What is mould?
Moulds are microscopic fungal organisms and their tiny particles are present in both indoor and outdoor air. They grow as networks of interlocking filaments that spread on and into organic matter, leading to its decomposition. When clusters of these filaments become large enough, they are visible as fuzzy growths of mould or mildew.
Moulds produce microscopic cells called spores which spread easily through the air. Live spores act like seeds, forming new mould growths (colonies) when they find the right conditions. Mould growth is encouraged by warm, humid conditions. In nature, moulds help break down dead materials and can be found growing on soil, foods, plant matter, and other items. No one knows how many species of fungi exist.
Where is mould found?
Moulds grow outdoors and indoors as well. They do not have the clearly defined seasons associated with pollens, but are at their peak during months of high humidity, and are absent in outdoor air only if there is snow on the ground. They can grow on grass and on the bark of trees, and are plentiful in fallen leaves and other decaying vegetation. Indoors, they live in areas of high humidity, such as basements or poorly ventilated bathrooms.
Moulds are very common in buildings and homes, and will grow anywhere there is moisture. Mould may enter your home through open doorways, windows, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. Spores in the air outside also attach themselves to people and animals, making clothing, shoes, bags, and pets convenient vehicles for carrying mould indoors.
When spores are present in large quantities, they are a health hazard to humans.
Many building materials provide suitable nutrients that encourage mould to grow. Wet cellulose materials, including paper and paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, wood, and wood products, are particularly conducive for the growth of moulds. Other materials such as dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation materials, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery, commonly support mould growth.
Moulds come in a rainbow of colours, including red, pink, green, blue-green, brown and black. The most common moulds are Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus, Alternaria, and Mucor.
Moulds can be released into the air when mouldy material becomes damaged or disturbed. Exposure can occur if people inhale the spores, directly handle mould materials, or accidentally ingest it.
Is mould dangerous?
Moulds should not be permitted to grow and multiply indoors. When this happens, health problems can occur and building materials, goods, and furnishings may be damaged. For some people, a relatively small number of mould spores can cause health problems. Infants, children, immune-compromised patients, pregnant women, individuals with existing respiratory conditions (allergies, multiple chemical sensitivity, and asthma), and the elderly, are at higher risks for adverse health effects from mould.
Some people are sensitive to moulds. For these people, exposure to moulds can cause symptoms such as nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, or skin irritation. Some people, such as those with serious allergies to moulds, may have more severe reactions. Severe reactions may occur among workers exposed to large amounts of moulds in occupational settings, such as farmers working around mouldy hay. Severe reactions may include fever and shortness of breath. Some people with chronic lung illnesses, such as obstructive lung disease, may develop mould infections in their lungs.
Moulds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins). Inhaling or touching mould or mould spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis). Allergic reactions to mould are common. They can be immediate or delayed. moulds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mould. In addition, mould exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mould- allergic and non-allergic people.
Some types of mould are able to produce chemical compounds (called mycotoxins), although they do not always do so. All indoor mould growth is potentially harmful and should be removed promptly.
Prolonged exposure, e.g. daily workplace exposure, can be particularly harmful.
Research on mould and health effects is ongoing. However, is important to take precautions to LIMIT YOUR EXPOSURE to mould and mould spores. Avoid breathing in mould or mould spores.
Moulds can gradually destroy the things they grow on. You can prevent damage to your home and furnishings, save money, and avoid potential health problems by eliminating mould growth.
If you already have a mould problem – ACT QUICKLY. Mould damages what it grows on. The longer it grows the more damage it can cause.
For more information see www.epa.gov/mold
Asthma and Mould
Moulds can trigger asthma episodes in sensitive individuals with asthma. People with asthma should avoid contact with or exposure to moulds.
More information about mould and asthma triggers can be found at EPA's Asthma web site www.epa.gov/asthma/triggers.html
Is your workplace making you sick?
If you believe you are ill because of exposure to mould in the building where you work, you should first consult your health care provider to determine the appropriate action to take to protect your health. Notify your employer so that your employer can take action to clean up and prevent mould growth. To find out more about mould, remediation of mould, or workplace safety and health guidelines and regulations, you may also want to contact your local (city, county, or state) health department.
Are you concerned about mould in your children’s school?
If you believe your children are ill because of exposure to mould in their school, first consult their health care provider to determine the appropriate medical action to take. Contact the school’s administration to express your concern and to ask that they remove the mould and prevent future mould growth.
What areas have high mould exposures?
- Antique shops
- Construction areas
- Flower shops
- Summer cottages
Mould Removal Services and MultiDez Can Help
Safely eliminate mould and prevent its reoccurrence with our highly effective mould treatment service.
The Mould Removal service includes identification of the source of the mould, mould removal, and a mould prevention treatment for the home or building.
Left untreated mould can contribute to the onset many allergies and long term health issues. Apart from the potential health issues, mould presents a real threat to a buildings structure if the cause is not remedied and the mould killed. The mould we see in a room or on a wall or ceiling is not a true indication of the extent of the problem. Mould will thrive in ceiling cavities, under floors, in carpets and textiles in fact almost anywhere. Most mould is actually invisible so one of the priorities in mould removal is to identify the source and provide an immediate effective solution.
Bleach is not the solution. Studies have proven that most chemicals are not effective against mould and in fact bleach will promote the growth of mould, the only real effect bleach has is to hide mould from sight by discolouring.
Our local Mould Inspectors who are trained technicians will find the source of the mould, remove the visible mould then apply our non toxic mould prevention product throughout the home or building.