Is it safe to live in a home with obvious signs of mould? From a musty smell to unsightly discoloration, mould should be a concern for any homeowner. Mould problems may even appear in new construction homes. While most people think they should only be concerned about toxic mould, the non-toxic variety can cause multiple problems for occupants and property owners. Understand why it is necessary to address mould in a home today.
The Surprising Health Hazard
According to Health Canada, mould growth that occurs indoors is considered to be a significant health hazard. Mould growth in a home has been related to asthma and respiratory allergy symptoms. Mould often occurs in basements and bathrooms, but can also develop in hard to reach areas such as in a crawlspace or around leaking pipes.
Mould has a direct relationship with air quality. Occupants residing in a home with mould or dampness may be at a higher risk of developing:
- Breathing issues;
- Phlegm accumulation;
- Mucous membrane irritation; and
- Allergic reactions.
Developing children and the elderly are populations vulnerable to mould growth, in addition to those who may be deemed mould-sensitive. Parents and caregivers who want to safeguard their children from an increased risk of developing asthma may want to take steps to ensure that their home environment does not support the conditions for the development of mould. As there is no safe level established for mould, occupants should look to remediate it as early as possible.
Initial Signs of Mould
It may not be easy to spot mould in a home, as it can lurk behind walls and above ceiling tiles. Homes that have experienced water damage may be especially prone to developing mould. A visual inspection may show discolouration or stains on tiles, fabrics, floors, walls or other surfaces. A musty odour is often emitted as mould grows. It can take as little as 48 hours for mould to start to grow. A mould remediation specialist can identify any issues and provide a prioritized action plan to help a homeowner with their unique situation. Moisture problems can be due to:
- Plumbing leaks;
- Inadequate ventilation;
- Condensation on cold surfaces;
- Water infiltration from leaks or cracks in the floor, foundation, walls or the roof; and
- Exhaust fans which are not used or not working properly.
Even if mould is removed, if the underlying reason is not addressed, mould can reappear. Mould problems can worsen over time. Mould removal requires the use of protective equipment and the implementation of proper procedures. Professional mould remediation specialists are trained to address a variety of mould cases. They are then able to ensure the safe removal of mould from a home and utilize all necessary precautions.
Protect Your Family and Your Investment
Buying a Magrath Heights home is one of the largest purchases individuals will make over their lifetime. The type of environment that encourages mould growth can also attract pests and lead to issues with the structural integrity of a home. As most homes are inspected during the home selling process, buyers are often unwilling to purchase a home with an unaddressed mould issue. Sellers should be aware that buyers that remain interested may negotiate a lower asking price to buy the home “as-is”. It is recommended that homeowners that want to maintain their home's value take care of an existing mould issue as early as possible. Speak with a mould remediation specialist for a thorough evaluation and action plan to prevent recurring mould issues in a home or other structure.
By Justin Havre