Take Action - Preventing Mould

Transcript - Take Action - Preventing Mould

Dr. Thomas Dignan: "Mould prevention, either after you've cleaned up an area of mould or even before you see mould, is important for maintaining good indoor air quality. As we discussed in the first video segment, good indoor air quality supports good health.

In this video segment, the Environmental Health Officer shares information about how to prevent mould."

Environmental Health Officer in home with a person he is instructing: "Controlling moisture and keeping your home dry is a key to preventing and stopping mould. There are simple things that you can do.

  • Act quickly when you see water or moisture.
  • Dry the area and fix the source of the problem.
  • Routinely check around your home foundation, walls, windows, roof, plumbing, tubs and sinks for water leaks.
  • Also check window sills regularly for condensation or moisture, particularly during the cold months. Condensation on window sills can't necessarily be stopped, but it should be wiped up as soon as it is seen.

Make sure your home is ventilated. This may sound complicated, but there are a number of simple things that you can do.

Turn on an exhaust fan or open a window when you are showering or cooking. Let the fan run for a few minutes after you are finished.

Safely check your clothes dryer, bathroom and kitchen fans, stoves, and kerosene heaters to be sure they are vented outside.

Open windows, when you can and use fans as needed.

Keep your home warm and ensure good air circulation. Rooms or areas that become cold can encourage condensation to form and surrounding materials to become damp and moldy. Keep furniture and other belongings away from exterior walls to allow warm air to circulate.

Remove items that may cause mould. This includes items stored in the basement and closets. Mould can grow on fabrics, paper, wood and practically anything that collects dust and holds moisture.

Removing excess stored materials will allow air to move around more easily and help to keep the area dryer. Throw out wet and badly damaged or musty smelling items.

Firewood can also be a source of mould and so it shouldn't be stored inside the home.

If you have carpet in bathroom and basement, consider removing them.

So, keeping your home clean and dry will help prevent mould. Clean and dry surfaces that get wet, even ones you might not think of such as drip pans in your air conditioner, refrigerator, and dehumidifier; and your washing machine or tub, bathtub or shower, and surrounding walls.

Vacuuming carpets and furniture often will also help to prevent mould.

Keeping drains in your kitchen, bathroom and basement floor clear of debris will also help avoid moisture build-up.

Using air conditioners and dehumidifiers during humid weather can also reduce mould growth.

Here are simple actions to take to minimize indoor moisture.

  • Avoid hanging laundry to dry inside when possible.
  • Remove dryer lint after each use.
  • Don't over-water plants and if you see that mould has begun to grow, throw the plant away.
  • Take out garbage regularly.
  • Keep your home's drainage sump pit covered.

There are also home maintenance activities that can help prevent mould by stopping water from entering your home.

Install downspout extensions to take rainwater and melted snow away from the home.

Make sure eaves troughs/roof gutters and downspouts are connected and working. These should be cleaned regularly and repaired if necessary.

Making sure the ground slopes away from the home foundation, so that water does not enter or collect, can also help prevent mould.

Regularly check for mould in your home. If and when you find it, get rid of it, and once you've done that, find the source of the moisture and deal with it and will help stop mould from growing or coming back."

Dr. Thomas Dignan: "These steps can help make your home healthy - protecting your health and your family's health.

The little things you do can make a difference. So can getting help with larger areas.

Remember, if you suspect that mould in your home is affecting your health or your family's health contact your Environmental Health Officer or health care provider."

Female Narrator: To learn more about the health impacts of mould, visit the Health Canada Web site at www.healthcanada.ca/mould.

To learn more about mould clean-up and retrofitting projects, visit the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation Web site at www.cmhc.ca

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