Identifying Mould in Your Home

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Mould growth in your home can affect your health and the health of anyone living in your home. Mold is a type of fungus that grows on fabric, wood, food and any other organic material. Outside, mould is an important part of the ecosystem. Inside, it contributes to health issues and damage to your home.

First Response Cleaning has years of experience in mould identification and removal. We are committed to sharing our knowledge to ensure you have access to the resources required for identifying mould in your homes.

Common Types of Indoor Mould

Several types of mould can grow in your home, but they are not always easy to differentiate without proper testing. Luckily, you don’t need to know what kind of mould it is to get rid of it. With the help of First Response’s mould inspection and mould removal services, you’ll have a professional team to tell you and deal with the problem.
Common types of indoor mould include:

Aspergillus

Visually, this type of mould is green, white or gray with dark spots. It has a powdery look and thrives in areas such as fabrics, walls and basements. Some people don’t experience a reaction to this sort of mould, but many people can have an allergic reaction known as allergic aspergillosis which can have some serious and life-threatening effects such as:

  • Bleeding in the lungs
  • Infection and destruction of facial bones
  • Sepsis which leads to organ failure
  • Shortness of breath, fever and chills

When aspergillus mould is growing in the home, it’s best not to run the risk of experiencing allergic aspergillosis. Professional mould cleaning and remediation services are required to address the issue.

Penicillium

This type of mould is blue, yellow or green and often found under carpets, basements and insulation. It is also likely to grow in an area where there has been water damage. However, penicillium is unlike other types of mould as some variants (namely the kinds that are found in improperly stored foods) do not require a humid environment to thrive. Prolonged exposure to penicillium has been shown to lead to liver and kidney lesions in mice and other mammals, which means that mould removal services are important to protect yourself from the toxic effects of this type of mould.

Cladosporium

This mould is green, black or brown and grows in both cold and warm areas. It often grows on wood, fabric and in heating or cooling ducts, as well as dark and humid environments like basements and near plumbing fixtures. This type of mould aggravates asthma conditions, and can cause symptoms that are similar to hay fever. Long-term exposure to cladosporium can lead to ear, eye and sinus infections that can become quite serious if the condition, and source of the mould is not treated properly.

Stachybotrys Chartarum

Also known as black mould, this type of mold is greenish-black. It usually grows on things with high cellulose content that are in warm, and damn environments, such as paper, gypsum boards and fibreboard in bathrooms and under sinks. Long-term exposure to black mould can lead to symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and bleeding of the lungs and nose that leaves you more susceptible to infection and life-threatening complications

Alternaria

This type of mould is white with black spots and has a fuzzy look. It grows near windows and air conditioners, on fabrics and wallpapers and in bathrooms or kitchens. This type of mould can cause adverse health effects that start mild and seem similar to a common cold, but can progress to more serious symptoms such as difficulty breathing, and sinus and lung infections.

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Identifying Mould in Your Home

Identifying mould in your home can prove difficult if you are not sure what to look for or where to look for it. Mould usually starts small, as little as a spot that can be very easy to miss. However, it usually expands quickly over the course of a few days. As previously mentioned, the common types of mould that are found in the home can vary in appearance and can be found in many different places. If you notice a spot somewhere in your home and aren’t sure if it is just some dirt, ask yourself the following to identify whether it is mould:

  • Does it have an earthy or musty smell?
  • Is there a nearby source of moisture?
  • Is the material or area cracking, peeling or warping?
  • Has the spot grown since you first noticed it?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, you likely have spotted mould growing in your home. You can also apply bleach to the area and if it lightens in colour, that is also a sign that it is mould, and that you should contact a professional mould cleaning company.

Mould growth can also be hidden since it can grow behind walls, above ceiling tiles and inside appliances. That is why it is important to check for mould anywhere that is damp or in places where any water damage has occurred. A qualified professional, like First Response Cleaning, can help you properly identify mould and effectively remove it.

Causes of Mould in Your Home

Inside your home, mould grows spores when the conditions are right. Mould spores prefer to grow in spaces where there is a lot of moisture but limited light. These spores can latch onto several materials such as fabric, carpet, paper and wood. Common areas that are affected by mould growth include:

  • Sinks, shower and bathtubs
  • Near leaky pipes
  • Around windows
  • Basements, crawl spaces and attics

You can avoid mould growth by putting measures in place to control any sources of moisture in your home. Proper ventilation is key to controlling moisture in any enclosed space.

Symptoms of Mould Sickness

Symptoms of mould sickness are similar to allergy-type symptoms, including:

  • Runny nose
  • Congestion
  • Sneezing or coughing
  • Sore throat
  • Headaches
  • Wheezing

People usually mistake mould sickness for cold or sinus infections since the symptoms are very similar. If you are experiencing these symptoms, you should hire a mould inspection service to be sure that they are not being cause by mould in the home. If you have a compromised immune system, it is even more critical for your health to have mould dealt with as soon as possible.

How to Prevent Mould in Your Home

As previously mentioned, mould grows in areas where there is increased moisture and limited exposure to light. The following are various ways to prevent mould from growing in your home:

  • Repair water leaks immediately: take the time to mop up any excess water and use fans to dry the area completely
  • Use air conditioners & dehumidifiers: these will help you maintain low humidity in your home. Make sure you are changing filters and maintaining the equipment as recommended
  • Avoid carpet in certain areas: don’t use carpet in rooms where mould is more likely to grow, such as bathrooms, laundry rooms and basements
  • Avoid piles of wet fabric: don’t leave wet clothes or towels in a pile and avoid leaving clothes in your washing machine for long periods. If you have a front loading washing machine, be sure to leave the door open when you’re done a load of laundry to make sure it dries out properly.
  • Keep your home ventilated: open windows or use exhaust fans in rooms such as bathrooms to keep your home well ventilated

While there is no way to completely eliminate the possibility of mould in your home, there are ways to reduce the chances of it happening.

First Response Cleaning  – Mould Removal

At First Response Cleaning, our proven mould inspection process has effectively helped homeowners across Ontario eliminate mold growth in their homes. Our experienced crews know all the hotspots that mould is likely to thrive in and use state-of-the-art equipment to detect mould that may be hidden.

First Response Cleaning knows all the best remedies to safely remove mould from your home. Leaving mould issues untouched can result in serious health issues and cause damage to your home. If you suspect that you are dealing with a mould problem in your home, contact First Response Cleaning to start our mould inspection and removal process today.