5 min read

More About Mold Load

Published on
May 18, 2023

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The term “mold load” has been an effective way of describing the mold burden that is in our homes. Not entirely different from high or low blood pressure, high or low cholesterol, or high or low electromagnetic radiation. It is safe to assume, and in my mind, very obvious, that some homes have a very high mold load, and some homes have a very average mold load.

Have you ever asked yourself why some homes can have a leak, and the mold growth is very very minimal, and others, the mold thrives. These same homes in which the mold thrives, also seem to grow mold in the tub and shower area often, and the food on the counter or in the refrigerator gets moldy quickly. Its a variable that is not often discussed.

The reason for the variability is the ever growing mold load in the home. It is safe to say that all homes have some mold, just as all air that we breathe indoors or outdoors has mold. However, the term mold load is beyond the scope of simply the number of spores that are in the air. Mold load includes spores in the air, growing mold on surfaces, dormant mold on surfaces and in the air, hyphae or hyphal fragments on surfaces or in the air, and the associated mycotoxins Keep in mind, you need at least one million spores within a square inch to be able to see any mold with the naked eye. So lets not assume that if we had an issue, we would see it. Additionally, mold does not die off like bacteria. It can change from sporing to growing, to dormancy etc etc, but it does not generally die-off. It is for this reason, the mold load of every home increases day by day, and year by year. It’s a concept that the traditional remediation world refuses to recognize, and for good reason. They simply do not have an answer for the mold load that is throughout the home. In fact, they double down on NOT recognizing this by “containing” with plastic, the area to be addressed.

I understand that their reasoning is that they need to “contain the mold” so that it doesn't get into the rest of the home. This is a great thought, if for even a split second, anyone thought the rest of the home was sterile. Or, at very minimum, void of mold load. I'm guessing the only way to assign logic to the containment idea is to suggest that all mold, in the entire home, heard about the leak and decided, as a group, “lets go to the party” Of course, this is beyond ridiculous. I personally look at the containment protocol differently, and I believe it is their way of suggesting, “we are not responsible for anything in the home, relative to mold, except what is in this small contained area. I took a week long mold contractor class a few years ago, and we spent a day learning the ins and outs of 6 mil plastic, and duct tape, and double bagging, and twisty ties. I did not feel as though I was learning anything that would be considered “state of art”. Yes, it was a long day. In an attempt to break up the day, I asked the group, “hey, after we are done, we take down the plastic, and then test the home?” An almost thunderous amount of voices all said, almost in unison, “NO”! I went along, played dumb, and said, “why”? The vocal ones were very adamant in telling me, “you will never be able to pass that house, on a mold quality test, unless you leave the containment up, and test within containment after you have run air scrubbers within the containment for a few days. I pushed further, “so, are we not worried about the rest of the house”? The return statement was, “it's not within our scope of work”. I get that, and thats a safe way to keep themselves free of liability.

I can draw a comparison to the car world. Lets say you are involved in a car accident. The reason for the accident is the brake system on the car failed. The accident caused significant damage to the front end of the car.