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Most Louisianans are no stranger to high water and flooding. With the hurricanes and torrential rain that we deal with every year, we have become accustomed to the damage caused by extreme weather. One consequence of all that water is mold intrusion into your homes or business. To prepare you and your loved ones for the next time you have to deal with a moldy situation, we are going to dispel 5 myths about mold.
Myth #1— A healthy house has no mold.
Mold is a naturally occurring Fungi that is everywhere. Even in houses that are scrubbed 10x a day, there will be some mold spores that come in on shoes, clothing, pets, and through open doors and windows. To prevent mold from growing, moisture in the home must be controlled.
Myth #2— Bleach is a useful tool for cleaning up mold.
While bleach can be used on some non-porous surfaces including bathroom tubs and tile, the EPA does not recommend the use of bleach for cleaning mold. There are other alternatives available that are less toxic and more effective at cleaning a wider variety of surfaces in your home.
Myth #3— To dry out a house you must open all the doors and windows.
Although this may seem a good course of action, opening doors and windows will only add more naturally occurring mold spores into the environment and promote mold growth. It is better to close the house and begin the process of removing moisture in the home.
Myth #4— Mold is only found in old houses.
Mold is not restricted to just old homes. In cases where buildings were constructed with products contaminated by flood waters or with subpar plumbing fixtures, the high levels of moisture combined with naturally occurring spores can cause mold development.
Myth #5— Mold is only dangerous if it is visible.
Mold hidden behind walls and flooring can still cause health issues to occupants. Signs of hidden mold include: an “earthy” smell in the house, increased allergic reactions in certain rooms or areas, and condensation on walls or other surfaces. Invisible mold can be detected through moisture meters or by specialized equipment that can look between behind the walls.
Written by: L. Rivers Berryhill, Environmental Scientist