Whether it’s in a dark corner in your basement, under your kitchen sink or in the deep, dark depths of a storage room, it’s common to have mould in your home. But mould can cause poor indoor air quality and health problems.
To eliminate this substance, clean affected areas that are less than one square metre. Put on protective wear including a long-sleeved shirt, an appropriate and properly fitted mask intended for mould remediation, safety glasses or goggles, and rubber gloves.
Prepare a bucket with water and a bit of dish soap (preferably unscented) and use this solution to clean the surface, then use another bucket with clean water to wash off the soap residue. There is no need to use bleach.
To prevent mould from growing in your home, follow these simple steps:
Look for damp spots.
Check basements, closets, windowsills, roofs and around sinks, tubs and pipes.
Fix damp spots.
Repair any water leaks as soon as you notice them. Clean up immediately after any flooding.
Keep your home well ventilated.
Open windows in dry weather or use fans, as needed. Always turn on your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans when cooking, showering or bathing. Let the fan run for a few minutes after you’re done. Make sure your clothes dryer, stove, kitchen, and bathroom fans all vent to the outdoors.
Seal tubs and sinks.
Make sure the seal is tight so water doesn't leak into the walls.
Throw out basement clutter.
Cardboard boxes and old clothes are great places for mould to grow. If you need to store items, be sure to use plastic bins with lids.
Keep humidity low, about 50 per cent in the summer and 30 per cent in colder weather. If needed, use a dehumidifier or air conditioner to reduce humidity levels. You can also use a hygrometer – an inexpensive tool available at most hardware stores – to measure humidity.
Regularly clean and disinfect anything that holds water, like humidifiers, dehumidifiers and air conditioners.
If you have a lot of mould (greater than one square metre), it comes back after repeated cleanings, or someone in your household suffers from asthma or other respiratory problems as a result of mould, consider hiring a professional. Remember, a large amount of mould is often the result of a bigger problem, like a leak in the foundation or a major flood, which you may need a professional to help fix.
Find more information on keeping a healthy home at canada.ca/healthy-home