The Healthy Communities Blog – Mould

Step-by-Step Guide to Safely Cleaning Up Mould at Home and in the Workplace

Mould is not just a minor nuisance but also poses potential risks to our health – if it is not properly addressed and cleaned up mould will reappear and our respiratory health could be affected.

Any type of fungi that grows on food or damp materials is commonly known as mould. Regardless of the type, Health Canada recommends that all moulds need immediate attention.

People spending time in homes and businesses with mould and damp conditions increase their risk of respiratory symptoms such as eye, nose and throat irritation, coughing and phlegm build-up, wheezing and shortness of breath and worsening of asthma symptoms.

To effectively assess, clean and prevent mould follow these steps:

1. Assess the mould area wearing proper protection including mask, goggles and gloves. If the area is larger than 1 square meter, Health Canada recommends an expert assessment and cleanup is required.

2. Fix moisture causes, dry wet surfaces within 48 hours.
How to fix common causes of moisture and mould:
• Activities such as showering or bathing, washing clothes and cooking may contribute to condensation if exhaust fans are not used or working properly. Ensure fans are working correctly by placing your hand fan near the fan intake to ensure proper airflow.
• Repair water leakage causes, for example, a broken pipe.
• Repair Infiltration of water from the outside, for example, a leaking roof or cracked basement.
• Call an expert to dry out your home after a flood.

3. Wearing mask, goggles and gloves – clean all small patches of mould with soap and water. No need to use bleach.

4. Throw away what you cannot clean including building materials such as drywall if they cannot be cleaned.

Having a staff meeting? Ask for 5 minutes on the agenda to talk about mould, and use material from our three-slide PowerPoint presentation!

Download the slides here!