Myth #1: Only messy or filthy houses have mold problems.
Mold spores are so minuscule that more than 250,000 can fit on the head of a pin. Millions of these spores travel through the air everyday and can enter almost any environment in seconds.
Mold spores tend to congregate in moisture-rich environments. Moisture from water damage such as floods and leaks can get inside ceilings, walls, carpets and other household staples. This means that even the cleanest house on the block can be a breeding ground for toxic mold.
Myth #2: There is only one type of black mold, and it’s very bad.
In actuality, there are a lot of molds that look black. The type of black mold that made the news years ago, associated with a lot of ill health effects, was called Stachybotrys. However, there are many other molds that look black, and are fairly common and generally not of concern.
Myth #3: Only black molds are bad. Other types shouldn”t be worried about.
A lot of people aren”t even aware that mold can be white, or orange, or blue, for instance. The shape, size and color of mold are dependent upon the species of mold, the nutrient source and the conditions under which it formed. The color has absolutely no bearing on whether it is dangerous or not. There are some white molds that grow on walls and other surfaces that can be just as bad as some harmful black molds.
Myth #4: Bleach removes mold.
Bleach is generally not recommended as a fungicide (mold killer). It works by dousing the mold in toxic levels of a chemical. The problem is twofold: not only are humans just as susceptible to bleach”s damaging properties, but the bleach is generally a water-based solution. In the long run, this often means that water penetrates the surface, giving moisture to the roots of the mold, which happily begins to grow again. In the case of small patches of mold, ordinary household detergent will suffice. It is important to make sure that the area dries quickly (ideally within 24-48 hours) so that any small bits (too small to see with the naked eye) of mold left over don”t get the chance to start growing again.
However, just removing the mold without fixing the water problem will usually result in the mold coming back. Also, mold can grow behind walls in addition to just on them, so it is important to determine whether you”ve only dealt with a portion of the mold, or the whole thing.
Myth #5: I can just paint over the mold to seal it up.
Actually, mold can eat the paint. Many people attempt to paint over mold only to discover that in a few months the mold has either poked its way through the paint, or the paint has started peeling off. The mold really has to be removed before painting can be done, even if you”re using “mold-resistant” paint.
Myth #6: Mold and mildew are totally different things.
Mildew is mold. It”s a word that is used generally to refer to a few specific types of molds, but it”s still all mold.
Myth #7: Once a house has been treated for mold contamination, it is impossible to maintain its value.
The difference between a home that loses value because of mold contamination and one that doesn”t depends on the remediation approach.
Mold spores are airborne particles. While they may congregate on moist surfaces, the particles in the air remain there if they”re not treated. Any remediation approach that fails to decontaminate an entire structure simply fails altogether. If an effective and conclusive remediation plan is implemented, as well as proper moisture maintenance is employed post-remediation, you – and everyone else concerned – can breath easy because your home’s indoor air quality is clean and free of toxic mold.