WHAT IS MOULD & WHERE TO FIND IT? | HazForce

RESOURCES BLOG

WHAT IS MOULD & WHERE TO FIND IT?

hazforce |

Learn the truths about mould in your home.

Mould (mold) is everywhere. It only needs water and a food source such as cardboard or wood to grow. As it develops it releases spores harmful to your health. It can be found in:

  • attics & crawl spaces.
  • bathrooms and basements
  • ceilings
  • Under sinks & around plumbing fixtures.
  • surfaces exposed to water damage
  • porous materials: wood, drywall and even concrete

Prevention is the key to avoiding mould exposure. Always make sure that water leaks are fixed, and standing water is mopped up. Air flow is the natural enemy to mould therefore any area where moisture may accumulate should be well ventilated, and exhaust fans should be utilized wherever possible.

What is mould (mold)?

Moulds are everywhere. All they need to grow is water and a source of food, such as cardboard or wood. As mould grows it releases spores.

Mould thrives where there is prolonged dampness: bathrooms, basements, ceilings, and water-damaged walls are all potential hosts for mould. Mould’s hyphae grow into wood and drywall like roots.

Where is mould (mold) likely to be found?

We see or smell mould. The obvious mould we see is on windowsills, on surfaces like drywall in closets or exterior walls where furniture is place too close to allow air movement behind. Many inadequately heated rooms that are stuffed full of boxes or containers develop mould due to lack of air movement and insufficient heat. In older homes it is best to keep items an inch or two from exterior walls, especially in closets, to allow for slight air flow.

The mould we can t see may be behind walls, under counter tops or inside cabinets due to a slow plumbing leak, water infiltration from the outside due to poor foundation damage, roof, exterior wall cladding or window / door issues.

That musty smell in the basement could be from blocked or inadequate exterior drainage at the foundation wall where moisture seeps thru porous concrete and creates mildew behind your finished basement walls. Applying sealed finishes or vinyl sheet flooring over concrete slabs in your basement can also trap moisture and cause mildew smells. Lastly, finished walls that are framed and improperly insulated, as to not provide a thermal break, to an exterior foundation wall that only extends partially to the ceiling can be the cause of mildew from condensation that occurs at the top of the foundation wall inside the wall cavity during colder winter months.

What is hypha?

Hypha is the branching filaments that make up the mycelium of a fungus like mold.

How can hyphae be killed?

Bleach will not kill hyphae because ion structure of bleach prevents chlorine from penetrating into porous materials such as drywall and wood. It stays on the outside surface, whereas mould has protected enzyme roots growing inside the porous construction materials. When you spray porous surface moulds with bleach, the water part of the solution soaks into the wood while the bleach chemical sits atop the surface, gasses off, and thus only partially kills the surface layer of mould while the water penetration of the building materials foster further mildew and mould growth.

Surfactants serve the purpose of significantly lowering the surface tension of water to allow a cleaning solution to penetrate porous surfaces.

How does HazForce remove mould?

HazForce utilizes a proprietary set of products to abate mould. An anti-microbial is first applied that kills all mould by penetrating deep into wood fibers and removes most stains on surfaces. A mould inhibitor is then applied to all surfaces to help prevent the existence and future regrowth of mould.

Although these products work well on surfaces such as wood and concrete, any drywall with mould growth is removed and disposed of.

What is the correct spelling of mold or mould?

Is it mold or mould? Mold and mould are alternative spellings of the same word, which can refer to fungus as a noun, or the act of shaping something as a verb.

Americans use mold, but the British use mould. In Canada we use both!

What is the risk of mould?

Those with a compromised immune system can experience severe health effects if exposed to mould. For most people, exposure to mould doesn’t cause any significant health effects. Mould can cause allergic reactions, asthma, pneumonitis, infections of the upper airway, sinusitis, or other lung infections. Workers and occupants of buildings subjected to long-term exposure are more likely to develop these health problems.

How to minimize the effects of mould?

Prevention is the key to avoiding mould exposure. Always make sure that water leaks are fixed, and standing water is mopped up. Air flow is the natural enemy to mould therefore an area where moisture may accumulate should be well ventilated, and exhaust fans should be utilized wherever possible.

To prevent health problems, WorkSafeBC has developed requirements detailed in the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations that Hazardous Material Abatement Contractors must adhere to when conducting work around mould.

"Mould can cause allergic reactions, asthma, pneumonitis, infections of the upper airway, sinusitis, or other lung infections."

Jon Sperber

Operations Manager

250-510-4757 | jon@hazforce.ca

A deeper dive.

Graduated from the University of British Columbia in Civil Engineering, Jon is a certified AHERA Building Inspector with years of experience working with hazardous material abatement of asbestos, lead, mould, and biohazards. His efforts are focused on residential, industrial, commercial, institutional (ICI) and Demolition projects.