoms does not necessarily mean there is mould in the house. Before jumping to conclusions, be cautious and ask a health professional.
Locating mould to eliminate it
To fight mould, you have to find it first! Easier said than done, because even though it can spread rapidly, it does so undetected.
Behind a desk, inside a closet or anywhere in your basement; these are examples of ideal places for mould to grow.
In fact, mould grows easier in humid, dark or poorly ventilated areas. It is drawn to wood, plasterboard, paper, carton and even concrete, plastics, indoor plants and fabric.
Mould can basically be found in every home. The mould level varies from acceptable to unacceptable.
How to locate mould
Look for these telltale signs using your nose and eyes!
- Leaks, blackish stains or swelling:
- On your walls and ceiling
- On carpets
- In closets
- In storage spaces under sinks
- Around the bathtub
- Mouldy, earthy, or alcohol smell, i.e. smell of rotten fruit.
Sometimes mould can be found easily, but other times, it can be hidden from our senses under floors, in a drop ceiling, between walls, etc.
What to do when you find mould
It depends on how much of it you find, and where you find it!
- On small surfaces like window sills or floor tiles around the bathtub, add a few drops of bleach to hot soapy water and clean thoroughly. Wear gloves and a mask (anti-viral flu mask) to avoid breathing in the mould.
- If the mould is spread over a greater surface, then you better call on a company specializing in mould disposal. They are better equipped to dispose of mould quickly and efficiently.
In any event, you should investigate why there’s mould in your home.
Again, you should ask the professionals to pinpoint the cause so that you can deal with it once and for all, especially if you want to maintain the value of your home and avoid any problems if you intend to sell.
Summer is “high season” for mould to grow in basements. It becomes very humid there, creating the perfect environment for mould to spread. To stop it, you must keep humidity levels in the basement below 60%.
How? If you have an air conditioner in the basement, set it on dehumidifier mode. If not, purchase a dehumidifier and leave it on all summer.
How to prevent mould after water damage
Mould thrives in humid areas. This is especially true when there is water leakage in the house or after water damage in the basement. To stop mould from spreading and appearing in your home:
- Remove any trace of water and thoroughly ventilate within 24 to 48 hours following water damage. After this time period, mould starts to set in. If you have a dehumidifier, it’s time to put it to work and reduce the humidity level in the air.
- If your basement sustained heavy damage, we recommend you call in the pros so they can dry the affected areas as soon as possible. They’ll help you identify the materials (plasterboards, floors, mattresses, couches, etc.) that absorbed water and that must be removed to prevent mould from appearing in your home.
Mould before the courts…
Because of the health problems caused by mould and the cost in eliminating it from homes, mould ranks as the top source of conflict between home buyers and sellers.
If mould is an issue that arises during the purchase or sale of a property, a series of steps will have to be taken and plan for extra expenses in your budget. Latent defect? Patent defect? Decontamination work, repairs, possible recourse…
Make sure you have the right coverage to tackle any problems caused by mould
If you are dealing with problems caused by mould, your Legal Access Insurance can help defend your rights – without costing you a fortune. Since an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, ask your agent how this additional coverage can help you through many problematic situations.
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