5 Myths About Mold
If you find mold in your home, it doesn’t have to turn into a disaster, but there are a few reasons that it often does. Here are a few of the reasons mold in your home becomes a major problem:
Homeowners aren’t educated about it
They don’t act fast when they spotted mold
They try to remove it themselves
They believe one or more of the following myths about mold
To learn the facts about mold -- and how to handle it in your home -- Pure Air North Carolina will attempt to dispel some of the most common mold myths.
Mold Myths Debunked
So what are those myths that can give homeowners a false sense of security about the presence of mold in their homes - or in their ability to clean it safely?
Here are a few of them.
Mold can’t make you sick.
Mold can absolutely affect humans as well as pets. Even if you do not have a mold allergy, you can be plagued with symptoms like coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, skin irritations, and headaches if enough mold is present.
If someone in your household begins showing symptoms like these with no other cause, mold may be the problem. Every type of mold can cause these symptoms.
Attempting to remove mold yourself is even more dangerous than just having it in your home. When you scrub or wipe mold, it releases spores and makes it even more likely that you will breathe them in.
Black mold is the only dangerous species.
First of all, it’s nearly impossible to accurately identify any type of mold with the naked eye.
For example, mold that looks black can actually be a thick, very dark green mold colony.
Nevertheless, all mold poses health risks and should be removed in excessive amounts. Most types of mold are dangerous, not because the spores are breathed in, regardless of the type.
With that said, black mold is actually the term assigned to several different types of mold that do indeed appear black. While these species have garnered a reputation for being more dangerous than other types of mold, but they aren’t necessarily.
Household cleaners, particularly bleach, will kill mold.
Bleach does not kill mold on contact in many cases, one being when the mold is growing on porous surfaces like wood and tile. Bleach can actually do more damage than good when it comes to cleaning most surfaces in your home because the excess moisture (from your cleaning products) soaks into porous surfaces, either weakening or discoloring it.
Bleach is deceptive as an antiseptic because it has a strong odor, which makes you feel like it is still cleaning long after its effectiveness is over. Bleach is actually only effective on contact and immediately after, and only if the surface is already cleaned.
Additionally, mold grows roots that can reach far down into the small spaces of these soft surfaces where bleach cannot reach. The only way to remove mold from deep down within these “softer” surfaces is to have them professionally cleaned.
And, of course, you can prevent mold growth in the future by reducing moisture in areas of your home where it is most common, such as the bathrooms and kitchen.
There should be absolutely no mold in my home.
While the goal should always be to control the conditions in your home to prevent mold, it’s virtually impossible to keep it out completely. There will be mold in your home.
Mold spores are microscopic, and they can enter your home in many different ways: through open doors and windows, on your clothing, and on pets’ fur. There is no way to completely prevent mold within your home.
Be aware, though, that if you see a little mold, even in the fridge, there could be a lot more hidden nearby. You can perform a do-it-yourself mold test to get an idea of whether or not you have a mold problem, but you’ll need to have professional testing done to be completely sure mold levels within your home are within reason.
Your best tool for mold detection, however, is your sense of smell. Mold carries a musty odor and is easily detectible, so if there’s a nagging odor within your home, you should probably skip straight to professional testing.
Then, if you need their mold remediation services, you’ll have the benefit of forming a relationship with your mold specialist during testing.
You can completely remove mold from your home.
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to remove mold completely from your home. In fact, one of the main problems with homes built recently is that they are too airtight, so they don’t have the ability to naturally release moisture without the help of a dehumidifying system.
These new homes trap moisture during the building process because the basement or foundation is not completely dried out before the rest of the construction begins.
As we mentioned earlier, mold spores are constantly entering your home. As much as you try to keep your home mold-free, you will be fighting a losing battle.
The Truth About Mold
You’ve taken the first step to fighting mold: educating yourself.
Now that you are clear about some of the most common mold misconceptions, you have the knowledge to act quickly when you spot it in your home. Acting fast doesn’t necessarily mean grabbing a scrubbing brush and a bottle of bleach. Unless you’ve spotted mold on the tub or other nonporous surface, this isn’t going to be an effective strategy anyway.
Now you know that the best strategy for cleaning mold off porous surfaces is to enlist the help of a professional.
Mold feeds on organic materials including dead skin cells and paper. It can grow rampantly in carpet, within tile and grout, and under molding. These are not easy places to remove mold from and are definitely situations where a professional’s help is required.