Mold is one of those things we joke about, then knock on wood to keep from jinxing ourselves. Like bed bugs, cockroaches, termites, or house mice, we want them as far away as possible. A home should be a safe place, a sanctuary from the elements, mold and bugs included. So, to keep you ahead of the game, here are 5 myths we’ve complied and debunked for your information and your peace of mind.
1. You Can Treat Mold Yourself – with BLEACH
Here is the thing: bleach makes colors disappear. So, the black mold on your wall will look like it’s gone, but that doesn’t mean it’s actually dead. Bleach also has a limited and inconsistent shelf life, and you won’t be able to tell how effective it actually is. It’s toxic and is only effective on certain kinds of surfaces. And here’s the kicker: OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and the EPA (US Environmental Protection Agency) have STOPPED recommending bleach as a way to kill mold.
2. High Humidity is Good for Your Home
Quick refresher: what is humidity? According to National Geographic, it is defined as “the amount of water vapor in the air.” And water in the air is what mold loves the most. It is suggested that there be 30-50% humidity in your home. The Family Handyman recommends that any “area [that] has gotten wet for any reason, dry it within 24 to 48 hours, before mold has a chance to grow. The most common sources of moisture are plumbing leaks, roof leaks, wet basements, poor yard drainage, window condensation and high humidity.” The CDC agrees.There are a couple of cool gadgets you can buy to assist you in keeping the humidity at safe and benign levels. 1) Buy a bathroom exhaust fan with a humidity sensor that turns on or off based on moisture levels. 2) A hygrometer can test humidity levels in your home or office, so you know if anything needs to be adjusted.
3. If It Doesn’t Smell, It’s Not A Problem
Mold doesn’t always smell. Never assume. There are some other ways to tell if you have mold that include paying attention to changes in your health or general well-being, and noticing leaks, water damage, and past or current flooding.
4. A Small Amount of Mold is Not a Big Deal
Mold is like an iceberg, or house mice. If you are seeing some, there most likely is a lot more you don’t see. Mold can be sneaky, it can hide “behind walls or under floors.” It is also important to know that “mold can grow on wood, ceiling tiles, wallpaper, paints, carpet, sheet rock, and insulation.” If you do have a leak or experience flooding, it is important to “[s]top water leaks, repair leaky roofs and plumbing immediately.”
5. You Can Keep Your Home Completely Mold Free
Mold is an organic material. It exists naturally in the environment and is crucial to several different types of ecosystems. This being the case, it is impossible to completely eradicate any presence of mold, but it is more than possible to keep mold at acceptable and healthy levels.
If you are looking for county-specific information that you cannot find on this page, know that most health departments have some kind of resource list. Here is what Utah’s looks like: https://health.utah.gov/asthma/pdfs/airquality/moldresources.pdf
If you have any questions, or if you need some mold remediation assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at (833) KILL-MOLD
We have locations in New Mexico; Northern Utah; Southern Idaho; Greenville and Columbia, South Carolina; Tulsa, Stillwater, and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; and Dallas, Fort Worth, and Louisville, Texas.