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What is Mould?

Moulds are living organisms that are neither plants or animals.  Mould spores and mycelia can contain toxins and growing mycelia can release airborne volitile compounds (e.g. musty odour ).  Indoor mould reservoirs develop by growing in buildings with water leakage, excessive humidity or condensation problems.

We are all exposed to moulds, both indoors and outdoors, on a daily basis. Exposure to mould spores in large quantities is a health hazard to humans and may aggrevate allergies, including asthma and other respiratory problems.

The most vulnerable individuals are infants, the elderly and those with pre-existing respiratory illness.

Common causes for indoor mould growth are:

  • Leaky Foundations
  • Leaky walls, roofs or windows
  • Leaking water pipes or waste water lines
  • High indoor humidity
  • Inadequate window or wall construction
  • Insufficient weather stripping ( doors, windows, attic hatches )
  • Damp basements or crawl spaces
  • Flood and sewer backups

The presence of indoor mould reservoirs, whether dead or alive, does not support a healthy indoor environment.

For symptoms of possible mould exposure, please see our frequently asked questions (FAQ).

What are signs of possible mould growth?

  • There is a musty or earthy odour in the dwelling
  • There is evidence of water condensation or frost on interior building walls
  • There is visual water staining
  • There is evidence of water leakage such as water pooling, dripping or staining
  • There is visible mould

Indoor Air Quality Resources

Here are some links which may provide more information:
Health Canada
Canada Mortgage & Housing Association
Canadian Lung Association
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety
Canadian Home Builders Association

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