5 min read

Frequently Asked Questions About Mold

Published on
May 18, 2023

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Mold information on the internet can be complicated, and quite frankly, really misleading. Here are the most common questions we often answer from customers.  

Question: Does mold grow in dry climates? Answer: Yes, of course, mold grows in dry climates. Mold needs 50 to 60 percent humidity and a food source. The humidity or moisture can be from moisture as common as condensation, and the food source can be as simple as dust on a surface. I once had a customer tell me that their property owner told them that mold can't grow above about 4000 feet in altitude. LOL. We have yet to find a mold-free elevation in the contiguous USA.  

Question: How dangerous is indoor mold? Answer: Impossible to answer other than saying it could be really dangerous. Every person is different, and every mold is different. Some people react to penicillium, and others react to Chaetomium. Some are bothered by Stachybotrys, and others are not. Couple this with the fact that the toxins that are produced by mold are often influenced by the food source that the mold is feeding on. Between an individual's DNA or health profile and hundreds of combinations of mold, toxins, and mvoc’s (microbial volatile organic compounds) emitted, it is impossible to determine if the mold in your home is dangerous to one person yet safe for another. The best rule of thumb is to avoid mold whenever possible, and proactively act to prevent and eliminate mold in your home, car, and workplace.  

Question: Are Pure Maintenance processes toxic? Answer: No. Pure Maintenance uses what is know as peracetic acid. Peracetic acid is listed as 1 of only 7 antimicrobials that the EPA themselves have listed as a “Safer Choice”. Additionally, the fog emits a very very low parts per million during the process. The second step is a proprietary formula that creates a mechanical device on each surface to make the home very inhospitable to mold surviving on any surface of the home. The second step creates a covalent bond to each surface that cannot come off, cannot off-gas, and simply makes each surface very difficult for a spore to land on, and survive. It's akin to a balloon landing on a bed of nails.  

Question: How long does it take to treat the average home? Answer: An average home will take approximately 3 to 5 hours to treat. We do recommend that customers stay away for a couple of hours before returning, for the vinegar smell to dissipate. Some like it, others would rather “air out” the home for the couple of hours we recommend.  

Question: I’ve been sick for years, and my healthcare practitioner feels like the mold in my home is making me sick, Is that possible? Answer: Yes, the evidence of indoor mold toxins and associated mold illness is becoming more and more mainstream every year. It is no longer just a “hunch" that indoor mold can make people sick. Doctors such as Daniel Pompa, a well-known health practitioner throughout the US, are at the forefront of the very personal battle some people have with mold toxicity.  

Question: How often will I need to treat my home? Answer: Likely and in most cases, Just 1 treatment is sufficient. The long-term effects of creating a very inhospitable home for mold spores keep the home from repeating the mold load cycle.  

Question: What is the mold load cycle? Answer: The Mold Load Cycle was coined by Pure Maintenance a few years ago. In every home, there exist areas within the home that moisture is present. These areas include but are not limited to window sills, bathrooms, carpets, drains, clothing, HVAC systems, HVAC humidifiers, air conditioners, etc etc. The cumulative effect of several small areas that harbor mold, and sporadically (no pun intended) emit spores create more and more areas that have mold and heavier and heavier concentrations in these areas. Additionally, every home after a few years has the inevitable leak or flood, and some have multiple water events. A traditional remediator will address the area of the water, but the whole home mold elevation or cycle continues. A flood or leak adds to the mold load, and when addressed may lower the mold load slightly, but only slightly. Every home goes through this, some more intensely than others, but every home goes through the mold load cycle. It is precisely the mold load elevation or cycle that creates the well-known “grandma and grandpa’ smell in a home. The mildewed moldy smell that we all associate with older homes.

Question: Why does my bathroom ceiling or caulking keep growing mold, even though I clean it? Answer: It is important to understand that in most cases, there is nothing wrong with the bathroom per se. There is something wrong with the entire home. The home has an elevated “Mold Load”. When a home has elevated mold load and is going through the mold load cycle, the elevated mold and associated spores manifest themselves wherever there is moisture. So yes, you can keep cleaning it, and it will keep coming back. Generally when a bathroom has evidence of mold growth, so do the window sills, so do the drains, and your bread probably molds quickly. Ps, some breads have so many preservatives that this is not a good indicator of mold load.

Question: Why does my front loading washing machine grow mold so rapidly? Answer: It could be a couple of things. Most notably, the design of front-loading machines does not completely clean the clothes, and the fact that a front-loading door must be sealed to keep water from coming out also keeps fresh air from drying out the moisture between loads. Once this becomes commonplace, you will notice your clothes never smelling fresh. In fact, the supermarkets are now stocked with additives for either the washing machines or the dryers to attempt to get rid of the moldy smell.  

Question: Can my “stuff” be saved if we have a moldy home? Answer: Yes, that is the beauty of the Pure Maintenance treatment. Everything in the home, along with the home and HVAC system will be fogged. We are often told that this is too good to be true. We believe it's a pretty awesome treatment.