The Trouble with Mould in the Home
Mould is a fungus that comes in various colors (black, white, green, or gray) and shapes. While some moulds are visible and even odorous, mould can also grow between walls, under floors and ceilings, or in less accessible spots, such as basements and attics. Mould does best in water-soaked materials (paneling, wallboard, carpet, paint, ceiling tiles, and the like), but can survive in almost any damp location. Mould can grow in houses situated in the desert, and it can grow in homes in hot and humid climes.
Here are some common places in a home where mould is likely to take hold:
around leaking pipes, windows, or roofs (the constant supply of water gives mould spores the start they need)
basements or other places that have flooded and haven't been thoroughly dried
tightly sealed buildings (common with new construction), which trap excess moisture inside, and
homes with poor ventilation, numerous over-watered houseplants, and housekeeping habits that ignore obvious dampness and don't include airing the place out.
Besides presenting an ugly appearance and, sometimes, an unpleasant odor, mould can cause health problems. In the worst cases, a few types of moulds produce mycotoxins, which can cause rashes, seizures, unusual bleeding, respiratory problems, and severe fatigue in some people. Fortunately, most moulds are of the non-toxic variety.
It's always best to hire a professional mould inspector to do the mould inspection for you. Canadian Home Inspection Corporation's inspectors' experience and their knowledge of spots where mould most often hides, you can be sure that if there's any mould in your home that they will find it (Air Testing may be required).
Mould inspectors also use special equipment like moisture meters and Thermal Imagers. This allows them to find hot spots where mould is most likely growing and look into hidden areas such as behind walls. This way they can find any and all hidden mould while barely disturbing your home.