Mold removal is something most of us may encounter at one point in our lives. But most people aren’t aware of how to remove mold properly and safely, especially given the abundance of myths surrounding mold removal.
In this article, we’ve gathered some of the most common mold removal myths to bust them. You’ll learn why these myths aren’t true, and how to remove mold the right way instead. You have the tools; now’s the time to use them to improve your health and safety.
Warm and damp environments are the breeding ground for mold spores. A warm place ensures the mold can multiply without having to worry about surviving colder temperatures and harsher conditions. Dampness aids in growth as well, as water provides energy to the multiplying cells. Access to sunlight doesn’t matter as much as these 2 factors, especially given most damp spaces don’t see much light—and therefore much heat—in the first place.
You can often find mold in basements, attics, barns, older buildings, and even in piles of leaves or cut grass. Mold can flourish in one area and move to another a distance away if the spores are able to move through the air. Keep this in mind as you clean, so that you can keep mold and mold spores away from your living space.
Mold can certainly affect your health in a variety of ways. There are different types of mold, each with their unique reactions. Most symptoms act like an allergy attack, where your nose might run, your eyes may itch, and you may have trouble breathing. Respiratory irritation is very common. The irritation can result in coughing, wheezing, and even increased or onset of asthma symptoms.
How many of these myths did you believe were true? Read on to find out how you can properly remove mold after busting these mold myths.
The fact of the matter is that mold grows as quickly as it can to spread as far as it can. After all, that’s the modus operandi of most biological life forms, mold included. With that said, mold can show up anywhere from 24-48 hours after a material is exposed to water. This is, of course, barring the act of mitigating the dampness so as to prevent mold growth.
“Removing mold is like removing a weed,” in that “you have to get down to those roots.” Since mold grows in dark and damp spaces, you’ll want to keep an eye on these areas for potential mold growth. You may check a spot one day and a week later find mold growth; this could also happen from one day to the next. The best plan of action is to remove dampness from your home or business as much as possible to give mold no environment in which to thrive.
It’s often thought that allowing air to flow in and around a space will ward off mold growth. However, while air flow will decrease the chances of mold growing in that area, it does nothing if the mold is already present.
For instance, if your basement floods, you should remove the water damage and attempt to dry out the area quickly. If mold has already formed, continuing to air out the space will not do anything. The mold must be eradicated intentionally, oftentimes by a professional mold removal company.
By the same token, dried-out mold isn’t necessarily dead mold. In fact, “dry mold doesn’t die; it becomes dormant.” Even this dormant mold can cause allergic reactions, as the spores are still active in trying to spread the reach of the colony. Relieving yourself of the reaction to the mold requires full removal of the spores, both what you see and what lies beneath the surface.
Many people consider bleach to be the harshest cleaning chemical, so it makes sense they would use it to kill mold wherever it occurs visibly. However, you should know that while bleach is a biocide, or a chemical substance “that can destroy living organisms,” the bleach itself may only exacerbate your allergic reaction to the mold.
Bleach must be used in a well-ventilated area and in small doses. By adding another volatile chemical to the mix, besides the mold spores, you’re introducing even more respiratory problems into the mix. Add to that the fact that bleach only kills mold that’s visible, and you’re really not addressing the issue at the root cause. “A background level of mold will remain” even after you bleach the area.
This is why the EPA recommends you do not use bleach to get rid of mold. While bleach can be used in the cleaning process, it shouldn’t be the only method of removing mold.
Much like with spraying bleach on visible mold spores, wiping away the mold will not cure the overall problem. Mold typically starts somewhere warm and damp. You’ll have to follow the trail of mold spores to find out where the source is. This is the best way to begin your mold cleaning process; start where the mold began and work outwards from there.
Now that you know how to address mold properly and safely, you should be able to mitigate its effects and prevent any further mold from occurring.
Mold remediation can be tedious and drawn-out at times, but Mold Zero is there to guide you through the process with friendly expertise. You can always call us at 626-671-8885 if you have any problems—we’re happy to help! We hope you’ve found these mold removal myths—and their factual counterparts—to be enlightening. The next time you encounter mold, you’ll be ready to tackle it head-on.