Cleaning up mould: Regardless of severity, extreme caution should always be exercised when interacting with mould, and attempting a clean up. Mould growth from excessive condensation around the windows or on bathroom tiles can be manually cleaned up, but only if the growth is minimal and topical [surface area]. It is best to avoid bleaches or chemical biocides - they are not completely effective, and can potentially cause other environmental problems. The best options: soap and water, with white vinegar, a borax/water solution, or a household detergent.
If mould growth is present on drywall, wooden beams, carpeting, or insulation, it’s a more serious issue. In this case, the mould should be tested to determine the species, the extent of the coverage, and the possible toxic effects. It is also important to identify the cause and origin of the mould prior to any clean up. Removing mould requires proper care and precautions, especially in safeguarding the residents or occupants. It is also important to protect unaffected areas of the residence or building.
Disturbing mould growth: Mould should be not be disturbed - if growth areas are touched, scrubbed, dried out, or otherwise agitated, spores may be released and aerosolized into the air you’re breathing. Ingesting or inhaling potentially toxic mould spores could lead to serious health effects.
Avoid demolishing any carpeting, drywall, or building materials with mould growth until the situation is properly assessed. This should be left to a qualified professional, especially if wall cavities or ceilings require opening. An expert will expedite testing, with minimal damage to structures, and with entry points that are small (usually about 1/2 inch in diameter). All entry points are then appropriately sealed to avoid spores from aerosolizing.
Biocides: We do not recommend the use of biocides, nor does the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists [the leading body in North America for Occupational and Environmental Safety]. Biocides are not an easy fix for mould, although some manufacturers make those claims. Biocides only kill the viability of the mould – they do not remove the toxic properties of the mould or the spores. Biocides only retard mould growth – BUT dead spores can actually have the same toxic properties as living spores. In short, the potential health effects are not properly addressed.
Drying out mould: Depending on the situation, drying out mould is not always advisable. By drying out mould, you are removing some of its sustainability and it’s food source. As a natural response, and a consequent survival mechanism, mould spores could aerosolize. Some species of mould, like Stachybotrys(sometimes referred to as black mould), needs substantial moisture to thrive. When it’s wet, it does not easily aerosolize – but if it’s dried out, it may aerosolize.
Using biocides or bleach to kill mould does not have any advantages. Dead mould is just as toxic as mould that is alive. Cleaning or removing mould without protecting the rest of the building or unaffected areas can in some cases spread the mould contamination. In some cases the mould becomes harder and more expensive to clean up. Some mould inspection companies lack the equipment or experience to properly assess you mould issue. They are cheaper...but are they worth it?