When you buy a home, nobody hands you an owner’s manual that tells you how to deal with every situation that might come up. Mold is one of those things people often don’t think about until they realize it may be a problem. And when homeowners do suspect that residential mold is an issue, they often take the wrong action due to a number a mold-related myths. Here are three of the most common:
1. Mold can only grow in really humid conditions
Mold removal specialists will always tell you that mold needs a moist, humid environment in order to grow. This is, of course, absolutely correct. Mold thrives on moisture and humidity, and the higher the humidity levels in your home, the higher your chances of a full-scale mold invasion. But taking measures to control humidity levels in your home does not mean that existing mold will die out. When mold has already established a presence, it can survive (and even spread) in lower levels of humidity.
In other words, humidity control is an extremely effective way to prevent mold from growing. But it is not an effective way to eradicate existing colonies.
2. You can eradicate mold on your own with bleach
Bother with a professional mold removal specialist when you can simply eradicate mold on your own using ordinary household bleach? This is a question many homeowners ask themselves at one time or another. But there are several reasons to think twice before reaching for the Clorox. First off, in many cases bleach does not actually kill mold spores, but simply damages them. After a period of recovery, they bounce back in full force. Second, bleach is inherently dangerous and should always be handled with extreme care. Third, even if bleach is somewhat effective at slowing down mold infestations, you can only attack mold on the surface, where you can see it. Mold problems almost always involve a hidden element. Mold that can be seen with the naked eye is almost never the whole story. Attaching visible mold with bleach is therefore a temporary and incomplete solution.
3. Once mold has been cleaned up, it won’t come back
There are quite a few homeowners out there who call in specialists to deal with a household mold problem. Once the remediation work is completed, they assume the problem is solved for good. This is a big mistake. Any reputable professional will tell you that mold can (and will) return if solid prevention measures are not discussed and put into practice. Professional mold remediation is a highly effective way to eradicate existing mold colonies, but unless the underlying factors that led to the problem are addressed, there will be nothing to stop it from happening again.
Being realistic about mold
It’s understandable that people want to think about this pesky problem as little as possible. After all, owning and maintaining a home already comes with so many expenses and things to learn. But mold-related myths are more harmful than they appear to be. They prevent homeowners from taking proper action to protect their property and their families, which can have serious effects on physical and financial health. By eradicating these myths, we can all do a better job at eradicating harmful mold in our homes.