DOES IT REALLY MATTER IF I HAVE MOLD IN MY HOME?
We get asked this question a lot at Healthy Homes and while there are some types of mold that are less of a risk, mold can cause you to get sick or worse!
It is no secret that mold likes to grow in our homes. Usually, you can find it growing in your shower when you’ve forgotten to clean it a few weeks in a row. Or if you’ve ever had water damage, you’ve likely had to deal with mold around that as well. You may have lived in a house with mold in it before and “it never bothered you,” so it seems easier to just leave it be than to have to pay for mold remediation. However, mold isn’t always a harmless nuisance we can afford to forget about. It may actually be affecting your health permanently!
CAN MOLD MAKE ME SICK?
The first step to knowing if mold is affecting your health is to know what symptoms it causes. Different kinds of mold have different symptoms. And it is important to note that there are some people that can live in a house with mold for years and never feel any symptoms. If you or someone in your family has allergies, asthma, or immune suppression, they will tend to be more sensitive to mold and have a more severe reaction.
The most common symptoms are similar to seasonal allergies: stuffy nose, wheezing, red or itchy eyes, and itchy skin. More severe reactions can include a fever and shortness of breath. The most severe symptoms associated with certain types of mold are bloody noses, memory loss, muscle aches, and depression. If you have any of these severe symptoms, you need to get out of your home right away and start the mold removal process.
CAN YOU JUST PAINT OVER MOLD?
When you paint over mold, you probably think that you are sealing up the mold and “suffocating” it so it dies. The reality is quite different. Mold tends to grow on porous surfaces like wood, drywall, and block foundations. So, when you cover those porous surfaces with paint, you are really just covering the top layer while the mold is still alive and well just below the surface.
When you paint over mold, all you are doing is making it so you can’t see the problem. But what you don’t see are the mold spores in the air that are going to take that mold you just covered up and cause it to expand and grow back over time. What you can’t see can still affect your health, which is why proper mold remediation is so important and you can’t just cover up the issue.
DOES BLEACH KILL MOLD?
Bleach does not kill mold. When you apply bleach on mold, the mold might initially “go away” because you are scrubbing it, but the bleach has an oxidizing effect that mostly just aggravates the mold as it's pushed into the surface.
When you apply bleach to a porous surface with mold on it, the first thing you are doing is adding moisture to the mold. The water content in bleach gets absorbed into the surface you are trying to remove it from. Mold thrives in humid environments and adding more water is just going to make it grow even more!
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