“You’ll find them in gardens, in your home or in your work-place. Everywhere you can imagine,” says Jim Meagher, manager for
Environmental Public Health North Zone. The “them” he’s talking about
are moulds. While moulds are usually not a major problem indoors in
Alberta, they can grow in damp or wet spots. Moulds have the potential
to cause health problems, as well as be unsightly and unpleasant.
General moulds around the house won’t really affect the average, healthy
person. They can be more of a concern for those with allergies, asthma or a
compromised immune system. “Most mould in small portions on surfaces
where you’d expect humidity is not an emergency, but you want to get rid
of it,” says Meagher.
When to take care of mould
According to Meagher, if you have a total
area of three square metres ( 3.59 square
yards) or less covered in surface mould,
you can tackle cleanup yourself in a few
• Suit up with gloves and eye protection.
You can also wear a mask to prevent
inhaling any mould spores. Keep away
kids and anyone with asthma, allergies
and compromised immune systems.
• For a larger area, you might want to
ventilate and close off the area you’re
cleaning. To avoid spreading the mould
to other areas, cover the air ducts in the
area being cleaned.
• Mix a solution of detergent and water and
thoroughly scrub the surface until the
mould is gone. “Absolutely avoid using
bleach,” cautions Meagher. For severe
moulds, you can use fungicides.
• Completely dry the washed surface.
When to call in the experts
if you have more than a total of three square
metres of mould, or the mould is more deeply
embedded in a surface (wall, floor, window
sill), find a professional service to safely
clean it up and determine what’s causing the
mould (leaking water pipes or roof, poorly
sealed window, etc.).
Also, if mould returns soon after you’ve
cleaned it up, it could mean a bigger issue
and you’ll want to seek professional help.
in your home
if you can see or smell mould, now’s
the time to get rid of it