In today’s technological age, we are more connected than ever. We have a wealth of knowledge right at our fingertips. With that, also comes a wealth of misconceptions. There is a lot of information circulating out there, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to differentiate between fact and myth. This is an especially true phenomenon when it comes to mold. There is a great deal of mixed information out there regarding mold– some true, some not so true.
Differentiating Mold Myths From Mold Facts
If you are worried about a potential mold problem in your Cleveland Ohio property, I bet one of your first reactions will be to do a quick search on the handy dandy interwebs. If so, you will quickly find a multitude of conflicting points of view. Some articles might emphasize the extreme dangers of mold, leading to the only option of burn the house down and run for the hills. This exaggerated perception of mold can leave Cleveland homeowners vulnerable to scare tactics from unethical mold remediation companies. On the other end of the spectrum, a lot of misinformed parties might minimize the potential damages and side effects of mold. This can be equally dangerous if it leads Ohio homeowners to ignore a potential problem that can worsen with time.
There are cases of very minor mold growth that can be perfectly harmless and easy to clean with some appropriate guidance and the right products. There are also very extreme cases of mold growth that might require a full interior gut down to the framing members. Like with any problem, mold works on a spectrum– from minor and harmless to severe and hazardous. While both ends of the spectrum are possible truths, most cases of mold fall somewhere in the middle: not quite run or the hills bad, but should be taken seriously and properly dealt with, rather than casually dismissed. Cleveland homeowners need to be careful when researching about indoor mold growth. It is important to be reasonably skeptical and take the time to pick through the mold myths and mold facts.
Common Mold Myths- Mold Misconceptions Explained
- Mold Myth: Mold is harmless.
Truth: Health wise, elevated mold growth affects everyone very differently. To some, it might be harmless. To other, it might cause a variety of health issues and allergies. HOWEVER, mold is NOT harmless to your building structure. Unaddressed mold growth and the underlying moisture problem can do serious damage to your building materials, compromise your building’s structural integrity and diminish your property value.
- Mold Myth: Mold is toxic.
Truth: Some molds are toxic to some people. Mold is key part of the environment around us, and some species play very important roles in our ecosystem. Mold comes a potential issue when there is an elevated presence in your Cleveland building structure or when certain species are present indoors. Toxic mold growth refers to the mycotoxins that some mold species can potentially produce and release into the air. Depending on the individual, prolonged exposure to certain mycotoxins can lead to various allergy symptoms or not symptoms at all. Symptoms are unpredictable and vary depending on the individual’s mold sensitivity or tolerance.
- Mold Myth: I only need to worry if it is black mold.
Truth: The infamy of “black mold” is undeniable. The commonly referenced “black mold” or stachybotrys is known to produce mycotoxins that can lead potential health implications. However, it is important to understand that there are numerous other molds that also produce mycotoxins that come in various colors. The truth of the matter is that the color of the mold growth does not matter. Ultimately, the effects of mold depend a great deal on the individual, their immune system, the type of mold, length of exposure and various other factors. Regardless of mold type, excess mold growth of any mold needs to be actively removed. All mold and the underlying moisture source can do serious property damage and put you, your family and your home at risk if not properly addressed in a timely manner.
- Mold Myth: We “killed” the mold. “Dead” mold is harmless.
Truth: Even “dead” or dormant mold spores are viable and can be harmful. “Killing” mold is not an actual solution for a mold problem. Active removal is the only effective solution for a mold problem. Dormant mold spores can become active once a new moisture source is reintroduced to the environment. Additionally, when mold germinates and spreads, it roots itself into your porous building materials. Often times, products that “kill” the mold only addresses the surface spores and not the embedded mold roots. As long as the mold roots are still present, the mold will re-grow and leave you with more problems. Mold needs to be actively removed (roots and all) to avoid potential health effects and further property damage.
- Mold Myth: Bleach kills mold.
Truth: All bleach does is discolor the surface mold growth. The active mold roots are still present within your porous building materials. The active ingredient in bleach, sodium hypochlorite, is merely a stain remover that cannot permeate beyond the surface of building materials to destroy the embedded mold roots. The mold appears to be gone after a bleach application, but as long as the roots are intact, the mold will easily grow back. Furthermore, bleach is made up of primarily water. The water in the bleach absorbs right into building materials while the sodium hypochlorite evaporates from the surface. By beaching mold, you are actually providing the mold with more water to feed on and thrive.
- Mold Myth: Dehumidifiers kill mold.
Truth: Dehumidifiers do NOT kill mold, BUT they do prevent mold growth by reducing humidity. While dehumidifiers do not kill mold, there are a lot benefits of installing a properly rated dehumidifier in your indoor space. Dehumidifiers pull moisture from the air to reduce water vapors in the air. Even dormant mold spores can become viable in the presence of moisture. Elevated indoor humidity can be an adequate moisture source for mold growth. With time, elevated humidity can promote mold growth and cause a widespread mold contamination. The key to mold prevention is moisture control. Indoor humidity levels should stay somewhere between 30% – 55%. Installing a dehumidifier will help to maintain appropriate indoor humidity levels and prevent mold growth.
- Mold Myth: I can handle the mold cleanup on my own.
Truth: You can easily clean up a MINOR mold growth with a little guidance and the appropriate products. Industry standards dictate that mold growth beyond 10 square feet (a little bigger than a 3ft x 3ft patch) should be handled by a properly trained mold remediation professional who is trained to safely and effectively handle the cleanup. Well-trained mold remediation professionals have the specialized equipment and know the necessary techniques to actively remove the mold and prevent its regrowth. Improper cleanup can cause potential cross-contamination to previously clean areas and leave you with more problems later down the road.
- Mold Myth: My contractor, handyman, plumber, etc. can handle the mold cleanup.
In some minor mold cases, your contractor or handyman might be equipped to handle the removal with a little direction and advice from a mold profession. However, you should not make that assumption without consulting a professional mold removal company. When it comes to mold, you can be putting your family and your property at major risk. If a handyman or contractor takes on a mold removal project that they are not properly equipped or trained to handle correctly, they could end up worsening the problem and leave you with an even more costly repair down the line.
Hiring A Trustworthy Mold Removal Company in Cleveland Ohio
With so much contradictory information out there around mold. It can be difficult for Cleveland property owners to differentiate between fact and myth. If you suspect you might be dealing with a potential mold problem, but don’t know where to start, it can be easy to get lost in all the mixed information. It is important for Ohio home and property owners to take the time to thoroughly research your options before just hiring any mold remediation company. Widespread mold contamination and the underlying moisture source needs to properly addressed by a trained mold removal professional who is equipped to safely and effectively remove the mold growth and help you to prevent its regrowth.
If you are in need of mold remediation services for a possible mold problem, the mold experts at Mastertech Environmental can help. Contact us today to speak to a trained and certified mold inspector who can answer all your questions.