Identifying and Preventing Mould
In a humid climate such as ours, mould is a situation that every homeowner will face at some point in time.These microscopic fungi grow on damp materials that contain nutrients, such as cardboard, where they release spores that pose serious health risks if they are breathed in in large amounts.
In a home, mould appears as black, brown or green spots that give off an earthy or musty smell. In some cases, mould is hidden behind walls. Its presence then manifests itself as runoff, warping or degradation - in short, signs of water infiltration.
Excessive humidity and a lack of ventilation create an environment that is conducive to the proliferation of mould. Mould can be found almost everywhere, but is most commonly found in basements, bathrooms, walls, ceilings, window sills and ductwork. It most often grows on wood, paper, plaster and carpets.
By avoiding a humidity level above 50% in a room, you will prevent the growth of mould. Here are some other simple steps you can take:
Bathroom and laundry room
- Avoid long showers.
- Turn on the exhaust fan during your bath or shower and let it run for a few minutes after you're finished. If you don't have a fan, open a window.
- Air out your bath mats.
- Remove the lint each time you use your dryer.
- Whenever possible, hang clothes on an outdoor clothes line instead of hanging them indoors.
- Don't leave water boiling longer than necessary.
- Turn on the exhaust fan when cooking and let it run for a few minutes after you're finished. If you don't have a fan, open a window.
- Check your plumbing and tiles for signs of mould.
- Inspect the roof to ensure there aren't any cracks.
- Remove any branches that overhang the roof.
- Ensure that all air ducts lead to the outside.
- Store firewood outdoors.
- Ensure that eaves troughs, downspouts and gutters are cleaned regularly and not blocked.
- Place potted plants on pot feet and not directly on a wood surface such as a deck or balcony.
- Trim vegetation that is too close to the foundation of your house.
- Channel rainwater so that it does not flow toward your property.
- Uproot trees whose roots may interfere with your home's drainage system.