Mold has been a hot topic the past few weeks in Prince Edward Island with the discovery of mold in two Island schools. Mold is something that every home owner should be aware of. It is important to know how spot mold and learn how to prevent it. Some facts about mold you should know:
- Mold can be harmful or helpful — depending on where it grows.
- Mold needs moisture to grow.
- Mold does not grow on dry materials.
- Mold growing inside a home can affect the occupants.
How to identify mold:
Mold can enter the home in many ways, doors, windows, clothing, pets, etc. The problem is when mold begins to grow in the home. Some mold growing may not be a problem. For instance, you might see mold around windows which is easily cleaned away. This indicated that there is too much moisture in the home. An issue that should be addressed.
Mold can be many different colors and may look like a household stain. One way to test the spot to determine if it is mold is to put a drop of bleach on the stained spot. If the spot loses it's color and disappears, it may be mold. Sometimes when molds are present there is a musty or earthy smell.
Why are molds a concern:
Molds can damage and discolor household materials leaving them ruined. Cardboard boxes and paper can deteriorate if they have mold on them. Clothing can become permanently stained with mold. Also mold can be an indicator that there may be a leak problem which can lead to wood rot or the growth of fungi. Molds can become a health problem to varying degrees when people who have a respiratory disease or weakened immune system are exposed to the spores that molds release.
How to prevent household mold
- Repair any leaks in your home that might be allowing moisture in.
- Install air conditioners and dehumidifiers
- Vent heat or moisture producing appliances outdoors if possible.
- Turn on your bathroom exhaust fans when showering
- Dry your tub or shower after use
- Hang up wet towels after use to allow them to dry before placing them in a hamper.
- Cross-ventilate your home with ceiling fans or open-windows.
- Clean spills immediately.
For more information about household mold, CMHC (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation) is a good resource.