Question: We rent a 2 bedroom basement apartment in North Vancouver, BC. It does rain a lot, and a wet puddle forms in my son’s bedroom. This house is 60 years plus, but we just found mould growing under my son’s bed, black and brown mushroom looking, and we have only lived here for 10 months. We have a small dog, what are the health issues we face? I am 56 and I have a heart disease. My son is 24 and has breathing problems. We have a small 7 year old bichon frise that sleeps a lot.
Answer: There are a number of health effects associated with exposure to indoor moulds. Exposure to indoor mould mainly occurs through inhalation of airborne spores. Therefore, people exposed to indoor mould are likely to experience respiratory problems. Health effects, however, depends on the amount of mould present, individual’s sensitivity to mould and the type of mould. In an indoor environment hundreds of different kinds of mould are able to grow wherever there is moisture and an organic substrate (food source). Mould can grow on building and other materials, including: the paper on gypsum wallboard (drywall); ceiling tiles; wood products; paint; wallpaper; carpeting; some furnishings; books/papers; clothes; and other fabrics. Mould can also grow on moist, dirty surfaces such as concrete, fiberglass insulation, and ceramic tiles.
I would suggest you ask the landlord to hire a professional who could assess the extent of mould contamination, the cause and then recommend how to correct the moisture problem and get rid of the mould.