Unfortunately, in our line of work, we come across many situations in which a client has been told a common misconception about mold and its impact on health. It is all too common for people to minimize the effects of mold. Furthermore, many think they can clean up mold themselves and pass along utterly false information on what works to neutralize mold effectively.
Combatting these common mold myths is one of the reasons we are so passionate about our work! Misinformation can spread like wildfire, and in cases of CIRS, acting on wrong information about mold can cause further deregulation of the immune system.
- Bleach Kills Mold – Oh my! Way too many people believe this one! Bleach initially may clear mold visually. The problem with bleach is that it creates more water. The chlorine in bleach evaporates and leaves behind water. Because bleach adds more moisture to the problem, it can make mold worse. If a mold inspector or remediation professional tells you to use bleach, we recommend that you do not consider using their services.
- Black Mold is the only mold that makes you sick – If we had a nickel for every time we heard this one, we’d be very rich! “Black mold,” otherwise known as Stachybotrys chartarum, is a mold that can make people quite sick, and it does not grow in nature. However, the reason Stachy makes people sick is that it releases mycotoxins. The truth is that any mold spore that releases mycotoxins can make anyone sick. This is where testing such as the ERMI/Hertsmi can be helpful, as we outlined in a previous article. Such testing gives the dwelling a score weighting the most toxic molds, allowing clients to easily compare different homes based on the ERMI/Hertsmi scale.
- Once you’ve killed the mold, removal is optional – Because it is the mycotoxins released by mold that make a person sick, this statement is false. Often when mold spores are “killed,” they release mycotoxins during the process. This makes the removal of compromised materials necessary. Furthermore, porous materials cannot be thoroughly dried out, and mold spores will burrow deep in the pores of such materials.
- You shouldn’t worry about mold unless it’s visible – Unfortunately, this is the crux of the whole issue. Mold is very much an invisible enemy. Mold grows in the presence of moisture, darkness, warmth, oxygen, and a food source, such as drywall. These elements tend to be plentiful in hidden areas such as in attics, basements, and behind drywall, stucco, and siding. Most CIRS clients are aware mold is present based on their symptoms. Our job is to find the hidden mold that has been made known because it made someone sick.
- Once it’s gone, it won’t come back. In this case, lightning can strike twice. If the root cause issue is not eradicated, mold will most likely return. The conditions needed for mold to grow (mentioned above) are what makes it possible that mold will return. Having a remediator that has gotten rid of all moldy materials and has fixed the root cause of the water intrusion is imperative in making a home safe for someone with CIRS.
Sadly, mold is a common cause of many undiagnosed illnesses. We cannot be everywhere there is a mold issue, but we try to correct the problems presented to us by thoroughly inspecting each case we encounter. With this blog, we also aim to combat misinformation and the many myths surrounding mold. If you know someone who has a mold issue or has symptoms that cannot be explained, consider sharing our content with them.
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And of course, please book your inspection today! While we are always sorry to hear of anyone who has a mold issue, we do look forward to sharing our experience, insight, and resources with you!