Gone are the days when mould was simply the "nasty black stuff" growing on a wall that was cleaned up with some bleach. Today we are more aware of indoor air quality and that exposure to mould can cause a wide variety of illnesses. Mould can cause symptoms such as allergenic reastions or asthma attacks, progressing to severe and chronic ailments with prolonged exposure.
Mould is everywhere. It is in the air we breathe and grows on virtually any surface. In fact, there are over 1,000 species of mould in Canada. so what can you do to protect yourself and your tenants from mould and maintain reasonable indoor air quality?
A: Control the moisture, control the mould.
Mould requires water to grow, so it is important to prevent moisture problems in buildings. When poor ventilations is mixed with high humidity, often caused by leaks in roofs, downspouts, and basements, the right environment for mould growth is created. Under these conditions visible mould will appear in 24 to 48 hours and will flourish if left unchecked, eventually becoming airborne spores. And it is the airborne mould spores that cause human health problems.
What do you do if you see or suspect you have mould? It is recommended you get a qualified mould inspector to do a property assessment. Many property managers have unwittingly made their building's mould situation worst by attempting to remedy the problem themselves.
The mould inspector will test and safely remove the mould, while keeping everthing outside the contamination area free from spores. At the same time the moisture source should be addressed othwise the mould is likely to reappear. Indoor air quality testing performed before and after the clean-up, along with supporting laboratory documentation, will confirm the mould has been effectively removed.