Spring cleaning season is on the way. A time of year where Canadians turn their homes upside down, this is a huge opportunity to tackle mold. If mold is discovered, removing it is hugely important. Make sure you tackle mold during your spring clean. Why? Because this fungus exposes residents to a variety of health risks. Here’s all you need to know about mold.

It’s Essential to Tackle Mold During Your Spring Clean and Year Round

What is mold and how does it form?

Mold is a naturally occurring fungus that looks like a dark smudge or stain. Smelling musty, it grows indoors and out. Types include mildew, yeast and mushrooms, and all are especially hazardous inside homes. Mold grows indoors due to condensation, flooding, high humidity, and water leaks. Ultimately, mold grows in damp, wet, and poorly ventilated spaces.

How dangerous is mold?

Firstly, some molds are more dangerous than others. Secondly, mold exposure causes different reactions in different people. Essentially, allergy sufferers are the most susceptible to health risks. Mold releases spores that are breathed in everyday. It’s most dangerous when growing excessively in “amplification sites” around the home. Mold spores spread throughout homes due to “Stack Effect”. This is when warm air rises and exits through the upper levels and attic.

What mold health risks exist?

If you ignore excessive mold build-up in your home, health risks include:

  • Eye, nose, and throat irritation
  • Coughing and phlegm build-up
  • Wheezing and shortness of breath
  • Asthma symptoms
  • Allergic reactions
Where does mold growth occur most?

Mold needs moisture, oxygen, warmth, and darkness to grow. In other words, your home is the perfect environment for it to spread. Essentially, mold forms anywhere that water can be found, including, but not limited to:

  • Showers, bathtubs, sinks, and toilets
  • Bathroom walls and floors
  • Windows and windowsills
  • Air conditioning and heating vents
  • Attics, basements, and garages

Did you know, the average Canadian home releases 10 to 50 litres of moisture everyday? Furthermore, 2,000 to 10,000 litres of moisture can be trapped in homes during a 200-day heating season*. Is it any wonder mold is such a potent threat at home?

Can I remove mold myself?

Soap and water can be used to remove everyday mold from curtains, sinks, ceilings, and other home features. For larger areas of mold on drywall, studs and subflooring, calling a professional is your safest bet.

* Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, 2010, Moisture and Air Quality Problems

Visit the home inspection experts at AmeriSpec of Canada for more tips and valuable home improvement information.

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