Mold can be a significant problem for some homeowners, and it’s much more harmful than it may seem. Unfortunately, myths about mold are widespread, making some homeowners enlist exaggerated repairs or unknowingly take counterproductive measures to address the issue.

In this light, separating fact from myth is vital. It will help you better understand the issue, its impact, and the right course of action to take. To help keep your family healthy and protect your property, let’s assess common myths about mold and the truth behind them.

Myth 1: Mold Is Always Visible

This myth is false. Visible mold growths are the most common indicators of mold infestation, but this isn’t always the case. Mold spores are microscopic and can exist in hidden spaces like under carpet and wallpaper or behind walls and tiles, making them virtually invisible to the naked eye.

Just because you don’t see any visible sign of mold doesn’t mean it isn’t present in your house. You can rely on smell to detect mold. A musty odor likely indicates moisture, and chances are high that mold is present.

Other signs of mold include:

  • Visible discoloration on walls and ceilings
  • Stains in cracks or crevices
  • High humidity levels above 50%
  • Condensation forming on cold surfaces

Myth 2: Bleach Is Always Effective Against Mold

False. While household cleaners like bleach can temporarily reduce surface mold, they can’t reach the root cause of the problem — moisture buildup in hidden spaces or porous materials such as wood and insulation.

That’s why homeowners should remove potential sources of moisture from the house. Otherwise, even if you clean up visible mold growths, they’ll eventually come back. Exhaust fans in bathrooms can limit mold growth and help keep humidity low.

Myth 3: A Small Spot of Mold Isn’t a Major Concern

This is false. A small mold spot usually indicates an underlying problem that could spell disaster for your property if left unaddressed. As long as spores land on a damp spot in your home, they can spread and become a colony within just 48 hours.

Myth 4: You Can Clean Up Mold Yourself

False. Cleaning up mold is complex and potentially hazardous. It requires specialized tools, protective gear, and knowledge to perform it correctly and safely. Professional mold remediation companies have the necessary resources at their disposal, making them more qualified to clean up mold than homeowners themselves.

Myth 5: Once Mold is Gone, It Won’t Come Back

This myth is false. Mold spores are present everywhere. They occur naturally in most environments, meaning eliminating them from your house is nearly impossible. However, they often occur in small numbers, so they don’t present any health risks. Regardless, uncontrolled growth and high concentration can risk your health, especially for people with respiratory illnesses.

Myth 6: Mold Can’t Be Caused By a Resident

False. Residents can cause mold accumulation by failing to ventilate the home properly. Inadequate temperature control and flooding or plumbing issues can also cause or worsen the issue.

Myth 7: Mold Has No Benefits

False. Some molds are beneficial. For example, aspergillus flavus is used to produce cheese, while the penicillium mold was used to develop penicillin. Moreover, molds found in natural environments allow organisms to grow after decomposing organic material.

Myth 8: Repeated Exposure to Mold Won’t Make Me Sick

This myth is false. Anyone can develop allergic reactions from mold, depending on one’s overall health. Repeated or prolonged exposure to mold spores can cause skin irritation and even long-term illnesses like asthma.

Common symptoms linked with mold exposure include headaches, congestion, dizziness, watery eyes, and coughing. People with suppressed immune systems and young children are the most susceptible to getting sick because of mold.

Myth 9: You Can Remove Mold Using a Vacuum Cleaner

False. While vacuuming can remove some surface mold growths, it can’t reach inside surfaces or deep into porous materials like wood and insulation where mold often takes deeper root.

That’s why we don’t recommend vacuuming alone for severe mold infestation cases. Instead, you can use it with other methods like cleaning with bleach, applying special surface sealers, and replacing damaged materials.

Myth 10: All Mold Is Toxic

False. Not all molds are toxic. Some, like mildew, are relatively harmless and can be easily cleaned with a bleach solution. However, others, like black mold, are dangerous and must be addressed immediately to ensure your family’s and property’s health.

The first step toward removing mold is to contact a mold remediation company to determine the source and location of the mold. The entire process from the initial call to complete removal could take one week depending on the scope of infestation and removal method.

We remove black mold using the following methods:

  • Dehumidification
  • Applying mold-restraint coatings
  • Using hydroxyl generators
  • Using dry ice and chemical treatments
  • Eliminating impacted materials

Myth 11: Insurance Never Covers Mold

This is partially true. Home insurance policies don’t usually cover dry rot, fungus, or mold. However, some insurance companies may provide coverage for mold damage caused by a covered peril like appliance leaks or flooding. Also, if residents sue the property owner because of water damage, including mold, the policy’s liability section normally defends the claim.

Myth 12: Always Start With a Mold Test

False. While it’s good to know what type of mold is present in your house, you should only perform testing after experts identify an infestation and eliminate the source of moisture. Otherwise, extensive testing can become costly with no real benefit, as experts often apply the same solutions regardless of the species.

Myth 13: Mold Consultants Are Licensed

This is false. Mold consultants are unlicensed professionals, and homeowners shouldn’t take their recommendations as a substitute for professional advice. It’s best to hire a qualified mold remediation specialist whenever possible to ensure the job is done correctly and safely.

Myth 14: Mold Only Grows in Dirty Homes

False. Contrary to common stereotypes and beliefs, mold can grow anywhere that moisture is present. New, dirty, clean, and old homes are equally susceptible to mold growth, especially in hidden areas like behind wallpapers, under tiles, and in crawl spaces.

Myth 15: Mold in Your Crawl Space or Basement Can’t Affect You

This myth is false. Approximately 50% of the air in a crawl space or basement moves up to the main living area. Therefore, the air from below can transport high levels of allergens and mold spores to the people above.

Myth 16: Painting Over Mold Will Eliminate the Mold

False. Painting over mold may cover up the mold, but it won’t fix its source, like a flood or water leak. Using mold-resistant paint may prevent mold growth, but it won’t kill it once it starts growing. In the long run, this could cost you more than it would’ve to receive mold elimination services in the first place.

Rely on the Pros

As an industry leader with more than 15 years’ worth of award-winning experience, Pur360 specializes in mold remediation, mold testing, and sanitation services. We assist both commercial and residential customers to restore safety and comfort indoors.

Our technicians are trained, professional, and friendly, and they’ll always have your best interests in mind. Our company in Lake Zurich, IL is also top-rated on HomeAdvisor and Google and maintains an A+ rating. Our goal is to provide exceptional customer service at all times. Contact us today!

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