Molds are microscopic fungi. Molds come from the same family that includes mushrooms and yeasts. Molds
grow and reproduce quickly. Some molds can be useful - penicillin comes from one type of mold, and other types
of mold are used in the manufacture of foods and beverages.
Molds can also be destructive, causing significant damage to many materials, such as paper, cardboard and fabrics.
Mold can affect your health and your family's health. Health experts say that molds can cause allergic reactions, such
as sneezing and watery eyes. More serious illnesses can occur depending on the type of mold, the amount and degree of exposure
and the health condition of a home's occupants.
Though determining the presence of mold is outside the scope of a typical home inspection, for informational purposes,
Seacliff Inspections will document visible mold or mold-like stains discovered in the home during the inspection.
Testing For Mold
Health Canada and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) both advise that if you see mold, you should clean it up.
Not all mold problems are readily visible. What if you suspect you have a mold problem but can't see any mold? The
recommended first step when you know or suspect you have a mold problem is to have a trained investigator check your house or office
for mold and water intrusion issues.
Be very careful of remediation companies offering free mold inspections. These companies are in the business of mold
clean-up and only get paid if they have mold to clean, so they may find mold where there isn't a problem. You should
always have an independent mold inspection done by someone that does not offer remediation services to be sure
you really have a mold problem. The inspector will advise the best course of action for cleaning up the mold, if there is any.
Depending on the severity of the problem, you may be able to clean it up yourself.
How To Clean-Up A Mold Problem
For a small amount of mold, you can generally clean up the problem yourself with soap and water, and wearing
personal protective equipment (mask, safety goggles and rubber gloves). You should not use bleach as it
cannot be relied upon for disinfection in all situations, and the fumes can be harmful.
Washable surfaces can be scrubbed with a mild detergent solution, then wiped with a clean, wet rag and dried quickly.
Moldy drywall can be cleaned with a damp rag and a bit of baking soda or detergent, making sure that the
drywall does not get too wet. Wipe clean and dry quickly.
You may be able to clean up moderate amounts of mold yourself if you follow the proper procedures and use
proper protective equipment. A "moderate amount" refers to 3 or more patches of mold, each smaller than one square
meter, or one or more isolated patches larger than one square meter but smaller than 3 square meters (about the size
of a 4 x 8 foot sheet of plywood). You will need to isolate the area to be cleaned with plastic sheeting, taped to
walls and ceiling. Cover doors leading to other rooms with plastic as well. Infants and other people with sensitivities
and/or suffering from asthma, allergies or other health problems should not be in the immediate work area or adjacent room
during clean-up. An exhaust fan installed in a window in the room being cleaned helps prevent contamination of other
areas of the house.
Seek professional remediation if there is a lot of mold or if mold comes back after cleaning. This is usually an indication
that a source of moisture has not been removed.
After The Clean-Up
It is advisable to have a clearance test done after any clean-up to ensure the mold has been removed
successfully. This involves taking more air samples from the cleaned areas and outside. A clean area should not have
any more mold spores than that detected outdoors.
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