We recently saw an interview with Ryan Leckey on WNEP concerning cleaning mold and wanted to point out some misinformation from this story as we don't want to see someone inadvertently spreading Mold growth further. Unfortunately, this story was based on information at least a decade old and no longer relevant.
First, there are a few things that people should keep in mind when cleaning mold. The most important among them is to not spray anything on the mold growth. This actually causes the mold to release spores as a defensive mechanism. These mold spores are invisible, but similar to plant seeds, and when left unattended to, can cause further mold growth in the home at a later date. Additionally, the mold spores are the major cause for health concerns in the home, as it is the breeding of these mold spores and the toxins attached thereto that is primarily attributed to health problems associated to mold in the home. Rooms with visible mold growth also, should be closed off from other areas of the home to prevent cross contamination.
Second, bleach does not kill the mold spore, and rather has been found to, in some cases, encourage the same defensive mechanism mentioned above. As such, it is now recommended that mold be cleaned with a damp rag using a mild detergent mixture. Nothing more aggressive is necessary generally. This type of cleaning, however should only be done on hard, finished, and non-porous surfaces.
For instance, the story showed someone cleaning mold off of drywall. Drywall is a porous material, and mold has a rooting structure. As such, no amount of scrubbing will remove the roots or hyphae. Industry Guidelines, as it pertains to porous materials showing mold growth, clearly state that this material needs to be removed. Additionally, many people don't think about this, but drywall has two surfaces; the front and the back. If mold growth exists on the front of drywall, it is very often also on the back in the wall cavity, and on the studs or sill. The only acceptable way to be assured that the mold is removed from a porous structure, such as drywall, is to remove the drywall or porous material.
If you would like to discuss this or other indoor environmental concerns, please do not hesitate to Contact Us. Since the founding of our company, it has been our goal to not only be up to date on the industry, but to educate consumers as well. Additionally, unlike some other companies in our field, we are Indoor Environmental Experts, having knowledge, training, and State Licenses in more regulated hazards, such as Asbestos Abatement and Radon Mitigation. As such, we are in hopes that the State of Pennsylvania follows other States by regulating mold remediation, requiring up to date knowledge by others in our industry.
Interested in older news stories? Please see our Archive.