Blog: Mould Mythology
What You Need to Know
Myth #1: Mould Staining
In the business of Mould / Mold Remediation, the term "mould staining" gets used to explain-away the left-over black discolouration that remains on the roof boards after an ineffective mould / mold treatment.
It is very important to note that residual discolouration is a sign that the treatment was not effective. The discolouration is, in fact, nothing more than untreated mould / mold spores and if you track this "staining" into the future, you can actually see it grow and spread as the spores cause re-population of the sheathing / roof boards.
In short, you should not be left with black discolouration after a mould / mold treatment. This is an indication that the remediation company does not have an effective treatment method, nor an adequate understanding of microbiology.
HIP is routinely called in to re-treat the work of other remediation companies due to the "staining" which is left-over from ineffective treatments, this is almost 25% of the business that we do.
Myth #2: Old or Dormant Mould
Mould’s / Mold's age or apparent inactivity does not turn out to be relevant as follows. Take mould / mold that is thought to be old or dormant (perhaps it has "greyed out" during some extremely hot or cold weather). Add a bit of humidity and some minor air flow and the mould will re-blacken immediately (it turns out that the black and grey colouring is actually the colour of the mould spores themselves).
This blackening also signals the release of spores -- often having the immediate effect of creating sneezing, stuffiness, watery-eyes and the like. Age or apparent inactivity does not mean non-viable, only that the mould is on a temporary pause. Using age or muted colouring as a measure of safety is not sound.
Myth #3: Fixing just the cause or just the mould = each represent only half the equation
There are mould / mold spores everywhere -- outdoors and indoors -- and, we breath them in with no ill effect, so long as they represent a small enough percentage of the particles in the air that we are breathing.
Where mould / mold spores create an issue is where they are encouraged to set up shop in your home or business. They will only do this if they find an environment that is enticing enough, and that environment is one where there is high humidity, low air flow, and just enough material around to sustain growth (attic plywood and particle board, drywall, etc.).
In order to ensure that mould / mold is no longer present within a building envelope, the mould / mold and its spores must be killed and the causes of the moisture / ventilation imbalance must be determined and addressed.
Doing one without the other will provide a temporary fix only. HIP does both and it is for this reason that we can provide the Non-Recurrence Guarantee that we do.
Myth #4: Wood Character
There is currently an architectural / design trend where reclaimed barn board and other varieties of previously-enjoyed outdoor wood features are brought inside to add interest to indoor spaces. Changing the intended purpose of a part of one's home (i.e., finishing one's attic as loft space) -- without making necessary changes to keep the home breathing -- is also done with some frequency.
Both practices have many environmental benefits and can infuse space with warmth and character. It is, however, very important that in both of the above scenarios the wood be tested and treated where necessary, and in the latter category that an attic be treated if there is black discolouration on the wood, the new insulation requirements be accounted for, and that any necessary adjustments to ventilation be made. HIP can provide consultation and / or service in both scenarios.
The take away: bringing the outdoors in comes with considerations. The presence of black and grey colouring on wood is in most cases -- while beautiful -- is mould / mold.