What Not to Do When You Think You See Mold in the Home

It's natural to react impulsively to the sight of mold in the home. It's equally normal to want to take immediate action yourself to get rid of it. However, before you plunge into do-it-yourself mold remediation, a few considerations may prevent you from throwing effort and money at a project likely to produce inadequate results. Here are some things not to do if you think you see mold in the house:

Assume it's toxic mold. Some mold-like substances inside a structure really aren't mold or are not toxic. For example, a residue of mineral salts left over from moisture or seepage long ago often forms a white or brown fluffy appearance indistinguishable from mold to the untrained eye. Also, some mold varieties are simply “cosmetic mold”— non-toxic, harmless to the structure, and not requiring treatment. Only a qualified mold remediation professional has the expertise to tell the impostors from the real thing.

Depend on bleach to kill mold. Effective mold remediation includes physical removal, then killing residue on surfaces. First, all growing mold must be physically removed, as well as any building materials where mold growth has infiltrated the surface. Mold residue is not killed by spraying common bleach; live spores survive and mold growth recurs. After complete physical removal of mold and affected materials, remediation experts use EPA-approved fungicides formulated for use against mold to sterilize surfaces.

Believe that dried mold is dead mold. Drying out a mold-contaminated area of the house doesn't kill the mold. Instead, the mold growth simply shifts into dormant mode, soon to be reactivated by exposure to any trace of moisture, including high humidity. Effective remediation requires total removal and professional application of fungicides to sterilize surfaces.

Think your home is too new for mold. In fact, mold contamination may be “built-in” to brand-new homes by infected building materials, infiltrating rain and other moisture while under construction, and by the lack of an adequate mold inspection by contractors during the building process.

Wondering what to do and not to do if you suspect mold in the home? Contact the experts at Rytech, Inc.