I am not going to attempt to discuss the entire topic of mold in this post.
Even though mold may not be visibly present in the building–its spores are literally everywhere. For molds to grow in the indoor environment (at least the ones we are most often concerned about), most will need oxygen, food, suitable temperatures and water.
Mold can grow on most surfaces. Even dust is a suitable food for mold growth. In the cleanest of households there is going to be dust in the air that will circulate and find the wettest (coolest) surfaces. As this dust collects on even glass or metal surfaces it becomes a medium suitable for a mold feast.
The temperatures that humans are comfortable at are ideal for mold as well, so there is not much we can do regarding temperature to control mold.
Unfortunately humans don’t do well without oxygen–so it is a good idea to keep air in the building as well.
It has been demonstrated that there is a connection between damp household air and a “slight” increase in health related issues. There is scant info to support that it is mold in this damp air that is the sole culprit in these health issues. Other things that are also often associated with damp air, such as dust mites, bacteria, termites, protozoans, endotoxins, VOCs, formaldehyde, pesticides, viruses, and overall poor ventilation, must be considered in the whole picture of how the air in a home is affecting occupants adversely. In fact, in most instances household dust (translate dust mites) makes up the biggest percentage of this mucky air.
In light of this, it makes more sense to fix conditions that contribute to excess moisture in the building and to focus on ensuring that we maintain good air quality in the building–than it does to focus on mold.
Thanks to faulty media-induced-hysteria, mold has become “Gold” for some–a multi-billion dollar industry based on next to nothing, other than being able to count on people’s vulnerability, fear, and lack of good information–victims of misinformation and disinformation.
By Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle
For additional reading on the topic as well as supporting documentation for the contents of this post see the following three documents:
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