25 Mold Damage Myths Exposed
25 Mold Damage Myths Exposed Ft Lauderdale FL
Whether from flooding or burst pipes, when water damage occurs one thing is certain…mold will almost certainly follow. I’ve been through it a number of times in different homes that I’ve lived in over the years.
There are many popular myths about mold damage, but don’t let them confuse you. While mold can certainly be a cause for concern, you can keep your home safe by separating the facts from fiction.
Let’s take a look at 25 myths related to mold damage… for more mold facts, go here
Myth 1: Mold Testing is Critical
Though many experts recommend testing for mold, it isn’t necessarily crucial. In fact, testing will let you know the amount and type of mold but none of that information has any effect on treatment options so knowing this information doesn’t really make a difference. https://www.niehs.nih.gov
Myth 2: If It’s Black, It’s Deadly
Despite the panic over “black mold”, color alone doesn’t determine toxicity. There are thousands of types of mold, in a variety of colors, and any of them can be a health hazard provided they produce mycotoxins. Not all black mold produces these toxins, so being black doesn’t automatically make it dangerous.
Myth 3: You Must Clean Mold With Bleach
Surprisingly, it is not always necessary to clean mold with bleach. In most cases, soap and water is perfectly effective at removing mold from hard surfaces and it is also much safer, as fumes from bleach can be harmful to the lungs. It’s only really necessary to use bleach in situations that involve sewage.
Myth 4: If There’s No Smell, There’s No Mold
This may be the biggest myth of all. Most people assume that since mold has a distinctive smell you can identify a mold issue by simply using your nose. In fact, mold can be present even without that musty smell, so if you suspect a mold issue you should perform a thorough inspection.
Myth 5: Mold-Killing Products Are The Solution
There are a number of products on the market today, from chemical cleaners to paints to air filters, but even these options can’t guarantee a solution. Mold thrives on moisture, so the only way to completely eradicate a mold problem is to eliminate all moisture sources.
Myth 6: Mold Is A New Threat
With all of the recent furor over black mold and its potential health risks, the assumption might be that it’s a new problem…but that’s far from true. Mold is actually one of the earliest life forms and has existed for thousands of years.
Myth 7: Mold Has Many Health Dangers
While there are certain dangers associated with mold, particularly to individuals with respiratory disorders like asthma, when it comes to otherwise healthy individuals the reality is a little more blurred. A 2004 study by the National Institute of Medicine on the effects of mold exposure showed that many of the assumptions about health issues caused by mold have been widely exaggerated. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK215639/#ddd00189
Myth 8: Mold Cannot Be Caused By The Homeowner
Yes, mold exists naturally, it’s all around us every day, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t occasionally give it a helping hand. Mold growth can be caused or worsened by poor ventilation, which creates warm, humid enclosed spaces that are ideal breeding grounds for mold.
Myth 9: Insurance Never Covers Mold
This is not entirely true. While most property insurance policies don’t cover mold or mold remediation, if you are sued because of water damage that includes mold, the liability section of your homeowner’s policy will likely cover the claim.
Myth 10: You Can Handle Mold Infestations Yourself
While it is certainly possible to stay ahead of routine mold issues with regular cleaning, more serious issues require professional mold remediation to be treated properly. The professionals have the experience and equipment necessary to handle mold issues, so it makes sense to let them do the job.
Myth 11: You Should Demolish Walls Until You Can’t Find Any More Mold
While it is important to rid your home of all traces of mold, that doesn’t mean you should start tearing down walls. Not only is that expensive, it can actually make the problem worse by releasing more mold spores into the air. On the contrary, if mold is inside the walls it isn’t likely to be posing a health threat, so better to leave the walls intact.
Myth 12: Mold Cannot Be Managed
A common misconception is that it is not possible to stay one step ahead of mold. While more serious infections will require professional remediation, smaller issues can be handled with simple DIY steps and regular cleaning will keep you ahead of the game where mold is concerned.
Myth 13: Mold Has No Benefits
While some types of mold can be hazardous, not all mold is bad. In fact, some types of mold can even be beneficial, helping to decompose fallen leaves and dead trees, used to make cheese such as Blue Cheese, Brie and Gorgonzola and in the production of antibiotics such as Penicillin.
Myth 14: Ideally A Home Should Have No Mold
Mold spores exist everywhere, inside and out, including the air you breathe, so it isn’t possible to completely eliminate them. Focus instead on preventing mold buildup by ensuring proper ventilation and removing excess moisture.
Myth 15: A Small Amount of Mold Is Nothing To Worry About
On the contrary, even a small amount of mold can be a warning sign. If it is not addressed properly it can easily spread within 24 to 48 hours and become a much bigger and more costly problem. As such it is important to address any mold, no matter how small the amount.
Myth 16: Once Mold Is Removed It Won’t Come Back
No matter how thoroughly mold is removed, if the underlying water issue isn’t addressed, mold can and will grow again. The only way to completely prevent a repeat performance is by thoroughly drying out the infected area.
Myth 17: Mold Only Occurs After A Water Leak
While broken pipes, flooding and other water leaks can certainly result in a mold infestation, it is not the only way for mold to grow. Mold requires a warm, dark and humid environment, which can be the result of poor ventilation rather than a leak.
Myth 18: Mold Only Grows In Wet Or Moist Environments
Though mold needs initial moisture to start growing, it can grow even after its immediate surroundings are dried out because it can pull moisture out of the air. It will completely die out only in the air that has less than 4% relative humidity, which can only be achieved with absorbing or drying agents.
Myth 19: All Cleaning Services Are Equipped to Handle Mold
In order to properly remove mold from any infected areas, a company must comply with the EPA’s “Mold Remediation In Buildings” guidelines. Any service you use should always be staying on top of the industry standards and taking proper safety precautions.
Myth 20: Vinegar Will Not Kill Mold
Actually, white vinegar is a mild acid and can be more effective against mold than bleach, killing up to 82 percent of all mold species. While it can’t treat a serious mold infection, for regular cleaning or spot cleaning in trouble areas, you can remove mold by applying white vinegar and letting it sit for at least an hour before wiping it away.
Myth 21: You Can Solve Your Mold Problem By Painting Over It
Many homeowners assume that if they simply paint over mold the mold will die, but this is far from the truth. In fact, mold can actually eat through paint. To solve your mold problem you have to address the underlying moisture issue before applying a new coat of paint.
Myth 22: Mold That Has Been Killed Can’t Affect Your Health
When mold is treated it isn’t really killed, it simply goes dormant, but that doesn’t mean it can’t still pose a threat. Before becoming completely dormant, it still releases spores into the air and if the underlying ventilation and moisture issues aren’t treated, it can reappear, so it can still affect your health.
Myth 23: Mold Is The Only Problem Associated With Water Damage
Though water damage can obviously lead to mold issues, water can actually cause a wide range of problems including both cosmetic and structural damage, and can also promote bacterial and viral growth. That’s why it is so important to clean up quickly and thoroughly whenever water damage occurs.
Myth 24: Cleaning The Mold You See Solves The Problem
Mold spreads quickly and can penetrate beneath the surface, so simply cleaning the mold you see will not completely address the problem. Mold remediation specialists are trained to get to the source by treating the moisture problem that is feeding the mold.
Myth 25: Only Old Homes Get Mold
While older homes are certainly vulnerable, even brand new construction can harbor mold if there are moisture issues such as high humidity, gaps that can allow leaks and poor drainage. Also, the energy-efficient heating and air conditioning systems in newer homes have less air exchange and circulation, which can lead to moisture retention.
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