Renovate Right

Mould is one of the most common indoor air quality concerns. It can trigger asthma and other allergy-like symptoms including wheezing and itchy eyes and throat. It can be a very serious problem for children.

Mould grows when moisture is trapped and there is not enough ventilation.

If you find mould the most important step is to find the source, or sources, of moisture and eliminate them. Otherwise, mould will just return after clean-up.

For small mould problems less than about 3 square feet or 100 square centimetres, you can clean it yourself. Larger mould problems will need professional help.

To clean up smaller areas of mould, wear rubber gloves, goggles and a facemask or respirator. If you have respiratory health problems, consult your doctor before cleaning up mould. Use detergent and water. Clean up the mould and let it dry completely. Use of bleach or other biocides is not recommended as they can be hazardous to you and are also ineffective over the long term. If there is mould on porous materials like ceiling tiles, wallboard, or carpeting, these materials should be removed and replaced.

For larger jobs, get professional help.

For more information, two Technical Committees with the American Industrial Hygiene Association have created an 8-page brochure that includes frequently asked questions and links to more detailed resources for homeowners and professionals dealing with mould issues. See also on-line resources from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.