If you have mold anywhere in your house, it's important to remove it quickly and safely. Even non-toxic varieties of mold can cause health problems, and if left alone, it can spread far. Before you start cleaning up, however, you should know what chemicals are safe to use and how your method of removal can vary depending on what type of house you live in.
1 Bleach Is an Effective Mold Killer
Bleach is a powerful chemical, so it may be tempting to use bleach (or some bleach mix) to kill mold. Bleach can sometimes work, but only if it's used on the right surfaces. If it's not, you could actually make the mold growth worse.
Bleach should not be used on any porous surfaces like drywall. This is because the water in the bleach gets absorbed into the material, but the rest of the chemicals don't. Using bleach on something like drywall effectively cleans the surface but adds more moisture to everything underneath, and mold loves moisture.
2 Mold Will Only Grow On Organic Materials
Mold will grow in most places spores have spread so long as the environment is sufficiently damp and warm. It can grow on everything from drywall and wood to sheet metal and concrete under the right conditions.
The important thing to remember is that while mold only eats organic materials, it can hypothetically grow almost anywhere. When searching your home for mold, don't leave certain areas alone because you think mold couldn't grow there.
3 Mold Is Less Likely in Newer Houses
Building codes and construction methods have improved over the years, but that can actually work against you. Newer houses are better sealed than older houses, but while this can do good things for your energy bill, it can also mean that moisture in your house has fewer ways to escape. Moisture that can't escape in turn provides the water that mold needs, so if you live in a humid area, be careful about your indoor moisture levels.
4 Mold Won't Grow Back After It's Removed
An unfortunate fact about mold is that it's everywhere – the important distinction is that not all mold is growing. Mold spores can easily get into your house, and can spread quickly if you've had any growing in your house before. Because of this, if the conditions are right, it can easily start growing again.
If you have constant mold issues, the important part is to focus more on prevention than removal. Even if mold spores are in the area, they won't grow unless they have a proper place to start. If necessary, invest in some dehumidifiers and look into cleaning chemicals that you can leave on your walls and ceilings to dissuade mold from growing there.
5 Only Toxic Mold Is Dangerous
You've probably heard of toxic black mold -- Stachybotrys chartarum – and the effects it can have on your health. While this type of mold is dangerous, you can also experience adverse health effects from almost any type of mold.
The reaction you or your family may get from non-toxic types of mold are similar to what you might get from a pollen allergy; the reaction is to the mold spores, not to any toxins. If you have mold growing in your house, there will be far more of these spores floating around, and in a lot more places. While there's no guarantee you'll feel any worse for wear, mold of any kind needs to be taken seriously.
To check your home for mold, contact a company such as Air Quality Analysts.