Mold is a common problem that homeowners all over the country deal with. Not only does it affect the look of your home, but it can also cause health problems. However, despite all the readily available information, there are still a lot of misconceptions regarding mold. From people that suggest you use bleach to remove the infestation to others that recommend you replace your walls entirely, seeking solutions to your mold issues online can be confusing.
That’s why we’ve decided to debunk some of the most widespread myths about mold to help people understand what they should do in case of an infestation.
Myth 1: There Is No Mold in My House
Truth: Believe it or not, mold spores are present in every environment. As a result, it is impossible to eliminate mold completely. But that is not always a concern, as a low concentration of mold won’t trigger mold exposure symptoms. Since complete mold removal is not feasible, if you do notice mold growth in your home, it’s best to hire a mold remediation company for an inspection.
Myth 2: I Can Get Rid of Mold Myself
Truth: Experts consider mold problems restricted to less than 10 square feet as being level one infections. Those can be handled by homeowners. However, anything more than that will require the help of a mold remediation company. That’s because such companies have the necessary equipment and knowledge to handle mold without contaminating other areas. Additionally, exposing yourself to mold is dangerous and can impact your health.
Myth 3: I Can Kill Mold Using Bleach
Truth: Although bleach can be effective against mold on nonporous surfaces, it can’t penetrate porous surfaces for complete mold removal. In fact, bleach has the potential to promote mold growth, particularly if the source of moisture is still active. And worse of all, bleach can damage your furniture and walls, so using it is usually discouraged.
Myth 4: There’s No Need to Worry About Small Patches of Mold
Truth: Unfortunately, mold can spread quickly. It’s also hard to determine the extent of an infestation by its visible size. When mold grows behind walls and around ventilation systems, you may only be able to see a small portion of it. Thus, you shouldn’t wait until you find noticeable amounts of mold, as even small patches could point to a severe infestation.
Myth 5: Mold Exposure Isn’t That Serious
Truth: Even though not everyone is affected by mold, continuous exposure to it can cause a variety of illnesses. That is especially true for those who are already dealing with respiratory issues. Some of the most common symptoms of mold exposure include headaches, watery eyes, congestion, memory loss, coughing, and dizziness.
Myth 6: Mold has no benefit
Truth: While mold can affect your health due to long-term exposure, some molds can also be beneficial. The mold found in natural environments helps decompose organic material, allowing other organisms to grow. Certain molds, such as Aspergillus flavus, are used in the production of cheese. Some molds are used in medicine, as well. For example, the Penicillium mold was instrumental in developing Penicillin, the first antibiotic to be discovered. However, immunocompromised individuals exposed to high levels of various types of molds may develop health-related effects.
Myth 7: Every type of mold is dangerous
Truth: Generally, inhaling mold spores may cause allergic reactions and increase the risk of respiratory problems in highly sensitive people or people who have underlying conditions. Some molds produce poisonous substances called mycotoxins. Mycotoxins are toxic compounds capable of making people sick. However, not all molds are dangerous to health. There are certain types of molds used in making food and medicine. Molds like Geotrichum and Penicillium Roqueforti are used in the production and treatment of cheese. Others like Aspergillus Sojae and Penicillium Chrysogenum are used in meat and soy sauce production.
Myth 8: Molds always have a musty smell
Molds can sometimes be hard to see and so smelling is a great way to detect them. Moldy odors are produced by microbial volatile organic compounds (mVOCs), usually very concentrated and unpleasant.
But molds may not always smell. Therefore, it is not advisable to depend on smell alone when looking for molds in your home. Inspect with both your eyes and your nose. Look out for unsightly fuzzy discolorations as much as you follow your nose to the source of any offensive smell.