As air quality consultants we get asked this question almost on a daily basis. The answer in some cases can be simple…in other cases more complicated.
The first thing to consider is where is the mold growing, why is it there and how big of an issue is it. This may not be easily answered. If you’ve had a significant water penetration issue, flood or other major water/moisture event, the mold growth should not be cleaned up by you or anyone not experienced in mold remediation.
In some of these cases a proper mold assessment or mold inspection is highly recommended. This will determine the extent and location of the mold growth issue and what mold remediation activities and procedures are warranted.
If you are experiencing minor mold growth issues then a topically cleaning by a handy man or yourself may be warranted. When we say ‘minor mold growth’ we are referring to one or more of the scenarios below:
- Condensation on windows leading to some mold growth on window frames
- Condensation inside a closet on an outer wall leading to mold growth spotting
- Mold growth inside the shower growing on either the grout or the caulking
- Mold growth or mold spotting on the ceiling of a bathroom due to poor ventilation
There are a number of products on the market. In the past chemicals such as bleach or hydrogen peroxide were the cleaning agent of choice. However, this is quite an over kill for mold growth and in some cases can cause physical injury especially to skin and the eyes if not properly used.
Some of the cleaning agents below can be considered:
- Benefect- this is a natural product that works very well but is harmless to humans and animals
- Decon30- this is another product by Benefect that is suitable for tougher issues including bacteria or E.coli
- Natural dish soap- suitable for general cleaning
- Soap and white vinegar- suitable for general cleaning
The main thing to remember with mold is that killing it provides no real benefit to you the occupant of the home. Most people want to try to kill the mold instead of removing the mold growth and it’s associated spores. Mold is not a bacteria!
If you have a bacterial issue such as E.coli from a flood or sewer back up, now you want to kill it! Killing a bacterial organism prevents it from causing health issues in your body. Once the bacteria is dead it will not be able to cause you harm. However, mold growth does not work that way. The fungi does not need to be alive to cause allergic reactions or health issues. The toxin from mold is called a mycotoxin. This toxin is attached to
the mold spore and is a chemical that the mold organism produces naturally. Once it produces the toxin, it no longer needs to be alive for the toxin to work.
So in other words, if you have a wall full of mold growth and you kill it with a chemical or biocide such as bleach. You will in fact kill the mold. However, you will not affect in any way the mycotoxins on the spore. If you now inhale this dead mold spore, you will still inhale the mycotoxin.
The best way to deal with mold is to get the right advice. Call us today and we will be glad to help you. We can provide detailed information on your mold issue and help you solve your mold growth problems. We don’t Bite.
Call today at 416-414-5690