Mold is a common type of fungus that tends to grow where moisture levels are high and fresh air flow is reduced. Common indoor areas where moisture tends to be high and airflow is often restricted include attics, bathrooms, basements, closets, etc.
Even though molds share similar characteristics, there are many different kinds of mold in the world. Some are harmless, while others can have significant negative effects on our health. Mold can easily become airborne and thus be inhaled without us even realizing it.
The internet is full of myths, half-truths, and misinformation regarding mold. We’re here to bring some clarity on what’s actually true and what’s not. Let’s come together and bust some myths about mold while also clarifying when and why you need mold inspection and testing.
Myth 1: All Mold Is Harmful
One of the most common myths you will read about online is that all kinds of mold are harmful to your health. That’s simply not true. As already mentioned, there are many different types of mold in the world, and a lot of them are commonly seen inside people’s homes. The most typical ones include the following: Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Cladosporium, which are not particularly harmful to humans. However, Stachybotrys chartarum (called black mold) is considered to be dangerous.
Being exposed to mold for a prolonged period of time can lead to allergies and other health issues such as throat infection, coughing, sneezing, a stuffy nose, and more. People that are already allergic will be even more sensitive to mold exposure, and it’s known that mold exposure can cause respiratory issues, even in otherwise completely healthy individuals. Always contact a mold removal specialist to deal with any mold in your home, especially if you know that you or a family member is already allergic or has respiratory issues such as asthma.
Myth 2: Removing Mold Is a DIY Task
Most articles on mold removal will have you believe you can resolve the issue on your own by mixing a few ingredients that are around your home. However, do you really think that mold removal is a simple task that everyone should do on their own? If the answer is yes, then allow us to convince you otherwise.
When it comes to removing mold, it’s not always advisable to do it on your own, especially if it’s not just one stain on one wall but a widespread issue that is taking over one or more areas of your home. One of the reasons you want to avoid removing mold on your own is the possibility of it being toxic. You may end up putting yourself in danger, and along with that, the kind of DIY cleaning agents that you’re using might end up not being effective enough or might break down the surface and thus lead to even more mold production.
On the other hand, if you hire a professional mold removal company, they will do the needed mold inspection and testing, figure out how the mold will have to be removed and have the entire process done in the safest way possible. That way, you avoid putting yourself at risk, get rid of the mold quickly, and don’t have to worry about it.
Myth 3: Mold Is Natural and Should Be Ignored
Mold is natural; however, that doesn’t mean that it should be ignored and left to grow. There are quite a lot of people who don’t consider mold removal as an essential task that has to be done as soon as possible. But the reality is that the more you leave mold to grow, the higher the chances of it becoming potentially harmful.
As part of its reproduction, mold releases spores in the air that we then inhale. Exposure to those spores over a prolonged period of time can lead to some health issues. Along with that, some particular types of mold (such as black mold) can be dangerous. The tricky thing is that even though it’s called black mold, that type of mold can be found in other colors, such as brown, yellow, white, and green. The only way to figure out whether the mold in your home is toxic or not is to have a mold removal company come and inspect it. Regardless, you should never leave mold to grow in your house – as soon as you can, call up an expert and have the issue removed. Otherwise, you’re risking it becoming an even bigger problem in the future.
Myth 4: Bleach Powder Can Remove All Mold
Bleach powder, a common household cleaning agent, also happens to be one of the most recommended agents for destroying mold. Both oxygen and chlorine bleach are used in the removal of mold; however, stating that all mold can be dealt with just by using bleach powder is incorrect.
Bleach powder is useful for the removal of mold on non-porous surfaces, yet there’s no evidence that it can kill all types of mold. For example, if you use bleach on wood (a porous material), that can lead to an even bigger issue as bleach is a corrosive material and may ruin the surface you apply it to. It’s also key to note that the bleach found in most homes is not nearly strong enough to penetrate the roots of a mold colony and completely destroy it.
Some mold removal experts do use bleach powder as a cleaning agent. However, they do so cautiously and use the right proportions depending on the type of mold and the surface it’s growing on. By using bleach on your own, you will either end up worsening the situation, clearing the mold (but only for a short period of time), or just not getting any results.
Myth 5: If the Mold Is Not Visible, It’s Safe
It’s quite obvious that no one wants to have mold growing in their home. However, if you live in a humid area or there was a recent increase of moisture inside your home (for example, due to a roof leak, or flood), then the chance of mold growth is something you have to be aware of. Not all mold is easily visible to the naked human eye; just because you don’t see it, doesn’t always mean it’s not there.
Luckily for all of us, there are multiple warning signs that there may be mold growing in your home. One of the most distinguishable ones is the presence of an earthy or musty odor. Mold typically emits an earthy, musty kind of smell, and it can easily be noted when entering an affected room. Other visible signs of mold are changes of color in walls, wallpaper, kitchen slabs, etc. – especially if moisture is also evident in those places. Yet another clue that there’s mold in your home is if someone in your home gets an infection for an unknown reason – it may turn out to be due to the mold in your home.
When Is Mold Inspection and Testing Required?
It’s clear that if there’s persistent mold growing in your home, the services of a mold removal company are required. As mentioned before, it’s better to hire professionals once and leave the issue behind than to try fixing it on your own and end up wasting both time and money.
When do you need to test for mold, and when is that kind of inspection required? Well, our recommendation would be to look for such services if
- You smell an earthy or musty odor in your home.
- Your house has recently been flooded or has gathered a lot of moisture.
- You have already seen mold growing in one area of your home.
- You or a family member have experienced mold-related health issues such as sinus infections, sore throat, respiratory issues, rashes or hives, and even chronic fatigue.
- You or a family member has recently been diagnosed with asthma or a severe allergy.
- You suspect mold is growing in your home but you can’t see or find it.
Doing mold testing on your own is something you should avoid. Instead, call up a professional and have him do all the required testing. It’s an interesting fact that most mold testers are actually engineers, and they’ve gone through training to ensure the most accurate results. Once you get back the results from the test, you will know what type of mold is growing in your home, how it can be removed, and whether its presence may cause health-related issues. That information can also be particularly important to help your physician formulate the best treatment plan if the mold is causing you health issues.
Hopefully, we busted some of the most common mold myths for you. Mold is not to be underestimated as an issue, but ultimately it can be quickly dealt with by a professional team. If you have any suspicions about mold in your home or if you want to know whether it’s causing you health issues, then having mold inspection and testing done is a great idea. That way, you will know for sure if mold is causing your health problems, and you will have information to help your physician determine what the best possible treatment might be.