We get a lot of calls to our Toronto office from worried home owners in Southern Ontario who have discovered the presence of mould in their home. We usually recommend having any mould in the house investigated by a professional, and that’s not our bias showing! A small patch of mould is often completely harmless, but in some cases it’s a serious mycotoxin that poses a health risk. You can’t tell what kind of mould is growing in your home by looking at it, and we certainly can’t tell you over the phone.
Inevitably the next question is “Can I take care of this mould problem myself?” The answer is sometimes yes and sometimes no.
Getting Rid of Mould – The Right Way
A solution of bleach and water is often the go-to recommendation for removing mould. This outdated information assumes you’re talking about removing mould from a non-porous surface only. If your mould is growing on tile or another solid surface, by all means use a diluted bleach solution. However, in a lot of cases it’s going to be on the concrete floor of an unfinished basement where bleach is not your friend. In fact, the watery solution may make your problem even worse.
In many cases, your best bet to remove a small patch of mould is good old soap and water. Dish detergent is the most effective. If you are going to attempt to tackle your mould problem yourself, we STRONGLY recommend using appropriate safety precautions. These precautions include:
- Protective gear like safety goggles, gloves and a mask;
- Taking any removable fixtures outside to be cleaned;
- Open any windows in the area to be cleaned and bring in fans if you can to keep the air circulating;
- People who are particularly sensitive to the effects of mould (children, those with respiratory problems and the elderly) should leave the house until several hours after the cleaning is done.
Once you’re done with your clean-up effort, keep a close eye on the area for re-growth, and be sure to follow our guidelines to increase ventilation in your home.
Calling a Professional
Though we recommend contacting a professional mould removal company in all cases, in some circumstances it’s an absolute must. These include:
- Recurrent mould that keeps growing back in spite of your repeated attempts to remove it. Recurrent mould is a sign of a more serious problem with your home that must be identified and addressed.
- Large areas of mould which can be considered any area of mould larger than 3m2 – an amount very likely to present after flooding in your home.
It’s important to know that you may not be able to solve your mould problem on your own. That’s OK, professional mould removal companies are here to help you. With the right skills and equipment, your home can be mould-free in no time!
Image courtesy of Victor Habbick / FreeDigitalPhotos.net