Mould

What is Mould?

Mould is a fungus that is spread by microscopic organisms that grow in damp areas.

3 things feed the growth of mould.

  • Moisture
  • Organic food source (building materials such as wood, drywall, insulation or layer of dirt)
  • Lack of or minimal air flow
 

stachybotrys chartarum, also known as the Toxic Mould

Three Classes of Mould based on Health Risk

Hazard class A

  • Moulds in this group are either directly hazardous to health due to risk of infection or creation of toxins. They should not be in homes or workplaces and should be removed immediately if detected
  • Stachybotrus (stack-ee-bot-riss)
  • Infamous Black mould that made the news in association with ill health effects years ago.

Hazard class B

  • Moulds in this group can cause allergic reactions, especially over longer periods of time.
  • Aspergillus (ass-per-jill-us) Aspergillus is another common mould. It can look grey, brown, yellow, green, white, or black. There are many species in the genus, and they generally fall into hazard classes A or B. Some can cause infection in people with weak immune systems, and some of them can make toxins in certain circumstances. Others will only cause allergic reactions. Aspergillus can grow on walls, insulation, paper products, soil, clothing, and many other places.

Hazard class C

  • Moulds in this group aren’t known to cause any health risks or reactions in humans. Note, however, that even moulds in this category can potentially cause structural damage to things that they are growing on, and should still be removed.
  • Penicillium (pen-ih-sill-ee-um)
    Modern antibiotics were discovered thanks to a species of Penicillium long ago. It’s commonly found on food such as cheese and fruit.
 

mold found in bathroom wall

 

green mould

 

mould on wall/ceiling caused by leaking pipes

 

What Causes Mould?

Moisture

  • Leaky pipes
  • Leaky foundation
  • Improper bathroom ventilation
  • Condensation from window
  • Lack of a proper vapour barrier

Food source

  • Cellulose building materials such as framing, drywall and insulation.
  • Layer of dirt or grime

Lack of or minimal airflow

  • Home is too airtight to allow for proper air exchange.
 

mould caused by condensation

 

Why Mould Should be Removed

Any of the following adverse health effects could be a result of mould in your home or work environment. Fortunately, symptoms usually disappear after mould exposure stops.

  • Coughs, congestion, sore throat, irritations, nosebleeds, aggravation of asthma, headaches, fatigue and rash.
  • Symptoms with asthma, bronchitis, or those who have weakened immune systems, become worse or are aggravated by the existence of mould.
  • Pregnant women, infants, and those with health problems such as respiratory disease or a weakened immune system are more at risk when exposed to mould.
  • Moulds and other fungi may adversely affect health though these processes:
    • Allergy
    • Infection
    • Toxicity
 

young children with asthma are particularly susceptible to mould health hazards

 

Who can I contact to fix the problem?

  • Only hire firms such as Winmar that have trained technicians with AMRT or AMRS designation and are certified by the The Clean Trust.
  • For investigation of mould issues, contact a professional firm with a track history such as Winmar Restorations, that handles mould remediation.
  • Winmar uses only laboratories with a proven history of accurate testing of mould samples.
  • Winmar has full certification from The Clean Trust to investigate, abate and remediate mould

It is recommended by Health Canada and the Canadian Construction Association that mould, be removed no matter what type, how much or where it is located in an environment.

 

The Clean Trust

How is it Removed?

The first and most important step to mould remediation is to find the source of the moisture and correct the issue at hand.

< 10 sq. ft.

  • Home owner can fix the problem with simple dust masks and cleaning products found at most local hardware stores.

10 – 100 sq. ft.

  • Depending on where the problem is located and what material it is found on, Winmar will use a variety of remediation tools and techniques to rid the property of harmful mould.
  • Certified technicians are required to wear full personal protective equipment PPE and work within a negative air enclosure to avoid cross contamination of the surrounding environment.

> 100 sq. ft

  • In addition to the above techniques additional guidelines should be followed. Industry guidelines dictate that if the mould covers more than 100 sq. ft. an industrial hygienist is required for pre and post remediation testing.
  • Winmar can provide a list of accredited hygienist to provide an unbiased test to ensure that the area is safe for habitation.
 

commercial property mould remediation

 

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