Thanks to extensive media coverage, public knowledge about mold and the potential health problems associated with it has increased. It is common to find magazine articles, TV spots, news reports and blog articles on the topic
However, even with this dramatic increase in media coverage, many people often wait to seek mold and remediation help. A home owner’s delay in seeking the professional help often stems from perceived misconceptions about how the actual clean up could occur; from time, the level of invasiveness, to just plain embarrassment.
The purpose of this article is to shed some light on the five most common misconceptions about mold and mold abatement.
Myth #1: Only the “Dirty House” Can Have Mold Problems
Many people are embarrassed to seek professional help simply because they do not want their neighbors to know that they have a mold problem. This is due to the popular misconceptions that only a “dirty” house can have a mold issue. The truth is any home with the right combination of factors can be impacted by mold.
Mold will grow if certain conditions are met; there has to be a high level of humidity, an organic source of food, steady supply of oxygen and a proper temperature.
Does your house have to be dirty in order to meet these conditions? Absolutely not! All it takes is a prolonged exposure to water damage caused by plumbing problems, flooding or by any substantial water spill.
Since mold spores are microscopic particles (at most 100 microns in diameter), they can be easily carried into your home on your shoes, clothing, waft in from an open window or come in on your pet’s fur.
Myth #2: Mold Inspection is Messy and Intrusive
Due to the nature of the mold, it is often impossible to assess the scale and size of your mold infestation with just the naked eye. Mold may be hiding in hard to reach corners of your house, under the carpets and wallpapers, inside of the walls, or behind the sheetrock.
Before the invention of thermal imaging, the only way to visually verify the presence of mold in such places was by removing wallpaper, breaking through the walls and removing the carpet from your floors. Such inspection would leave a path of destruction and a mess in your home.
Fortunately, intrusive mold inspection methods are the thing of the past. Today, most mold inspectors are equipped with a thermal imaging camera. This camera allows them to confirm the presence of mold without the need to poke holes into your walls or rip up the carpeting.
Myth #3: You Must Leave Your Home During Mold Remediation
In case of a severe mold issue, the mold remediation process can quickly grow into a time-consuming and labor-intensive project. In such situations, surface mold removal is not enough, and remediation could require removing drywall, cleaning up the building structure and the replacement of the drywall materials.
Due to the level of work that may be required, many people think they have to leave the house while the mold remediation occurs. The good news is you do not have to leave your house during the mold removal, unless you want to.
During the cleaning process, the mold-infected area is isolated with plastic sheeting sealed with duct tape. Negative air machines and air scrubbers run around the clock to make sure mold spores do not spread outside the work area.
A typical mold abatement job takes one to three days with a full-sized crew. After mold has been removed and encapsulated, they rebuild and clean up the affected areas, leaving your house cleaner then it was before they started.
Myth #4: Mold Removal Presents Health Risks
Historically, mold removal involved using chemical cleaning solutions that, in some cases, were even more toxic that the mold itself. Fortunately, in the last decade this situation has changed.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency requires that only non-toxic mold cleaning solutions be used during professional mold remediation. There are many mold cleaning products that meet this requirements and completely safe and biodegradable.
Depending on your mold situation, you may want to consider a chemical-free mold removal method called dry ice blasting. The only byproduct of this method is carbon dioxide (CO2), a harmless gas that is ventilated away without leaving any traces.
Myth #5: Mold Removal Will Make Your House Smell
Many people think mold remediation will result in strong chemical odors during the remediation. Some types of mold have a strong characteristic odor and most mold cleaning products carry their own odor. However, a professional mold remediation company will put all of your “stinky house” fears to rest.
The work areas are always tightly isolated with plastic sheeting and sealed with duct tape. Negative air machines and air scrubbers run during the process to vent out odors along with the mold particles. Following the mold abatement, most crews will deodorize the house to make sure it smells better than before.
On the other hand, if you were to clean mold from a large polluted area on your own, there is a good chance that your home will be odor-filled, as you are not likely to have all the necessary equipment to keep the work area and air contained. Also, when you turn mold removal in do-it-yourself project, there is a risk of spreading the mold into the other, unaffected areas of your house.
Thanks to sophisticated equipment, non-toxic biodegradable cleaning products and time-proven remediation protocols, mold removal is a safe, fast and typically painless process.
If you think you may have a mold problem, don’t delay. The sooner you call a professional, the sooner you can get the issue take care of. Don’t let fear or misperceptions result in delays to deal with this serious life-threating issue.
This guest post was contributed by Carl Bennett, the vice president of Above & Beyond Unlimited Cleaning – a New Jersey based company specializing in mold remediation, testing & mold inspection services.
Just looked in my attic and noticed green growing every where. Had a guy come out – he charged 300 for the site vist and 350 for each sample. I am at $2,300 and they have not even done anything to fix the problem. He said it would be around $7,500. I bought the house two years ago. Should i sue everyone!
