Myths about mold (or: mold is not caused by a deficiency of bleach)

IMG_0482In the photo on the right, you can see mold spots showing through the paint in this closet. What to do?

Without mold, our planet would be a very boring place. Were it not for cellulose-hungry mold, the fallen leaves would not compost, the compost would not nurture new growth, and the land would lay barren.

In the house, though, mold is not so welcome. The house may one day go back to the forest, but hopefully not while we're living in it! But how to prevent mold from growing is often misunderstood. Using gallons of bleach is not the answer. Getting to and eliminating the source of the mold is the answer.

Poking around on the Sherwin-Williams paint website, I came across these myths about mold:

Myth #1: All molds are toxic.
Not quite true. Only a few can cause health problems under certain conditions.

Myth #2: Black mold is the worst.
There are many molds that are black. But however threatening a mold may look, you cannot determine toxicity by color.

Myth #3: Mold only grows in warm and humid climates.
Certain kinds of mold have adapted to survive in almost any climate. But most flourish in temperatures between 60° and 100° F.

Myth #4: Old buildings have more mold problems than new construction.
Actually newer builds may have more problems because their tighter insulation allows moisture to build up inside.

Myth #5: Using bleach eliminates mold.
Bleach can control mold growth on surfaces, but often does not affect the source of the problem. Also, bleach should not be used on porous materials or metals.

Click here to find out the right way to reduce mold growth (at the bottom of the page).