10 Black Mold Myths And Misconceptions
Mold is a fungus. Its spores, which are invisible to the human eye, float through the air and land on surfaces indoors and outdoors. Like all living things, they need air, water, and food to survive. Mold spores can essentially leach moisture from the air and from things like wood, wallpaper, and other surfaces in the house, and they even eat the paint, adhesive, and the wallpaper itself when they settle on your home’s surfaces.
When mold does take hold of a property, it is unsightly, can smell, and it can lead to respiratory and allergic reactions in pets and human residents in the property. Most homeowners know that mold is a problem, but there is a lot of disinformation and myths that circulate about mold.
Below, we highlight 10 common myths and misconceptions about mold, and explain the truth, so that you have a better understanding of this fungi and what you can do about it.
The 10 Biggest Black Mold Myths and Misconceptions
1. Mold Is Only Found In Damp Environments
Many people believe that mold is rare and that it is only found in damp environments. In truth, mold spores are invisible to the human eye, and they travel in the air. They are pretty much all around us, but they do require very specific conditions in order to anchor to surfaces and flourish. They need air, water, and food. They can thrive in damp environments, but they are also very efficient at grabbing moisture from many environs.
2. Only Black Mold Is Dangerous
Mold can take many colors and forms, but it is widely believed that only black mold is dangerous to humans. While it is true that darker molds tend to be more dangerous, there are some green molds that give off toxic substances and there are some dark molds that are not as dangerous. The only way to know for sure whether a mold is dangerous or toxic is to have it analyzed by professionals.
3. Mold Is Toxic
Mold can be dangerous, and it can cause ill health in property residents if it takes hold. However, it is not strictly toxic. As we mentioned above, mold is floating around us a lot of the time, and if it were toxic, it would cause illness whenever we ingested it. It can be dangerous, but it isn’t toxic.
4. Mold Only Causes Illness In Unhealthy People
Any adult exposed to mold can suffer from symptoms including coughing and wheezing. However, with that said, children and elderly people with respiratory problems, as well as those with certain allergies, are more likely to get ill when exposed to the spores.
5. Water Leaks Are The Only Cause Of Mold
Water leaks can cause mold, or at least they can create the right conditions for mold to thrive, because the water creates moisture on wood and other surfaces, and the mold spores use this moisture to thrive. However, rooms like bathrooms and kitchens that are humid and are not necessarily ventilated properly, can all be breeding grounds for mold spores, regardless of whether there has been a water leak or not.
6. A Small Colony Is Not A Problem
A collection of mold spores is called a colony, and when you see a patch of it on a wall, this is a colony of spores taking hold and breeding. While most people get concerned when they see a large patch of fluffy mold, many also assume that a small patch isn’t a problem. However, it is likely that the mold you can see is only a part of the colony. The spores may be found under wallpaper, in the walls, and even in the timber frame of the house. A small patch needs investigating just as much as a sizeable colony.
7. Bleach Kills Mold
There are several problems with this particular myth. First off, household bleach may kill the visible spores on the surface of a wall, but it is unlikely to get behind the wallpaper or into the rest of the colony and kill off all the spores. It can also cause damage to matter like wallpaper, causing it to break down, and creating a viable food source for more mold spores to consume. It could actually make the problem worse, rather than fix it.
8. Mold Doesn’t Return
Mold spores are floating all around us, including near the spot where mold is growing in the corner of the room. As such, even if you get professionals in to remove the mold, once it has been removed, the problem has not gone. Once the visible mold problem has been eliminated, you may need to make some changes around the house to ensure that it does not return and wreak havoc once more.
9. All Mold Is Bad
Mold is just a fungus and is not inherently bad, although some molds can cause us to get ill and lead to allergic reactions. Penicillin, the world’s most popular antibiotic, is a mold, and foods like Camembert and Brie also contain it. These molds are not bad, and they benefit us.
Related Read: How to Easily Get Rid of Mold in Your Car Interior
10. Mold Won’t Form In My House
No matter how diligently you clean and how well you ventilate, there are mold spores in your home. You can take actions to prevent them from anchoring onto surfaces and to ensure that they don’t have the environment they need to thrive, but there is always the risk that your walls and your home could experience a mold infestation, so you need to keep your eyes and your nose peeled.
Mold in the home can be a major problem. At the very least, it is unsightly and can be very difficult to get rid of. DIY mold removal solutions really only scratch the surface of the problem and might actually make the infestation even worse, and even if you get professional mold removal service in, there is still the very real risk that more mold spores will take hold and breed in your home.
Featured Image Credit: Burdun Iliya, Shutterstock