Every day we field calls from worried Toronto home owners wondering if the patch of mould they just discovered is “the dangerous kind.” It’s a valid question because mould is found virtually everywhere. When we are called to come assess a contaminated house for eventual mould removal, the first thing we do is try to identify what kind of mould is present in the home. This diagnosis can be a bit tricky because there are over 270 different species of mould commonly found in Toronto and the surrounding area. With so many different types of mould and such a large range of them that are harmless or dangerous, how can you know what to do about the particular type of mould in your home?
Common Types of Mould
Of course, we can’t diagnose the source or type of your mould infestation over the phone, but we can tell you about some of the most common types of mould found in Southern Ontario:
- Alternaria generally follows flood conditions. This mould thrives in wet fabrics like carpets but will also grow near sources of leaks like dripping pipes. Alternaria is a common allergen and is known to trigger reactions like sneezing and itchy, watery eyes. It may also lead to an attack in asthma sufferers.
- Aspergillus is an indoor mould that simply thrives on life indoors. It can also be found growing in yard waste. Though generally non-threatening in healthy adults, this one can be very dangerous to those with compromised immune systems like young children or the elder. Aspergillosis is a common illness that stems from contact with this mould, symptoms of which include cough, chest pain and shortness of breath.
- Cladosporium is among the most common types of mould found indoors. Thankfully this one is relatively innocuous because it is virtually everywhere. It is the likely cause of any mould you find in the fridge as it can withstand cold temperatures. It is also a common source of foot and nail fungal infections.
- Efflorescence isn’t really mould; it’s the salt deposits left behind when moisture evaporates. It does look a lot like white mould though, so if you’re not sure what you’re looking at, it’s time to call in a professional mould remediation company.
- Penicillium sounds like penicillin, and penicillin is good stuff! While it’s true that members of this fungal family are responsible for one of the most important medical discoveries of our age, in its untreated form it is known to cause allergic reactions and chronic sinus infections.
How to Address Mould Contamination
As you can see, mould can be responsible for many different conditions and reactions. Even if you’re not particularly allergy-prone, trying to handle a mould infestation on your own could have serious health implications. This is especially true when you’re not sure about the type and severity of mould infestation in your home. Your best bet for safe, effective mould removal is working with a professional company that is skilled in all types of mould treatment.
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