| (NC)—Did you know that some of the hazards that many of us encounter every day in our homes can make us sick? Mould is one of them.|
Mould is a type of fungus that comes in a variety of colours and grows in damp areas inside your home. It can cause eye, nose and throat irritation, coughing and mucous buildup, wheezing and shortness of breath, worsening asthma symptoms and allergic reactions. It can grow on wood, paper, fabrics, drywall and insulation; inside walls or above ceiling tiles. Not all mould is obvious to detect, so it's important to check for the presence of mould anywhere that is damp, especially where water damage has occurred. Look for stains or discolouration on floors, walls, window panes, fabrics and carpets or a musty "earthy" odour.
To prevent mould from growing in your home, repair water leaks as soon as possible; use exhaust fans when cooking and showering; make sure clothes dryers and range hoods vent outdoors; and seal tubs and sinks. Also, keep humidity levels to 50 per cent in summer and 30 percent in winter. If you find a small patch of mould, simply clean with water and dish detergent – no need for bleach. If you find a large patch or have a major water problem, consider hiring a professional clean it up.
These are just some of the tips for dealing with mould that you can find on the Health Canada website at www.healthycanadians.gc.ca/hazardcheck.