Molds are fungi that are invisible to the naked eye and are found in nature. When it grows heavily, molds can cause health problems.
Molds are often found in damp and poorly ventilated places.
They can grow all over the house. Some signs indicate the presence of mold or excessive humidity:
the presence of spots of various colors, but often greenish or black:
- + on walls, ceilings or carpets,
- + around windows,
- + in wardrobes, etc .;
the presence of a characteristic musty, earthy odor;
the presence of dark circles, warping, chipping or other signs of water infiltration on the walls or ceilings, which may indicate the presence of a problem hidden behind the materials
Indeed, when mold is visible or there are signs indicating its presence, it is necessary to conduct a thorough inspection of the house to find the cause and take the appropriate measures to correct the situation. To learn how to clean a mold-affected surface, see Eliminate Mold.
If you are a tenant or landlord and you have noticed the presence of mold in a dwelling, consult the Help and resources section.
Tips for detecting possible causes
At least once a year, inspect the exterior of the house to make sure everything is in good condition:
- sealing of joints;
- drainage, etc.
Perform regular housekeeping on the house as well as a full inspection of all rooms at least once a year. This makes it possible to detect traces of water infiltration and mold:
behind the furniture;
in the basement, etc.
Avoid mold growth
Act quickly in the event of water damage
The presence of stagnant water, infiltration or water-soaked materials promotes the development of molds.
Clean and dry any water damage completely within 24 to 48 hours. Beyond this period, molds can develop.
Throw away porous materials heavily damaged by water such as:
- gypsum panels;
- the rugs;
- cardboard tiles;
- furniture upholstered or covered with fabrics, etc.
Avoid having too high a humidity level in your home
The regular presence of condensation on windows or walls may indicate that the ambient humidity is too high. To avoid increasing the indoor humidity rate:
Limit frequent long showers.
Turn on the fans when bathing, showering and cooking food.
Make sure the dryer hose is securely connected to an outside outlet.
Limit the use of the humidifier and carefully follow the maintenance instructions provided by the manufacturer.
Empty and clean the dehumidifier tank regularly. In summer, it is generally recommended to install it in the basement. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer to ensure proper operation.
Make sure that the humidity in the air in the house is kept low enough to prevent condensation from forming (usually between 30% and 55%). Devices that measure humidity in the house (hygrometers), are available inexpensively at most hardware stores.
Open windows, if necessary, to ventilate the house.
Make sure the air exchanger or other ventilation system is used properly and follow the maintenance instructions.
It is important to identify and correct any cause of water accumulation or infiltration such as a broken pipe, flooding or sewer backup.