Common Household Questions About Mold

In this month's blog by Dr. Matt, he addresses a few common questions that homeowners and tenants alike ask us frequently. To learn more about how you should address issues such as humidity and mold growth.

Hello again to the TMP (The Mold Pros) blog.  Today we are going to talk about miscellaneous questions that commonly arise when people find mold in their home.  In this article we will cover three common questions:  1.  What humidity level is optimal for my home 2.  Does mold die after drying out 3.  Should you paint over mold?  


1.    What humidity is optimal for my home?  

This is actually a very important question when individuals are trying to prevent mold from growing in their house. Climates that have more humidity tend to have more mold and mycotoxin problems. This explains why Florida, the Pacific Northwest (Seattle, Portland, Vancouver), and the Gulf of Mexico region (Houston and New Orleans), have more mold exposed patients.  However, because of maintenance and building issues you can find mold in any part of the world.  As seen in Figure 1, mold grows best when humidity is higher than 50%.  

2.    Does Mold Die After Drying Out?  

While mold spores won’t multiply without a source of moisture, they will re-activate and start growing once they come into contact with water again.  However, for xerophilic molds this may mean that the humidity rises above 50%.  They do not need the original water event to keep growing.  Some spores can remain dormant for hundreds of years under the right circumstances.  That is why it is not enough to simply eliminate humidity if you have an active mold problem. The mold spores (as well as any contaminated materials) need to be treated or removed.  

3.     Should you paint over mold?

This is a common solution that lots of homeowners and rental owners use to cover up mold growth. Painting over mold does not kill mold. Paint that is mold-resistant will help prevent further mold growth, however, it won’t solve the issue.  If you are renting a property or looking to buy a new house, I would recommend looking out for these signs that someone has painted over mold.

·        Strong musty odor

·        Walls are warped

·        Paint appears bubbled, chipped, or peeled.  

Painting over mold can cause several negative outcomes.  There could be several negative problems if someone paints over mold:  personal or family health issues, extensive home damage, and high costs to fix.  

I hope these answers are helpful in answering your mold questions.  

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