Depending on who you talk to, household mold can be anything from a benign substance you can completely ignore to a super-toxin capable of causing grave harm in microscopic quantities. As with most things, the truth is typically somewhere in the middle. We help you find it below by exposing some common myths about mold as being exactly that.
Myth 1 – Your house can and should be completely free of mold.
False on both counts. Mold spores are part of the natural environment, and are all around us both when we are inside and outside. It would be virtually impossible (and totally unnecessary for most people) to remove every last mold spore from your home. Mold is only an issue when its concentration reaches unhealthy levels, typically as large, visible colonies.
Myth 2 – Mold is harmless.
While you can’t completely remove mold from your home, allowing it to grow unchecked is not a good options either. The health effects of mold are still unclear, and depend a great deal on the person, their immune system, and the amount of exposure. But there’s absolutely no question that mold can and will damage your personal belongings if allowed to grow on them.
Myth 3 – “Black mold” and “toxic mold” are very dangerous.
This is mostly untrue. First, most molds called “black” are really very dark green, and are not the Stachybotrys mold that can be associated with health effects. Second, “toxic mold” is a misnomer often used by the media. Only some mold spores produce toxins and only under certain circumstances. And even if they are producing toxins, it’s unlikely that most people could inhale enough mold in their office or home to get a “toxic” dose.
Myth 4 – Once you’ve killed mold, the removal is optional.
False. The allergens in mold are still present and can become airborne even when mold is dead. After you or a mold remediation specialist has killed mold in your home, it should be fully removed.
Myth 5 – Bleach kills mold.
Blanket statements like this are rarely completely true. Same here. Bleach can kill certain kinds of mold on nonporous surfaces. However, it is unclear if it kills all kinds of mold on every type of surface. In particular, its effectiveness on porous surfaces like wood is still very much in question.
Myth 6 – Mold remediation is something you can easily handle yourself.
Often not true. Mold remediation can be handled for small areas fairly easily. But for a pervasive problem, the help of a professional is highly recommended.
Myth 7 – A small amount of mold generally doesn’t indicate a problem
False. A small amount of mold, especially adjacent to an area you can’t see, can be just the tip of the iceberg. Only a certified mold inspector can tell you for sure the extent of your mold issue.
It Never Hurts to Get Expert Advice
When it comes to mold, in many cases there are enough unknowns about its type, origin, and spread that talking with a Certified Mold Inspector is your wisest and safest option. Even if they confirm the problem is small and you can handle it yourself, the added peace of mind can be priceless.