Mold under a magnifying glass

The 7 most common misconceptions about mold

1) A little mold is not that bad

Mold should be dealt with immedeately as soon as it is discovered. Otherwise, it spreads, builds airborne spores and can become a health hazard. It also damages the building. Small affected areas can be removed fairly easy with a mold removal set.

2) High air humidity is healthy

Not necessarily – above 60% relative air humidity, the cardiovascular system is noticeably more strained. Also, it provices a climate in which mold can thrive. A hygrometer enables you to monitor air humidity. If it is too high, you can lower it using a dehumidifier.

3) If I do nothing, maybe the mold will go away by itself

That would be nice. Unfortunately, mold is fairly robust and can withstand high temperatures, long periods of dryness, and it can even endure exposure to many chemicals. It has to be removed manually, e. g. with a mold removal set. If the contamination has progressed too far, a professional should be hired.

4) Tilting windows will prevent mold formation

Quite on the contrary. With tilted windows, the air exchange is taking rather long, whilst cooling down the wall around the window significantly. That's where water condenses, forming water droplets. Better air intermittently with windows wide open. Ideally, open another window or a door on the opposite side of the room too, so the air can blow through, allowing the room air to be exchanged swiftly. If that is not sufficient to regulate humidity, consider purchasing a dehumidifier.

5) Only old buildings are affected by mold

No, newer and renovated buildings can also be affected by mold. If the air humidity is too high for prolonged periods, it's just a matter of time until mold forms somewhere.

6) Help, my potting soil is covered in mold!

Potting earth can indeed become moldy, but most of the time, the white layer coating the soil is just chalk remains from water with a high mineral content ("hard water"). Chalk on potting earth tends to be thin and hard, and it crumbles on contact. Mold, on the contracy, is usually soft and "hairy".

Soil with a low turf content helps preventing mold growth in flower pots. More on moldy potting earth

7) Mold can be removed with vinegar

Unfortunately not. What does help: Chlorid spray, concentrated alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.