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What do I do if I find mould growing in my house?

The amount of mould you find and your degree of comfort in dealing with the problem will determine your response.

First, the situation that allowed the spores to grow has to be eliminated. If you clean up the mould but don’t repair the fundamental problem, the mould will simply return.

Mould grows in bathrooms

Bathrooms are a common place to find mould in the home.

Who should then remove the mould is best determined by the severity of the problem. Small amounts of mould in window corners and crevices, or on drywall and tiles, may be tackled by homeowners using the right techniques. The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Association (CMHC) suggests you can clean small areas of mould yourself using an unscented detergent and water; chemicals such as bleach and fungicides are not recommended. Here are some other recommendations from the  EACO, the Environmental Abatement Council of Ontario:

  • You should wear a filtration mask on your face, and consider disposable dust-impervious coveralls, both of which can be found at home improvement stores.
  • You should also use household rubber gloves and protective glasses.
  • A disposable plastic or cloth drop sheet should be placed below the affected area where possible.
  • Since you will be disturbing mould spores during the cleaning process, it is advisable to turn off your home heating or air conditioning to reduce the risk of spores being distributed elsewhere in the house.
  • Remove any porous materials, such as ceiling tiles and drywall,  to a point beyond the immediate areas that are visibly contaminated to a minimum distance of 30 cm in all directions.

Larger problems, such as mould behind shower stall tiles or on basement walls, should be dealt with by experienced mould remediation professionals such as those employed by R.C. White. Ltd. Health Canada advises the use of professionals where extensive mould growth covering an area three square metres or 32 square feet or more is found.

EACO member R.C. White Ltd. is a member of EACO, the Environmental Abatement Council of Ontario. If you are unsure of your ability to remove any amount of mould safely and effectively, you can contact us for advice.

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