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Signs of Mold: What to Look For When Buying a Home in Toronto

Posted in Mold, on April 16, 2021

In the GTA’s hot real estate marking, making time for a mold inspection in Toronto before you sign the paperwork can be tricky. Buying a home is the single largest purchase of our lives, and it can feel fraught with risk — nobody wants to discover mold growth, radon gas or asbestos after they move in. While you may have to wait to begin mold testing in Toronto, keeping the signs of mold growth in mind when visiting open houses and showings can help you spot warning signs and symptoms that may indicate costly problems. 

At SafeAir, over a decade in the indoor air quality business has taught us a thing or two about the common signs of mold growth, and we’ve collected four to share with you today. 

What to Look For When Purchasing a Home:

Weird Smells

One of the most obvious signs of mold growth is a distinctive musty odour. Mold grows in damp, humid environments, which can help smells linger and intensify mould growth’s unique scent. Akin to the smell of leaves rotting, this smell might linger in rooms or spaces nearby, above, or underneath the affected area. Once your nose recognizes it, the smell of mold is easy to spot and can indicate an infestation even when it’s growing out of sight.

Breathing Difficulty

The primary effects of mold growth are on your respiratory system, and so one of the first signs of mold infestation can be breathing difficulties. If you enter a home and notice that your breathing has become laboured, restricted, or difficult, this may indicate mold growth. If you have asthma or other long-term respiratory issues, you’ll see an effect even sooner — mold is a known irritant and can increase the intensity or frequency of attacks.

Adequate Air Circulation

Homes with inadequate ventilation offer suffer from mold growth. Airflow helps moisture dry up and keeps fresh oxygen moving throughout your home, helping prevent mold growth and slow down or impede its development.. Do the bathrooms or kitchen have vents? Checking where these vents lead can give you valuable clues to a house’s risk of mold growth. Vents should always be directed to the outdoors and never into attics or interior rooms.

Moisture in Basement

It’s no secret that many mold inspections in Toronto begin in the basement — it’s one of the rooms most affected by mold, in part because there are moisture risks like humidity and flooding as well as poor air circulation. You can often sense moisture-rich basements by their damp, cool temperatures and physical signs like peeling or bumpy drywall and damaged baseboards. 

How to Test For Mold

A pre-purchase home inspection is an excellent time to book mold testing in Toronto — we’re happy to work alongside your home inspector to assess the potential for mold growth and root out any moisture or air circulation issues.

Mold testing is a non-invasive procedure that is safe to do with people or pets present. At SafeAir, we generally start with a visual inspection inside and outside of the house. This approach gives us a good understanding of areas at risk that we need to pay attention to. Our professional tools and instruments can take moisture readings, and air samples can provide a snapshot of any mold spores, VOCs, or other pollutants present in the indoor air environment. 

Even if you’re unable to have a pre-purchase inspection, mold testing before or after you move in can be done with minimal disruption to your daily life. A positive mold test is scary, but it doesn’t spell disaster — there are a lot of simple ways to improve your air circulation and humidity that go a long way in preventing mold growth. 


Are you moving or looking for a new home? A SafeAir technician would be happy to explain the ins and outs of mold inspection in Toronto and provide you with valuable information to make your purchase a stress-free decision.

We’re available by phone at 416- 414-5690 or request a free consultation online


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