Hi. I have a friend who is suffering from major mold contamination. She does not have a computer. Is there a way she could reach you by phone? If so, please write me and let me know your number. She is desperate for some help. Thank you so much!
When chemicals are used in treating and managing pathogenic ‘toxic’ mold, there are poisonous substances released by mold spores called mycotoxins. When the mycotoxins combine with chemicals such as bleach, ETC. endotoxins are created. Endotoxins are extremely lethal and are used in chemical/biological warfare military warheads.
I have allot of molds at my condo. I bought it only 4 years ago after complete renovation. Who is responsible, who must pay to fix a problem?
I went away with family for2 Weeks but forgot to clean mashed potato pot before
I put water in there and started boiling it now I dont feel good is it fine or should I see a doctor (drowsy nashous ect)
I think it’s a great idea to dispell any types of myths. I’d imagine that if someone didn’t know any of these five items were myths, it could be a real hinderance. I’d also imagine that their health might be more at risk.
I didn’t know all of this about mold. For one, I had always assumed that only “dirty” homes could really get mold, but I guess not. I will have to look around my bathroom and kitchen to see if there are good places for mold to grow.
My Favorite myth is: Once your house has had remediation, it will not come back again. Now, most reputable companies have a good guarantee, but if you have a moisture problem or live in a very moist climate… the mold may come back. What I’m talking about is: if you do not have good ventilation in your bathroom, continued use of a shower could cause the mold to grow again.
Funny how you chose to talk about mold removal. Getting that stuff done was probably one of the best decisions I have ever made.
My wife and I actually bought a home here in Edmonton Alberta about 2 years ago and after living in it for only 2-4 months I started to notice some weird health issues that I have never had before (eczema flare ups, red ears, etc). I read books, articles, and talked to so many local specialists in my area to figure out what was going on with me. In the end, I took a random guess and tried to see if it was mold, and I called in an air quality tester. Then we found out it was mold. Well, once I figured out what the causes of my health issue was I called up a mold removal company ( http://bestmoldremovers.com/edmonton/ ) and got the job done. Best decision of my life. My skin looks amazing now. Mold side effects are slowly going away as time passes.
You have a good point about this blog. Hope anyone can understand what are you trying to say to everyone. It’s been 3 months since I fix the issue at my house and if I knew how safe is this I think will use this one.
It’s good to know this about mold remediation. I like how you pointed out that a pro will not make our home stink. We’ve noticed some mold, so I’ll have to look into hiring a professional to help us get rid of it.
Thank you for pointing out that mold removal doesn’t pose any health risks. My husband and I have noticed some mold growing in my basement and we are wanting to get it removed as soon as possible. Hopefully, we can find the best company possible to come and do this for us.
I’m curious as to what evidence there is to back up these “myth Busters”, especially numbers 3 and 4? This seems to go against what many in the medical profession would say. Some of the medical “experts” have scientific studies to back their claims. Of particular interest is Dr. Shoemaker and his work with CIRS patients.
Don’t get me wrong; I would very much prefer you were right about this. However, when people’s health, and in some cases lives, are at stake, it truly is “buyer beware”.
Thank you for pointing out that mold grows in high humidity areas. My home office is always hot and humid and last night we removed a bookcase to reveal a wall full of mold. I’ll have to look into finding the best mold removal company in my area to come and take care of this for us.
Sounds interesting to try it
How do I respond to others’ questions??
***My 84 yr old mom and I are very very due to Toxic Mold Exposure!!! I’m early 50’s, always in excruciating pain … currently, have rarely left the house in almost 3 years!! Now I’m having difficulty walking … and many many more symptoms!! I was laughing at their list of symptoms!
***Mold inspectors – we’ve had 4!!! – are crooks!! They KNOW homeowners are desperate; and aren’t educated themselves, because it’s harder/more work for THEM.
***You should leave YOUR home doing remediations. Your ENTIRE HOME has TOXIC contamination!!
***Inspectors do not always give you ALL the facts; either they are uninformed, refuse to be further educated and or just lazy – they do “just enough to “get by!!!!!” No joke, only 1 of the four inspectors, advised by our attorney, is brilliant. He took over 600 videos and pictures. His findings, backed by analytical data, was shocking! He also showed where and how moisture was in EVERY INTERIOR WALL of a 15 yr old custom home!!!! He is currently testifying in over 60 cases! No client has EVER LOST their suit due to his testimony!!! He receives 30 to 40 calls per day!!
***Mold inspection companies and remediation companies, pay each other “under the table!!!!”
Remediation companies are NOT educated, refuse to further implement updated rules of conduct!!
*** A TRUE mold doctor is a Functional Integrating physician.
***Mold inspectors and remediation companies are NOT smarter than your doctor!!!!
***Mother and I were worsening terribly after two remediations!!
***Find a Facebook of sufferers before hiring anyone!!!
***Everyone is susceptible to Toxic Exposure!!
***You don’t have allergies, it’s Mold Toxicities!!!