Its name evokes images of green rot. Mold is a menacing pollutant existing naturally in the environment. But it's the last thing you want growing in your home.
Like most people, you probably know that indoor mold ruins homes and threatens health. And you might agree that the first step to eliminating mold is locating its sources.
But do you know where to look for mold? Or even that using a popular disinfectant to clean it can do more harm than good? Chances are, you've been duped by these mold myths that should be laid to rest:
- A Clean Home is Mold-Free.
A dirt-free home is no guarantee against mold infestation. Mold thrives in closets, dark corners, and drywall, a common construction material in homes today. Its microscopic spores sail through the air, so you can't see them or know where they land.
- Your home has no moldy odors.
It's true that gasses produced by mold give off a musty odor. But it's false to assume that having no odor means your home isn't infested. Not all molds produce smells. And if mold is lurking in a basement, its smell doesn't enter the air you normally breathe. It's there, and you never knew it.
- Your home's basement never floods.
Wet basements are a major source of mold. But they're just one of many in your home. Other mainsprings for mold are humidifiers, leaky pipes, dryers that vent indoors, bathrooms and cooking areas that aren't ventilated, even carpets in a basement.
- Bleach can remove mold.
A powerful disinfectant, bleach wipes away mold on glass, metal, or plastic surfaces. But while its chlorine component doesn't penetrate to the sources of mold in drywall and wood, the water contained in bleach does. And--you guessed it--that water lingers beneath the surfaces, providing more than enough food for mold to grow.