Mold FAQ

San Francisco | Santa Clara | Spokane | Coeur d’Alene

At My Pure Environment, we’ve been in business for a long time. And over the years, we’ve been asked hundreds of questions about mold. How it grows, where it comes from, what the hazards of mold are, and more. Here are our top 10 most asked mold questions, and their answers.

10 Frequently Asked Questions About Mold

1. What exactly is mold?

Mold is a type of fungus. The primary function of mold in nature is decomposition, so it feeds on fibrous materials to break them down. The colony gains nourishment from the materials, which helps it grow. As it grows, it spreads to other parts of your home by releasing tiny spores into the air. These spores float around until they take root in a suitable material and the process starts all over again.

2. What causes mold in a house?

There are several factors that contribute to mold growth, but the most important and easily controllable factor is moisture. Mold needs moisture to grow and spread. That’s why mold growth is common after flood damage. Mold is often found in poorly ventilated bathrooms and under kitchen sinks, where humidity levels are higher than 60%.

3. How do you stop mold from growing?

First, identify any potential risk areas. Take steps to reduce the moisture level in your home. Eliminate high moisture environments by properly ventilating bathrooms, and prevent localized areas of moisture by fixing leaky appliances (like sinks or window AC units) to prevent mold growth. Running a dehumidifier to keep your overall humidity level between 30% and 45% will also help ensure that mold isn’t able to grow.

4. How do you check a house for mold?

Typically a professional mold inspection is the only way to determine the exact level of mold growth in a home. If your mold problem is large enough, you may be able to smell the mold, even before you can see it. Mold produces microbial volatile organic compounds (mVOCs), which are what give it that musty smell. If you see patches of green, black, or brown growth in a damp area, or if a room in your home smells damp or musty, there’s a good chance that you have mold growing somewhere inside.

5. Why is mold bad?

There are many reasons why mold in your home is detrimental. Prolonged mold exposure can have adverse health effects, including starting or worsening asthma (especially in children), skin irritation, and sinus inflammation. Mold is also a common allergen, which means that if you’re exposed to it for long enough, you could develop an allergic reaction to it.

If left unchecked, mold can rot away the structure of your home. It’s primary function is decomposition, meaning that it will eat through drywall, wood, and fabric and weaken the structural integrity of your home.

Lastly, mold is unsightly. Different varieties can be green, black, or brown in color and its presence can ruin the aesthetic of the inside or outside of your home.

6. What kills mold?

Many online resources will tell you that bleach is an effective tool to kill mold, but in reality, that is false. White vinegar can be an effective solution for small scale mold removal, but you won’t be able to completely remove mold from your home with white vinegar.

The bottom line is that there’s little to nothing the average homeowner can do to completely rid their home of mold. Completely killing mold requires specialized and expensive equipment and tools. It’s a job best left to the professionals.

7. How do professionals remove mold?

Oftentimes, a remediation company will identify the primary infestation site and begin removing drywall, carpet, and paneling to assess the full scope of an infestation. Then they use what we like to call “the spray and scrub” method. They apply a solution to kill the mold, and then scrub the dead mold from wherever it is growing. This results in the added expenses of replacing drywall, insulation, or carpet, removed during the cleanup.

Unlike most mold remediation companies, we use non-invasive methods for mold removal. At My Pure Environment, we use a powerful sterilant disbursed in micro-fine droplets. They drift around with the natural air currents in the room and attach to mold spores, killing them on contact. No demolition is required, and we’re done in as little as four hours.

8. How can I test my home for mold?

Unfortunately you really can’t. Only 10% of any given mold colony is visible. The rest is microscopic spores not visible to the naked eye. To fully test a home for mold, air and surface samples are sent to a lab for full analysis. The results can then be interpreted by one of our trained professionals.

9. How much does it cost to get mold tested?

Prices can vary depending on who you hire to perform the remediation. Our Complete Mold Inspection starts at $399. With that you get an onsite consultation, a thorough visual home inspection, full lab testing, as well as reports on each sample we collect, and our recommendations for how to specifically treat your mold problem.

10. Can I remove black mold myself?

The honest answer here is no. We’ve spoken at length about why we don’t recommend tackling your mold problem on your own. In addition to it being a health risk, you also risk spreading the mold to other parts of your home. Even if you do a thorough job, and follow every safety recommendation, the simple fact of the matter is that you still won’t have completely solved your mold problem.

Only very large mold infestations are visible to the eye. The vast majority are microscopic and invisible. Treating only what you can see won’t prevent you from having to deal with mold again somewhere down the line. Moreover, most consumers lack access to the proper equipment or solutions needed to completely neutralize the mold, meaning it could just grow back in a month or two.

It’s likely that you would spend a great deal of time and money only to end up needing to call in a professional mold remediation company in the future.

Do You Think You Might Have Mold in Your San Francisco or Spokane Home? We Can Help!

Now that we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked mold questions, we’re hoping you know a bit more about mold. If reading this has made you realize that you may have overlooked a mold infestation somewhere in your home, we offer a complete mold inspection, with a professional assessment on how to specifically treat your particular mold problem. Give us a call today! We offer a free consultation in home, or via a video conference call. We also service Santa Clara and Coeur d’Alene.

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