Common MOLD MISTAKES in the home or workplace is a real issue in the Gillette area. Why? An unusually wet season, faulty construction, lack of routine maintenance, and misconceptions about mold itself all add up to a potential health risk that could end up costing you thousands of dollars. Consider this list of the 8 Most Common Mold Mistakes we see every week:
MOLD MISTAKES – NO. 1:
DON’T IGNORE possible mold health symptoms. Be concerned about possible mold problems if one or more occupants are suffering from unexplained health problems, such as: Ongoing itchy eyes, bloody nose, sinus problems, headaches, nose congestion, skin rashes or sores, coughing, breathing difficulties, difficulty in remembering things or in thinking clearly, feeling disconnected from the world around you, and/or chronic fatigue. Please remember, though, that people differ significantly in their sensitivity to mold. The very young, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems are at a higher risk of experiencing adverse reactions to mold.
DON’T IGNORE home maintenance problems and mold “clues.” YOU increase the odds of becoming a mold victim when you ignore roof leaks, plumbing leaks, sewer line leaks, water stains on ceilings, the indoor smell of mold, visible mold growth, high humidity in the home, a wet or damp basement or crawlspace.
MOLD MISTAKES – NO. 3:
DON’T ASSUME that there is no mold problem because you can’t SEE any visible mold growth. The worst mold problems are often the ones you cannot see inside floors, ceilings, walls, attics, basements, crawlspaces and your heating/cooling system. Airborne mold spores are invisible to the eye, very light, and are easily carried in the air and through your heating/cooling system. Just one hidden mold problem could cross-contaminate your entire house. If you suspect a problem, be sure to have an airborne mold test done inside your home, and compare it with the levels outside your home. Moisture meters can be used to detect any hidden damp areas, and fiber-optics inspection devices can check for mold growth inside wall, floor and ceiling cavities.
MOLD MISTAKES – NO. 4:
DON’T ASSUME that a NEW home is mold free. Today’s new homes often come with built-in mold problems for a number of reasons. All too often, moldy building materials are received from the builder’s suppliers. Today’s timbers are not kiln-dried as in earlier times, and thus contain a high internal moisture content that makes mold growth possible. Often the building materials are not covered when they are stored outside to protect them from rain, or the structure itself is not protected from the elements during construction. And the use of modern building materials, like chip wafer boards, drywall and plywood, are all potential food sources for mold if allowed to become wet during construction.
MOLD MISTAKES – NO. 5:
DON’T ASSUME that after a wet, moldy area has dried, that it is then “safe.” All that mold spores need to get started is moisture, a food source, and the right temperature. But when mold spores and mold colony growth run out of moisture, they do NOT die. Instead, they become dormant, and wait YEARS for access to high humidity or a future water intrusion. Then they reactivate, exploding with new growth. Even dormant mold can make mold-sensitive persons sick.
DON’T ASSUME that all you need to do is “spray it with bleach.” Contrary to popular belief, bleach is too weak to effectively kill the roots of mold growth and mold spores. Bleach is not even an EPA-registered fungicide. Spraying bleach directly on mold can send mold spores into the air, running the risk of actually breathing them in. If you would like to learn even more reasons why bleach is ineffective in killing mold, READ our article: MOLD: Exposing the BLEACH MYTH!
MOLD MISTAKES – NO. 7:
DON’T USE other ineffective products to “kill” mold. Despite the claims you may read on the internet, products such as Kilz, regular paint, paint containing a mildicide, Lysol, ammonia or other household cleaners and disinfectants are NOT effective. Simply painting over a mold problem does not solve it. It only hides the problem temporarily, and gives the mold something delicious to eat: The paint itself! And just spraying something on the mold will NOT take care of the problem. Mold growth and moldy materials must be removed to effectively address mold problems. That means any moldy drywall, trim, carpet, carpet pad, etc. MUST be removed, bagged and disposed of, and then replaced with new.
MOLD MISTAKES – NO. 8:
DON’T ASSUME that all Mold Remediation Contractors know what they’re doing. Many mold remediation companies cause and leave more mold problems AFTER the alleged remediation than before their work, because of: (a) failure to find and fix all of the mold infestation locations due to incomplete mold inspection and mold testing; (b) poor and inadequate training; (c) failure to utilize proper mold containment procedures; (d) taking shortcuts; and (e) sometimes fraud and dishonesty on the part of the contractor.