Mould can be found anywhere in the home where there are high moisture levels and a lack of air movement. To limit mould growth, you need to control moisture and humidity and allow air to move through your home.
Fix any water leaks or water drainage problems around your home, reduce clutter for better air movement, open windows to allow fresh air to circulate when practical, and use exhaust fans when cooking or bathing.
The basement is an ideal location where mould can grow since it is usually the dampest area of the home and often has poor air circulation. This is especially the case if your basement has been flooded. Exposure to mould can trigger asthma symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath, as well as allergic reactions.
- Maintain an ideal humidity level in your basement (between 30-50%). To measure humidity levels, purchase a hygrometer from a hardware or electronics store.
- Use a dehumidifier in your basement if humidity levels are high. Remember to clean the bucket, coil, and fan blades regularly so it runs efficiently and does not put bacteria or mould spores back into the air.
- Limit exposure to mould by having kids play upstairs or removing the basement family room.
- Look for any mould spots that can be black, white, green, red, or other colours. Mould can grow on wood (flooring, window sills, wall frames, baseboards, cabinets underneath sinks, and furniture), ceiling tiles, wall insulation, cardboard boxes, carpet, and drapes.
- Throw away any products where mould has grown or has been damaged by water.
- If mould is found that is less than the size of a large garbage bag folded in half (one square meter), you can clean it with water and unscented dish soap. Wipe the surface with a rag or sponge and then dry quickly. Wear a mask, eye protection, rubber gloves, and a long-sleeved shirt when cleaning mould. Have sensitive individuals, children, and elderly members leave the home during the mould clean-up.
- Areas with mould found that are larger than one square meter should be cleaned by a trained professional. If mould comes back regularly, seek professional help.