We receive calls often asking about mold and how to handle it when it’s found inside a house or a business. The problem is, we are usually not the first ones they get advice from. I don’t know how many times I get a call and am I told that they have sprayed bleach on the mold and what else do they need to do?
Here is the problem with the bad advice of spraying bleach. As you can see in (photo 1) on each Sporangiophore there are hundreds to thousands of seeds (spores) and the slightest disturbance will release the spores into the air. Think of the spores on the Sporangiophore as if you are looking at a Dandelion, which has turned to seed. With a puff of air you can send the seeds flying through the air and they can be carried away for quite a distance. So as you spray the mold with bleach, the air pressure in front of the spray hits the Sporangiophore and sends the spores flying. Not only that, but the bleach does nothing to the spore, it only kills the growing mold.
Since the spores are the major problem with mold growth in your house of business, then stopping the spread of the spores is the first thing that should be done. One of the best ways to do this is to HEPA vacuum any and all areas where there are signs of growth. If you use a vacuum that does not have HEPA filtration, you will be sucking up the spores and passing them right through your vacuum and into the air, which is the worst thing you can do.
If you are not sure that your vacuum has a HEPA filter or you know that is doesn’t, then the next best thing to do is to isolate any visible growth. This can be done by covering it with plastic and using tape to seal the edges so no spores can escape, or leave it undisturbed and call a professional.
As you can see in (photo 2) there is a large amount of growth on a wall which was found went moving some filing cabinets. They didn’t stop when they found the first signs of microbial growth and continued to move all the cabinets, then call and ask for advice. Once again, the act of moving the cabinets will disturb the Sporangiophore and it will release the spores into the air. So at the first sign of microbial growth “STOP” what you are doing to reduce the amount of spores that will be released into the air. Proper handling of microbial growth in the indoor environment can save you thousands of dollars and protect your health, so make sure to consult a professional and stay away from bad advice.
Osborne’s Cleaning & Restoration provides free advice for any microbial growth you may find in your home or business and has been serving the Lewiston Idaho and Clarkston Washington area for over 40 years. Call 208-743-9664 or email firstname.lastname@example.org