When we go to a property we don’t ever really know what we’re going to find when we start taking it apart. Once we found an old cache of newspapers stuffed behind some drywall that dated back to the 1940’s. How they got there is anyone’s guess, but it was a pleasant little historical time capsule. Another memorable find wasn’t quite so pleasant.
We were working a 10-unit complex in West Los Angeles when after about 20 minutes of demo, we found mold everywhere. Behind the drywall, on the sub floor, and pretty much anywhere those nasty little spores can live. Patsy, the building owner, was devastated. She had no idea mold had been so pervasive in her building, and she was worried about the health of the tenants and the cost of remediation.
Luckily we were at the right place at the right time, and quickly solved the problem before it got any worse.
And trust me… it can always get worse.
The Scary Truth About Mold
Just in case you found some mold in your property but aren’t too concerned with it, I want to relay some information to paint you the real picture.
- More than 100,000 types of mold exist.
- A study by Brown University found a link between household mold and depression.
- Exposure to aspergillus mold can lead to death.
- Mold feasts on drywall, wood, carpet, and other dead organic matter.
- Even mold invisible to the naked eye can be harmful to your health.
It’s not just an annoyance—it can be a serious problem that can really ruin your day.
A Few Myths About Mold
It still amazes me how many mold myths are out there. What’s more, people believe them without ever doing research (if it’s on the internet, it’s got to be true—right?). Here are two of the most common ones I hear.
Mold Only Grows Where There’s Water
Not true. Since there are so many species of mold, some only need the slightest bit of moisture in order to grow. Moreover, some mold produces spores, and those spores can remain dormant for long periods of time and survive the harshest conditions. Then they come back when favorable circumstances arrive.
If I Can’t See Mold, It Must Not Be There
Also not true. Like I mentioned above, mold you can’t see can be harmful to your health. Some types of mold are invisible, are airborne, and often go undetected. According to a 1999 Mayo Clinic study, nearly all chronic sinus infections, which affected 37 million Americans, were mistaken for the common cold, when in fact they were the result of mold exposure.
Misconceptions About Killing Mold
There seem to be some misconceptions on how to kill mold with household products, so it’s important to get the facts straight. When we were renovating that West L.A. place, Patsy initially said she would get her handyman to come through with bleach to “take care of the problem.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this.
Let me put it simply: bleach does not remove mold.
Allow me to explain.
Mold is a living thing. Spraying it with bleaches, ammonias, or cleaning solutions might kill (and I use the word kill very loosely) a majority of it, but you can never truly kill every single spore. And get this. Dead mold spores are just as dangerous to the human lung as live mold spores. How dangerous?
Well, in 1922, a team of British archeologists in Egypt found the tomb of boy-king Tutankhamen. By 1929, the eleven people associated with the find died early deaths from unnatural causes. They attributed it to the “Mummy’s Curse,” but it turns out they had all died from exposure to ancient mold spores.
How REIG Can Help with Mold Remediation
The first way I can help you is to let you know just how big the issue really is. Like Patsy learned in West L.A., we are plenty equipped to take on the task of mold remediation, regardless of how big the job is. We understand that mold is a danger to your tenants, so we will tackle the problem quickly and safely, because our ultimate goal, when faced with a situation like this, is to provide health and longevity to your renters and your property. Contact us today, and we’ll give you straightforward information so you can prevent a further spread of spores, and your tenants can have peace of mind.