Dispelling Mold Myths

The internet is loaded with information about mold from hundreds of different sources. If you have done your due diligence and thoroughly researched “mold” then you know first-hand how confusing it is to separate mold facts from mold myths.

In this series, our healthy home expert Carl Grimes dispels some of the most common mold myths, starting with what we think is the biggest: Mold is the problem.

The reality is that mold IS NOT actually the problem. While mold growth can absolutely cause issues — both for human health and structural damage — in its own right, it is really a “symptom” of a more fundamental problem: dampness. Much like a fever is a “symptom” of an infection.

Dampness inside your house is the result of moisture not being able to escape and can come from many sources:

While it is important to clean up visible mold and remove materials damaged by mold that can’t be cleaned, it is essential to eliminate the source of dampness. Cleaning up mold without fixing what is causing the dampness just means you will be cleaning up mold again and again (and again and again). The fundamental problem is dampness — so find and fix leaks, run exhaust fans in the bath and kitchen, make sure your dryer vents outside, limit drying clothes indoors, and keep your house well ventilated.

Bottomline: The mold occurs because of the dampness so the more you do to minimize dampness, the more you can minimize the risk of mold. It is that simple.

Poor indoor air quality aggravates many types of allergies as well as asthma and can cause other health symptoms — and the presence of mold in your home can cause poor indoor air quality. For more information on how to deal with house mold, read our other resources here:

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Carl Grimes
Hayward Score Healthy Homes Director Carl Grimes has both the personal experience of how an unhealthy home created his own disabling health issues, plus professional experience in various industries working in the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) field. Carl also wrote Starting Points for a Healthy Habitat in 1999, detailing possibilities of what could occur in a house to make its occupants sick, how to identify what was happening, and what to do about it.
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