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Contrary to popular belief (and what many remediators will tell you) chemicals are almost NEVER needed when it comes to dealing with mold.
Sounds strange, right? Like a surgeon saying he doesn’t need a scalpel to perform an operation. Or a mechanic saying he doesn’t need a wrench to fix your car’s engine.
But it’s 100% true. On this page, we’ll explain why.
Ask anyone on the street what to do with mold and the most common answer is “kill it with bleach.”
Press them for more details, and people might tell you to spray it, scrub it, kill it, paint it, or mist it with bleach, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and so on.
But did you know none of that effectively removes mold for porous surfaces (ex: drywall, carpet, insulation, etc.)?
It’s Grade-A pseudo-science.
How do we know? Because the national mold remediation standard (ANSI/IICRC S520 Standard For Professional Mold Remediation, or S520 for short) says so.
The S520 was created by the Institute Of Inspection Cleaning & Restoration Certification (IICRC). In the S520, the IICRC has established the following protocols for proper mold removal:
In other words: Mold removal isn’t rocket science. And there is no magic chemical or “silver bullet.” Removing mold right simply involves hard work, meticulous attention to detail, a whole lot of elbow grease. Even the Bible says so! (Leviticus 14:33-47)
As for non-porous surfaces, many mold guidelines you can read online advise you wipe off mold with soap, bleach, and so on.
So what’s non-porous? Windows. Lawn furniture. Plastic toys. Dishes.
What’s not? Everything that freaks people out when it gets moldy. Drywall. Carpet. Insulation These types of materials are all porous… and the absolute last thing you should be wiping with chemicals.
The national mold remediation standard (S520) doesn’t come right out and say, “Stop using chemicals.” It does, however, make a clear-cut case against the use of chemicals many, many times in the text.
Here are a few examples:
We could keep the quotes coming, but you get the idea.
Yet even still, there are no federal regulations for mold remediation. In fact, only a handful of states require licenses for mold remediation. Due to this lack of accountability, many mold remediators get away with using harmful chemicals.
For example, fogging is notorious for sending homeowners to the emergency room and/or leaving a residue on everything in the house. As a result, the IICRC hasn’t recommended it since the 2008 edition of the S520.
Yet 50% of remediators still use fogging. And the reason why is that no one holds their feet to the fire. There is no federal or state agency that regulates mold remediators, mold testers, and mold chemicals sold in big-box stores. So these remediators are under zero pressure to change their ways.
Why don’t remediators have to change their ways? Because if they fail testing, then they just run their air scrubbers for another few days.
If they fail testing again? They run the air scrubbers for another few days.
Eventually, they’re going to drop the mold levels in the air enough that they’ll eventually pass airborne testing.
Why this is bad: The remediator didn’t do the hyper-intensive cleaning, so there are still mold spores covering the floor that won’t ever get analyzed during the airborne testing. When the containment comes down and you live in that area again, you and your family will be kicking up these spores and breathing them in for the next few years.
Did you know dead mold causes the same health reaction as living mold? It’s true… which is why it makes zero sense to kill mold.
The confusing part about mold is it affects people differently. It’s either an irritant, allergen, toxin, or infectious agent. Out of the people who react to mold, 90% have an allergic reaction, 10% get a chemical reaction, and less than 1% get a mold infection.
In other words, dead mold is just as bad for you as live mold. The recommendation to “kill mold” would be like telling someone with a peanut allergy that they need to kill peanuts.
Here is what the S520 says about killing mold with chemicals:
In laymen’s terms, chemicals don’t prevent allergic reactions to mold. In fact, they can make your reaction WORSE if you’re sensitive to chemicals. To make matters worse, remediators spray chemicals in such large amounts that it is very tough to get those chemicals out of your home if you do react to them.
The only time killing mold helps is if you’re in the 1% that could get a mold infection. If you’re on life support, just had a bone marrow transplant, or are undergoing chemo, then you do want to kill mold. Your immune system is suppressed, so a mold infection growing in your lungs or brain is a real concern.
But for the 99% of the population that isn’t prone to mold infection? Killing mold is simply not necessary. In fact, it’s the completely WRONG approach.
Bleach, encapsulants, and mold stain removers are all ways to cover up sloppy workmanship. As the S520 clearly states, the only way to remove mold effectively is by…
At Valor Mold Removal, that’s exactly what we do.
Our Mold Remediation page describes our process in great detail, but here is the “nutshell” version:
Chemicals can be useful in limited situations. We use chemicals on less than 2% of mold jobs, and for the following reasons:
If your project is in the 98% that doesn’t call for chemicals, we don’t use them. It’s that simple.
Bottom line: If you want mold removal done SAFELY and done RIGHT, we’re the remediator for you. Get in touch today.
We remove mold the right way… and it would be an honor to hear from you.
Fill out this form to contact us. We’ll follow up with 24 business hours.