Killing Mold Is Not Enough

killing mold

Is simply killing mold an effective quick-fix to decontaminate your home? Since toxic mold is a living fungus, it might seem logical that applying anti-microbial disinfectants to kill visible mold growth would resolve the problem. Indeed, numerous options are available to kill mold, from DIY approaches such as household bleach up to spray application of professional biocides. However, as a comprehensive treatment to eliminate contamination inside a house, here are two reasons why merely killing mold alone falls far short:

  • Topical disinfectants don’t kill all the mold. Studies show that surviving spores remain in the residue of dead mold if treatment is limited to the direct application of disinfectants. Over time, active mold growth will recur at that location and elsewhere and the process of increasing contamination throughout the house will resume.
  • “Dead” mold can be still toxic. Both living and dead mold spores contain mycotoxins proven to trigger allergic responses in certain persons. Dead spores from the residue left behind following application of disinfectants readily circulate in house air currents and may be inhaled by occupants.

For a truly comprehensive treatment and verifiable results, professional mold remediation includes these steps:

  • Take air samples to determine the extent of contamination inside the house.
  • Locate all existing mold—not just the visible, readily accessible contamination. This includes the original focal point of contamination and all secondary sites.
  • Physically remove all mold from surfaces. Where mold growth has penetrated below the surface of certain building materials such as drywall or wooden structure—or deeply infected carpet or insulation— these materials may need to be removed and replaced.
  • After all mold growth and residue is removed from the house, treat affected surfaces and adjoining area with EPA-approved biocides.  
  • Resolve secondary conditions that support mold growth. Since mold spores are ubiquitous in both outdoor and indoor environments, comprehensive remediation must also include identifying and eliminating sources of moisture that are a major factor in activating indoor mold growth.
  • Take follow-up air samples to confirm successful remediation.
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