mold myths

Top 9 Myths About Mold Debunked

Mold Restoration

Mold is one of the most common problems that homeowners face. It can develop quickly based on time and temperature and may grow as fast as 24 to 48 hours within the home when water or moisture is present. Despite everything that is known about mold, there are still a lot of mold myths circulating.

Once you bust the myths, you will have a better understanding of mold and its impact on your health and home. We’ve put together a list of nine common mold myths and the truth behind them. Use this information to your benefit when you encounter a mold problem.

10 Mold Myths Debunked

Mold Myth 1: Mold has no benefits

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. In fact, Roquefort, Stilton, Gorgonzola, and Camembert are just a few examples of cheeses that rely on mold for their distinct flavors and textures.

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.

Mold Myth 2: Repeated mold exposure won’t make me sick

Truth: Although not everyone is affected when exposed to mold, all molds can cause health-related illness or distress, especially among people who already have respiratory issues. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 15% of the population is sensitive to mold exposure.

Common symptoms associated with mold exposure include coughing, watery eyes, congestion, headaches, and even memory loss and dizziness. Researchers at Rutgers University have recently discovered that mold exposure can lead to Parkinson’s disease-like symptoms.

Mold Myth 3: There should be no mold in my home

Truth: The truth is that mold spores are present everywhere, including within the built environment and the outdoors. The air you are breathing contains mold spores, and completely eliminating it is almost impossible.

In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that there is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in an indoor environment. Common reactions are related to the unusually high concentrations of mold in your home.

Greater amounts of mold can pose health risks and cause significant damage to your home if you do not take care of unwanted and high levels of moisture that can lead to mold infestation.

Mold Myth 4: Mold is always visible

Truth: Many people think that just because they can’t see it, it’s not there. Seeing isn’t believing when it comes to mold, as not all types of mold are visible. In fact, mold can grow behind wallpaper, under carpets, and inside walls and ceilings. Therefore, it’s best to rely on smell to detect mold. If you smell a musty odor, it can indicate moisture and mold likely being present.

Mold Myth 5: You can identify the species of mold that’s growing in your home

Truth: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that there are anywhere from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of mold and fungi species — far too many to identify.

However, some of the most common homes are Cladosporium, Penicillium, Alternaria, and Aspergillus. Stachybotrys chartarum, often referred to as “black mold,” is a greenish-black mold that can grow on materials with a high cellulose content, such as fiberboard, gypsum board, and paper.

Mold Myth 6: Using bleach is a good way to kill mold

Truth: Many people use bleach as a mold removal solution in their homes. However, they are unaware that bleach does not kill mold or mold spores. It only bleaches it. According to the EPA, bleach is not recommended for mold cleanup as it can cause the mold to release spores and spread further.

Eventually, you see the mold return in areas where moisture is present or where high humidity is common, such as in showers in the bathroom. Cleaning and maintaining surfaces using a mix of household detergent and water can be effective in stopping mold from becoming an issue. Also, exhaust fans in bathrooms can keep humidity low and is an effective way to limit growth.

Mold Myth 7: You shouldn’t worry about a small spot of mold

Truth: In reality, a mold problem can become a bigger issue if the moisture problem is not addressed. What’s more, mold can spread to any organic surface, as well as to the heating and ventilation system in your home. This can result in widespread damage and costly repairs. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average cost of mold remediation is $2,325.

Mold Myth 8: You can clean up mold infestations yourself

Truth: Even infected areas smaller than 10 square feet may require professional mold removal services. In fact, efforts in removing mold may accelerate mold growth if not properly contained and remediated.

Well-trained certified mold remediation professionals have specialized equipment and know the necessary techniques to get rid of mold much more efficiently. The EPA recommends hiring a professional mold remediation company for areas larger than 10 square feet.

Mold Myth 9: Once the mold is gone, it won’t come back

Truth: Unfortunately, mold can come back if the underlying moisture problem is not addressed. Mold thrives in damp, humid environments, so even if you successfully remove the visible mold, it can regrow if the conditions that allowed it to grow in the first place are not remedied. According to the CDC, fixing leaks, drying damp materials, and controlling humidity levels are crucial steps in preventing mold growth.

To prevent mold from returning, it’s crucial to identify and fix any sources of moisture, such as leaks, condensation, or high humidity levels. This may involve repairing plumbing issues, improving ventilation, using dehumidifiers, and ensuring proper drainage around the foundation of your home. The EPA recommends keeping indoor humidity levels between 30-50% to prevent mold growth.

Additionally, it’s important to keep your home clean and dry. Regularly cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, especially in moisture-prone areas like bathrooms and kitchens, can help prevent mold growth. Promptly drying any water spills or leaks is also essential. According to the CDC, wet materials should be dried within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.

Mold Myth 10: Mold only grows in old, dirty homes

Truth: Mold can grow in any home, regardless of its age or cleanliness. While older homes may be more prone to mold growth due to aging materials and outdated ventilation systems, new homes can also experience mold issues. In fact, new construction homes can be particularly susceptible to mold growth due to the high moisture content in building materials, such as lumber and drywall.

For mold removal services, contact PuroClean today!

As you can see, mold is a serious, often misunderstood problem that can grow even more problematic while these mold myths are believed. That’s why PuroClean franchisees follow the IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification) standards for professional mold remediation and eliminate mold using the latest, most effective techniques.

The IICRC is a globally recognized organization that sets the standards for the cleaning and restoration industries. By adhering to these rigorous standards, PuroClean ensures that their mold remediation services are thorough, safe, and effective. PuroClean’s certified technicians have the expertise and equipment to handle mold issues of any size, from small residential projects to large commercial properties.

For more information about PuroClean’s mold remediation services or to schedule an appointment, contact your local PuroClean office today. With hundreds of franchises across the United States and Canada, there’s sure to be a PuroClean near you ready to help with all your mold remediation needs.

Last edited on 31st of May 2024