Mold can be found in every type of climate on our magnificent planet – it has even been discovered in Antarctica. Amazingly, there may also be mold present on other planets in our solar system; earlier this year, scientists revealed evidence of fungal growth on Mars. While some fungi are beneficial (we’re talking about you, Penicillium), many can be quite dangerous to the health of humans and destructive to property.
Despite all that we know about mold, there are still many misconceptions about its nature and how to treat infestations properly. We’ve put together a list of five common mold myths and the truth behind each of them, so you can have a better understanding of harmful mold and how to keep your environment mold-free.
1. Spraying Mold With Bleach Will Kill It
A common misconception is that spraying mold with bleach will kill it. Unfortunately, this is false. Spraying bleach on mold doesn’t kill the mold; it simply discolors it and leaves spores behind. Not to mention, removing mold with a solution of bleach and water can allow mold to regrow even faster. Additionally, prolonged exposure to bleach only makes indoor air quality worse and could potentially cause symptoms like respiratory irritation, blurred vision, watery eyes, and nausea, among others.
When faced with a mold problem, reach for a product that will destroy mold from its roots. Vital Oxide is a powerhouse mold killer that eliminates mold and mildew on a molecular level, without harsh chemicals or noxious fumes. Instead, Vital Oxide harnesses the power of oxygen – in the form of stabilized chlorine dioxide – to stop mold growth on hard and soft surfaces by penetrating and destroying tough mold, mildew, and bacteria at its source. Vital Oxide has a residual effect on mold and mold spores for up to one month on fabrics and one week on hard surfaces with a single treatment.
Important Safety Tip: When entering and cleaning a space affected by mold, it is essential to wear personal protective equipment (PPE). Those who suffer from respiratory issues or a weakened immune system should avoid entering the space entirely. If the mold problem is severe, it’s a good idea to seek the help of a professional who is trained in mold cleanup. Local public health departments can offer advice on mold testing and refer you to an expert mold remover. Always err on the side of caution when it comes to major mold issues.
2. Drying Out An Area Will Get Rid of Mold
Wrong! Mold needs moisture to thrive, so it makes sense that many believe that when an area is dried out, the mold simply disappears. But the dry mold doesn’t actually die – it becomes dormant. Dormant mold can become brittle and easily break into tiny particles that become airborne and wait dormant for the right conditions to flourish. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it is not enough to just kill mold; it must be removed, as dormant mold can still cause allergic reactions in people.
3. Mold Takes A Long Time to Grow
Another common myth about mold is that it can take weeks to grow and spread. In reality, mold and mildew will develop within 24 to 48 hours of water exposure and will continue to grow until the source of moisture is eliminated and the spores are destroyed. Even a small water spill over a seemingly harmless area, like a windowpane, can turn into a moldy mess if left unattended. This is why it’s imperative to always promptly address the source of moisture and to use a product like Vital Oxide to destroy the remaining mold spores and roots.
4. Mold Spores Easily Wash Out of Contaminated Laundry
Unfortunately, this is false. Most laundry products don’t have the right ingredients to remove mold or the odors caused by mold, leaving mold spores, stains, and funk behind. But take heart! With the right products and methods, you can safely and effectively remove mold and mildew from most clothing and linens. Here’s how:
If the contaminated item is machine washable, first spray with Vital Oxide, let sit for 10 minutes, and then wash in a hot water cycle with our Anti-Allergen Laundry Detergent along with a 1/2 cup to 1 cup of Vital Oxide (depending on the size of the load) to sanitize. Dry as usual.
Other items that cannot be washed in the washing machine (such as upholstery), spot treat small mold or mildew stains with Vital Oxide and a damp microfiber cloth. Keep in mind that if your upholstered furniture has water damage and a substantial amount of mold growth, it should be replaced. Additionally, silk, wool, or vintage clothing and upholstery should only be cleaned by a professional.
5. Wiping Away Surface Mold Will Eliminate It
In most cases, this is false. By the time mold becomes visible on a surface, it’s usually already much more widespread than what the eye can see. Simply wiping away mold from surfaces like drywall, wood, or concrete can give a false sense of security that you’ve eliminated your mold issue. However, it’s crucial to note that mold has a roots-like system (called “hyphae”), which physically grows into porous building materials such as drywall or concrete. When the visible mold is removed from the surface, you’re not necessarily removing the roots, meaning that it’s only a matter of time before the mold grows back again.
Most of the myths around mold remediation have a common theme – leaving behind roots. Think about removing mold like removing a weed from your garden. If you only remove the visible parts of it, it will quickly grow back. To remove mold properly, it’s imperative to destroy those pesky roots.
Unlike other products that are only effective on hard, non-porous surfaces, Vital Oxide can penetrate soft and hard porous surfaces like carpets, upholstery, drywall, concrete, and wood and destroy the roots of tough mold and mildew.Have questions about reducing allergens or eliminating mold inside your home? We have answers! The Ecology Works has been leading the way in green cleaning since 1993. We can help you select the products you need to live a better, allergen-free life. Please feel free to Contact Us or message us on Facebook. No question is too small! We're here to help.