Although many homes have had mold problems at some point in their history, mold is still a very misunderstood subject and one that can easily cause panic. But before you give up on your mold problem or spray bleach on it, you should do some research to discover just what steps you'll have to take to actually eradicate the mold—because using bleach simply won't cut it. Here's why.
1. Mold lives inside the wall
Like a plant, mold has roots that grow deep inside whatever object it appears on. However, unlike a plant, the part of the mold that's visible from the outside is only the fruiting body (kind of like the flowers and seedpods on a plant). The mold doesn't depend on its fruiting body for survival, so cleaning up and bleaching the visible mold has little to no effect on the mold growth.
Because of the way bleach works, you can't expect it to soak into the wall and kill mold growth inside the wall itself, either. Instead, the chlorine will remain on the surface, doing little to no good.
2. Mold can damage the wall's structure
Even if you know that the mold is living inside your wall, you may wonder why you can't just bleach it periodically and call it good. The answer is that mold growing inside your wall can actually damage its structure. And so can the moisture problems that mold feeds on.
If the mold has been there long enough, your wall could start to become less structurally sound, especially if it's made of something particularly susceptible to mold damage. Drywall and wood, for instance, can easily become damaged by mold.
3. Mold can grow back even if you kill all of it
Even if you did somehow manage to kill all of the mold that was growing in that wall, it may not be a one-time infestation. A damp wall that has a dripping pipe inside it, or a wall in a room with high humidity, will still offer a great spot for future mold spores to land and start a new colony. Since mold spores can come inside anytime you open the door, this could happen quite soon.
As you can see, simply cleaning up and sterilizing the area won't kill all the mold or keep the same and other molds from growing back in that area. Depending on the situation, you may need a moisture solution (such as basement waterproofing), structural repairs to the wall, plumbing repairs, or even a dehumidifier in the room.
A mold remediation professional can help assess the situation, by creating and executing a cleanup and remediation plan. Learn more by contacting services like Bio-Remdiation of Virgina.