Where does mold come from? Do you risk “taking it with you” when moving from a moldy apartment to a not moldy one?



Where does mold come from? Do you risk “taking it with you” when moving from a moldy apartment to a not moldy one?

In: Biology

Yes. Spores are in the air, on surfaces, on your skin. By creating environment that prevents them from developing (low humidity, low temperature) and removing potential food sources (basically anything organic), you can control whether they develop into a problem or not.

Mold is a type of fungus. It reproduces by spreading spores into the air. These spores generally only go a short distance, so they’re not really something to worry about most of the time.

If the type of mold is particularly resilient or particularly harmful, then tracking from one place to another may be a concern, but often times washing your fabrics before moving them is enough to keep the spread down and kill any spores that may be hangers-on.

Mold spores come from outside. Simply, yes you can transfer it from one place to another. However, mold spores are everywhere and you shouldn’t be panicking about it. When air testing for mold spores, it is not a simple yes or no whether or not you have mold. It is a comparison of the outside air and the inside area. If your inside is higher than outside, you have a mold problem. Certain molds are worse than others and immediately raise concern while others are ignored. If you have visible growth it is a concern for sure. Best practice is to fix leaking appliances/water supply lines and keep air flowing in your house.

**Not official advice, though I am a water/fire/mold remediation professional.

Yes, the spores are naturally present in the air however, so though you might not bring that particular mould, another will be floating around pretty much anywhere you go.

The way to stop it is to make the conditions inhospitable – dry being the main point. Don’t allow steam, condensation or water built up in or around your home. Keep air moving through the house – you don’t need huge winds and draughts, though… just a small slot open on your double-glazing, which is why they put the slots in double-glazed windows, or a gentle movement of air. In my old house (1930’s brick) there was a big condensation problem, leaving mould on all the windowsills, and we cured it overnight with what is basically a fan designed to pull air from the attic and lightly waft it down into the main house. A 3-bedroom house was ventilated well enough by a fan you could barely hear pulling enough air through the house that you could barely feel it (we installed it on the loft hatch, so it didn’t even need any building work).

If you keep air moving, which helps dry, and keep the house itself dry – ventilate the bathroom, use a cooker hood, make sure there are no water leaks, etc. – then mould will settle as it always does but it won’t be able to take hold and grow.

Mould is present in the air. It actually spores into the air all the time and it’s present in every soil, the outside world and in your house. Those spores are therefore everywhere and you can’t get rid of them (no matter how much you clean, etc.). All you can do is ensure they can’t grow into a full mould, by keeping things clean, dry and ventilated.

In a technical sense, yes, you can ‘bring it with you’ by transporting some mold bodies or spores from one place to another.

In a practical sense, no, this doesn’t have a very meaningful impact on whether your new place will be moldy or not. Mold spores are *everywhere*, they get on *everything*. The cleanest and most mold-free apartment in town, still has a light dusting of mold spores on every surface. The difference between a moldy apartment and a not-moldy one, is whether there’s anywhere for those spores to land and grow into a fungal colony. In order to do that, mold needs to land somewhere that:

– stays humid most/all the time

– isn’t too hot or cold

– doesn’t get much sunlight

– doesn’t get frequent cleaning.

And the most important one is humidity. If your new place is kept dry, then all the mold spores in the world won’t be able to colonize it. And if your new place is damp and dark, then mold will take hold no matter *how* carefully you cleaned your things before moving.

Mold spores are everywhere. Yes you could technically bring them along with you to your new apartment. But there will be mold spores there regardless. Your apartment will generally only develop a mold problem if the environmental conditions (e.g. temperature and moisture) are suitable for fungus to grow.

Technically, yes. Practically, no.

Mold can only grow in moist areas. If you’re having mold problems, you have moisture problems. That might be due to leaky plumbing, water coming through the foundation, or moist air condensing on cold surfaces. Remove the moisture, and the mold can’t form.

But, if you bring the moisture along with the mold spores from your old apartment, you could get the same mold in the new apartment.

Mold. (Mycelial fungus)

If you’re on (in, under, over) planet Earth it’s part of your environment. So are the spores by which it propagates. No escape…

The good news is that they’re integral to all the other biological phenomena here in our Homeworld…including our species.

As to the issue of “too damn much mold where I don’t want it” it comes down to denying it the stuff it needs to grow…substrate (what it eats), moisture (which it needs just like us).

As others have said, mold is everywhere. The key to avoiding it is to reduce the environments where it flourishes.

Mold likes damp dark places with little ventilation. Identify and remove these and all will be well.

The ramifications of this are almost endless. I will leave the list to your imagination (and skill).

To remove it, high-concentration hydrogen peroxide is your least-toxic option. Works a treat.

You can take it with you! My friend had to get rid of lots of her possessions because her house had black mold. Living there made her whole family really sick and so taking things with them was not an option.

