Mould is everywhere. We stumble across it all the time in our daily lives. It might be in that jar of sauce you forgot about in the fridge a couple of months ago, or perhaps there’s a little colony of it living behind the wall in your bathroom right now.
Most mould species are innocuous enough. You probably wouldn’t want to live with a large mould colony in the middle of your kitchen, but not every mould infestation needs to keep you awake at night. You might be thinking that because mould is found everywhere, and especially in some of the older homes found in Toronto, that you don’t have to worry too much about it.
How seriously should you take a mould problem in your house? The answer depends on what kind of mould you’re dealing with, and that means you need to arrange for mould testing to find out for sure. The safest decisions about mould are the ones based on facts.
Mould and Health Conditions
When they first discover mould, most homeowners want to take care of it because it’s ugly. That’s a good enough reason for most of us to want to get it out of our homes.
But what about the health implications of living with mould? Anyone who suffers from respiratory difficulties will tell you that the presence of mould is a serious problem for them. In fact, there are numerous studies that demonstrate a clear link between mould, damp conditions and increases in:
- Irritation of the eyes, nose and throat;
- Allergy symptoms like itchy, watery eyes and sneezing; and,
- Mucus and persistent coughing.
While mould isn’t believed to cause asthma, it’s known to worsen the symptoms for those who suffer from this condition.
Mould can be Dangerous
Unless you live with the effects, most of the symptoms caused by mould can seem more like a nuisance than a serious health concern. But it goes beyond an extreme case of the sniffles. Whether it’s because of a serious health concern, or simply because of the right to comfortably enjoy your home, it’s important to address the issue of mould.
Even a “harmless” mould colony can cause unpleasant symptoms, but some types of mould are extremely dangerous. For example black mould, also known as Stachybotrys chartarum, has been identified by Health Canada as a dangerous mycotoxin. The particles of this mould species are microscopic, allowing them to easily make their way into the respiratory system. Once there, black mould particles are more likely to cause breathing problems because of the inflammatory compounds they contain.
Before you decide to tackle mould removal yourself, you need to find out what you’re dealing with. Arrange for mould testing to determine the best course of action for mould removal, and get the professional advice you need to take care of the problem while keeping your family safe.