Every house/apartment has mold. The question is – At what point should you be concerned.
As a residential contractor I have been asked this question more than a few times. While there is no “one size fits all” answer, there are a few issues to consider based on your specific situation.
According to the CDC Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Alternaria are all common household molds. Chances are you have some of these in your home. They all thrive in areas where moisture is present. They are all considered relatively harmless in small amounts. If you suffer from allergies then any mold can be harmful.
Stachybotrys chartarum is considered harmful, but the information on how it enters and thrives in your home is less clear. Tests can be performed, but are costly and often inconclusive.
This all sounds fairly threatening and a little hopeless, right? The bottom line is that you can control most of the mold issues without a lot of hassle. The recommended process, from the CDC, to control mold is the same old saw – ten parts water to one part bleach. This can be applied with a sprayer or a cloth. Just make sure you wear gloves and protective eye-wear.
The bigger issue – limiting the mold growth. Mold thrives in moisture, so the obvious place to stop mold growth is control the areas that collect moisture. Bathrooms, basements, kitchens, bottom rows of siding, etc. As you can see in the picture above, showers and tubs are one of the most likely areas for mold growth. So, don’t put off that re-caulking job. And always use mold and mildew resistant 100% silicone.
The other area that can greatly affect moisture in your home is the ventilation. Especially in the attic. https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/heat-rises-how-much-of-yours-is-in-your-attic-tgil/
Check to see if your attic is properly ventilated. There are several easy formulas to use based on the square footage of your house and the roof pitch. If your house is more than 10-15 years old, it probably isn’t ventilated properly.
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Photo/Flickr:Angela Schmeidel Randall