100% anecdotal, but a neighbor of mine had a minor mold problem in their home, like low enough to not cause problems for healthy people or to be of any concern. But the wife had Lyme disease and it increased her symptoms. They had to move and leave EVERYTHING behind. Just straight up moved out, hired a realtor and an estate sale company to recoup any money possible. So yes, it can go with you

I’m a lawyer and specialize in real estate law. I get a lot of phone calls about “mold”. End of the day, any time you have moisture, you will have mold. Period. It’s everywhere and there’s only one thing you can do about it: creat a dry environment. Nothing else short of massive laboratory grade technology will stop it.

Most molds are harmless. Some people have allergies that don’t get along with mold. Only in the rarest cases will you find a “toxic” mold, and that’s usually only found in hot, humid environments like the coast along the Gulf of Mexico.

Sir, I’m sure you are a terrific lawyer, but you are not a terrific microbiologist or even a very good mold remediator. Your statement, “some People have allergies, that don’t get along with mold, is nonsense. That’s like saying, some people have high blood pressure, that doesn’t get along with radon. It is a ridiculous statement. Molds can be allergenic, whether or not you have allergic reactions to other things. Molds also deliver mycotoxins that can make some very very sick. It’s not something to be taken lightly or dismissed. Also, your geographical description of where mold is, is nonsense. Mold is everywhere. Some of the most serious cases of mold are in the high desert, the Northwest , or Eastern seaboard. For heavens sakes, they are shutting down a hospital in Seattle for mold. Folks, mold is serious.

From personal experience: Get rid of carpet in your bedroom. Carpet, if it gets wet frequently from spills, wet shoes, etc, is a great place for mold to grow, and yes you can track the spores on your shoe soles from one place to another. If you find mold, WEAR A RESPIRATOR when you clean it. I didn’t and scraped it off like an idiot and wound up in the ER, it felt like I had been dosed with a drug (racing heart, confused thinking). I keep a spray bottle of vinegar in every room now and once a month I spray down window sills (mold loves those too), under sinks, and everywhere in the bathroom. Vinegar is a miracle cleaner, totally non-toxic to you, but it dissolves mold instantly and helps prevent the spores from dispersing as you clean it.

Spores, which are like the seeds for mold, and yes if you don’t destroy all the spores, which is also hard to do because they are armored.

Mostly you just have to make sure the conditions that form a place for spores to “sprout” don’t exist, or they will. Spores fly around on air and are everywhere. HEPA filters can remove them, but they can also survive a while on surfaces.

Also when there is obvious outbreak of mold, even if it has since died and dried out, don’t clean it inside your house, and if you don’t absolutely need the container just toss it without opening it. Otherwise you’re agitating and spreading spores everywhere and will just make the next thing “catch” mold faster.

Spores can just be around for years awaiting the moisture and substrate needed.

I moved from a nasty mold situation, allergy-triggering for me, in an apartment to a house. Of course it poured the day we moved and a few things got wet. But I never noticed anything once we got to the house. I was really stressed about it but it wasn’t bad. The moisture in the air was way more important than the presence of whatever mold was living on things when we moved it.

Fungi are the most common living organisms on earth. The largest single living thing known on earth is a fungus growing underground in a national forest in Oregon. I’ve been in property management for years and I’ve done this speech for hundreds of people.

Yeast, molds, mushrooms, and their spores are literally everywhere, they just need food and moisture. If you leave a piece of fruit out and it gets moldy does that mean your house is contaminated by mold? No, the spores are already there. If you have poor insulation such that the walls are cold and indoor warm air condenses on them, then they will mold. Is your house contaminated? Well, it is now that you’ve grown a colony but the spores were there all the time. Molds come in a million different varieties. Some eat fruit, some eat acrylic paint and drywall, some grow on human oils and skin that are on your walls. Of course you take spores with you and they will join the spores that are guaranteed to already be there. Mold is a moisture problem, that’s it, end of story.

Yes you can take it with you. If you’re sick from mold, then it will be on everything you own. Some people who are extremely sick have to throw everything away. Literally everything.

People who are less sick can get away with carefully cleaning everything. Some things that are porous like pillows and furniture are impossible to clean completely. If you need to clean things, then you’ll need to do some research. There are different methods. Join the mold groups on Facebook. Read survivingmold.com.

The best mold tests are NOT air tests. Of course most “professionals” will tell you air tests are great, because that’s all they know. But it’s old technology.

The problem with air testing is that you’re only testing at one point in time. Depending on wind, ventilation, air flow, etc, you may get lucky and catch the spores, or you may not.

Over time, mold spores will gradually settle out of the air, and get added to dust. So the best method, recommended by the EPA, is to collect dust and do a DNA analysis on it. This is called an ERMI test. Mycometrics is the best company for this test. They will send you a test kit which is basically a Swiffer and a plastic bag.