Homeowners want to protect their family, and mould, which may be hard to detect and even more difficult to eliminate, can exacerbate existing health issues. It is important to address the issue early on to avoid the possibility of worsening heath issues in occupants.
An Overview About Mould in Homes
There are many types of mould that may grow in a home. Some may be visible and easy to find but even with those that are not, it is possible to detect the presence of one or more types of mould, as a musty odour becomes obvious. Canadian residents need to realize that when mould growth goes unaddressed, it has the potential to impact air quality and may lead to certain health conditions.
This causal relationship is noted by the Government of Canada, with residents living with mould or damp conditions at increased risk of developing:
- Eye, nose or throat irritation;
- Accumulation of phlegm and coughing;
- Shortness of breath;
- An increase in asthma symptoms; and
- Allergic reactions.
Different populations may be more vulnerable to developing health complications from mould growth than others. Individuals with existing health conditions, developing children and the elderly may be more susceptible to the negative influence of mould growth in a home. Research has indicated that children living in a home with mould were more likely than their peers to develop asthma, and this condition could start in children as young as 7 years old.
Severe lung infections have occurred with exposure to mould in those with weakened immune systems, such as individuals who are transplant recipients. Allergies related to mould spore inhalation include asthma and one form of sinusitis, but other irritating immune responses to mould and mould by-products are also known to happen.
How much mould is considered to be safe? Currently, no such levels have been established. This makes it important for homeowners to address signs of mould in a home when it develops to reduce potential health-related risks to occupants.
Addressing a Mould Problem
Canadian homeowners need professional assistance in eliminating a mould problem and preventing the reoccurrence of mould growth.
Homeowners should be aware that it can be difficult and potentially dangerous to attempt to treat mould growth in a home on their own, especially when not following recommended guidelines. Homeowners need to know how to vacuum the area properly, what substances can be used on the mould, what clothing to wear and how to isolate an area being treated. Additional steps may be necessary to reduce the likelihood of mould developing again, such as repairing water leaks or using a dehumidifier in a residence.
When mould growth is extensive or becomes a reoccurring issue, it is best to work with a mould remediation specialist. They are knowledgeable about additional ways to remediate mould growth and may be able to pinpoint other issues in a home leading to the development of mould.
Having mould in your home is a potential hazard, though not one that cannot be dealt with. Understanding what mould is, and where to see and locate it, is a first step.