Mold isn’t always what it seems. Here are 7 common misconceptions many people have when thinking about mold.
- BLEACH: One of the most common lines of advice I’ve heard regarding mold is to clean it with bleach. Bleach might clean the surface to look nicer but is the mold really being treated? What about under the surface level? Bleach is not the best method to combat mold. Most likely it will only clean the surface giving you a false sense of security while leaving behind mold spores that aren’t visible. Mold also travels when its spores are disturbed, which is the last thing you’d want when trying to remove mold. Bleach is also a harsh chemical with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are dangerous to breathe. Overall, it’s best to not try and clean mold yourself and not bleach.
- BLACK MOLD: Only black mold is dangerous and worrisome. WRONG. There are so many types of mold in the world and black mold, while not safe, is definitely not the only dangerous mold. Any mold in the home can pose a health risk no matter its color. Common molds that are not safe like penicillium and aspergillus have colors ranging from blue and green to yellow and white respectively. Also, the mold known as ‘black mold’- stachybotrys is actually more of a dark green color and in shadows or very dense accumulations appears black.
- LEAKS: You only need to worry about mold when you find a leak. While leaks can provide the ideal atmosphere for mold growth it’s not the only leading cause. Damp areas that never have the chance to properly dry can also be perfect for mold. Think of spaces in your home like bathrooms, attics, basements, and crawl spaces.
- INSIDE: You never want mold inside your home. This sounds like it should be true but mold is a natural part of life and very common. It’s more likely you have mold spores in the air that aren’t doing anything…until they find that damp warm spot. This is why even after having mold properly cared for in a home it may still grow in other areas if you’re not proactive about keeping your home dry and at the right humidity.
- DIY: Mold is easy to clean up yourself, you definitely don’t need to call the “Big Guys.” Well, unfortunately there’s a lot of misinformation about mold and because the spores can travel unseen when disturbed many people actually create a larger mold problem by trying to do it themselves. Mold remediation companies are trained in the proper care of mold so it doesn’t travel throughout the entire home and to effectively clean and sanitize the problem areas. If mold goes untreated or ‘treated’ but not properly it can grow in nearly any surface. It’s been known to even grow on rocket fuel, YIKES! In severe cases of mold in homes or businesses entire pieces of furniture or wardrobes must be removed. For your safety and others it’s best to call the professionals.
- HEALTH: ‘A little mold isn’t bad’ or ‘It didn’t affect me before’ types of statements are misleading and dangerous. Mold has a variety of health risks that we’re only just starting to understand and these risks widely vary by person. Not only that but in some people repeated exposure can weaken their bodies and cause more severe problems later like respiratory illnesses.
- COLOR: ‘Black’ mold is always black…Nope! In fact the black mold you’re likely thinking of: Stachyborys, is usually a greenish black. Plus, mold can change colors depending on several factors. Amount of light, the material the mold is growing on, and the moisture levels present all play important factors in the color and growth of all molds. Mold also can change color with age. This is probably more commonly observed on your bread, usually it starts out with little white spots then grows larger and can turn green then dark green. Molds come in a rainbow of colors, so just because the mold you found isn’t ‘black’ doesn’t indicate it’s toxicity level.