Mold growing inside the home can pose a serious health risk, especially if you or anyone in your family suffers from asthma or allergies. But as long as you know where to look, what to look for and how to prevent or clean up mold, you should be able to keep any potential mold problems in your home under control.
To help you keep your house and family healthy, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) offers the following tips on how to find, identify and fight mold in your home:
• Mold needs moisture to grow. Check your home regularly for any water infiltration or leaks. Use kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans to remove moisture as it is produced. Dehumidify your basement during the warm months. Do not hang laundry to dry indoors. Also, keep the relative humidity in your home below 45 per cent in the winter (or lower to avoid condensation on windows).
• Get rid of any excess clutter and stored materials where there could be moisture, and clean up standing water that could encourage the growth of mold. Clean and/or replace the filters in your furnace and heat recovery ventilator (HRV) on a regular basis. Clean and vacuum your home frequently, preferably with a vacuum that has a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter.
• If your house has one to three small patches of mold (no larger than a square metre each), you should be able to clean it yourself using a solution of water and detergent – make sure to wear household rubber gloves, safety glasses and a dust mask for protection. Do not use bleach to clean up the problem.
• If a mold patch covers an area between one and three square metres, or if there are more than three smaller patches, you may still be able to clean it yourself. But you should consult with a trained professional first.
• If your home has an extensive or recurring mold problem, get professional help immediately to clean it up and determine how it got there in the first place.
For more information or a free electronic copy of the “About Your House” fact sheet Fighting Mold or other fact sheets on owning, maintaining or renovating your home, visit our website at www.cmhc.ca or call CMHC at 1-800-668-2642. For more than 60 years, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has been Canada’s national housing agency and a source of objective, reliable housing information.
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