Mold in a current & future sit

If it’s the end of the story for you, you’re free to stop criticizing this sitter who is in a stressful no-win situation. I’d like to provide her with at least a little emotional support.


I judge mold by sight and smell. Like everyone probably has had food go moldy and just tossed it. Shrug.

Mold, when I walk into a place and can strongly smell it, is problematic, for example. That’s because even mold that you can’t see can hurt you, because it can grow behind walls, in insulation, in air ducts and such.

There are specific ways to build that can help prevent mold. Shoddy construction or overly airtight construction by people who don’t know what they’re doing can lead to mold inside walls that eventually will show up visibly. But people with a strong sense of smell can notice earlier.

There have been huge lawsuits by homebuyers over such — entire condo buildings, entire developments and such. I have shopped for / bought a lot of real estate, starting decades ago in the U.S. Pacific Northwest, where it’s rainy and damp, so I learned about this way back. I also have a strong sense of smell.

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Ventilation is the only solution to mould, but people do not do it.
In the Winter, if too cold to open windows, then buy a dehumifier and use periodically.
But some people wont, they don’t like spending money on ‘invisible’ things .

Here in the UK, our worst months for dampness etc are November to January, where the house humidity tends to be at it highest. In the Summer, humidity is a lot lower but still need ventilation.

Lawsuits - good old USA :grin::grin:

Ventilation is key

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Some buildings have been badly constructed or have been damaged or not maintained, so simply open a window won’t help you — there’s rain or other moisture (like melting snow) that can collect behind walls and mold can grow.

If you Google for mold lawsuits, there’s been extensive coverage over decades. In one badly constructed condo building I walked into in Seattle, I could smell mold as soon as I walked into the lobby. We went inside a unit to look at layouts and we saw mold growing out of the electrical sockets! Imagine what’s behind the walls if so. And that building was only a few years old.

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Opening windows (ventilation) always helps. It won’t eradicate mould but it will help. Mould can be in any house.
Going in circles here, I’m not as qualified as you regarding property construction so I’ll sign out but thanks for your comments.
I’ve no interest in Googling any lawsuits thanks but i take your point.


Mold doesn’t appear in any worrisome sense in well constructed and well maintained homes. Ventilation is part of a well constructed house — that’s why they have venting built into eaves, rooftops and such, depending on the construction.

There was a period when construction became airtight, meaning buildings weren’t well ventilated and some builders systemically did other stupid things (like you’re supposed to build so rain drips away from windows, not toward them, because then the rain will drip into the walls). Those buildings can cost millions or tens of millions to fix, depending on size, like with condo buildings, which no one can fix individually. Lawsuits were the only way those folks could recoup for the biggest investment of their lives.

Sharing this, because some folks don’t understand that some mold can sicken people and it’s not something to be taken lightly. Unfortunately, when sitters encounter mold, they probably won’t have the means to test whether mold is toxic or not.

If someone tells you just to suck it up or open a window, they don’t know anything about toxic mold and its potential to sicken or kill people, especially those with weakened immune systems, asthma or other respiratory problems, or in children and elderly folks.

As a sitter, it’s your choice how you protect your health and the health of anyone sitting with you. Don’t let other people try to downplay or press you into staying if you’re worried.

Largest Settlements from Toxic Mold Cases in the US - SanAir Technologies Laboratory, Inc..

Personally, I learned while starting to hunt for real estate in the 1990s, where there were huge problems with mold, which my real estate agent told me about and which news covered. Other folks’ misfortune helped me avoid buying mold-ridden homes and I now know what signs to look for in construction.


That sounds exaggerated.

The immune system does not have much to do with this. The mould on walls cannot infect humans or pets.

And of course: don’t eat it.

Breathing it is the problem. The spores can enter your lungs.

Note: This info is from one of the most respected medical orgs in the U.S. About | Cleveland Clinic.


Death of child from mould in the UK


If the posted article said ALL mold makes ALL people sick, I would consider that exaggerated. But it does not.

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Spores will enter your lungs all the time.

Look, I agree with you that a house should not be infested with mold. But lots of people live in moldy homes to a high age.

I don’t have asthma, and the smell would not bother me enough to abandon a sit for it. I would mention it in the review.

Right, it makes sense for each person to make their own informed choices. The problem is when a host doesn’t reveal say that there’s mold growing visibly in their home, as with the OP’s case.


Thanks @Maggie8K for posting all the info about mold. I’m surprised how many people don’t realize that it can be very dangerous. If people choose to live in a house with mold that’s up to them. But they don’t get to make that choice for a sitter. If a HO has mold in their home they should disclose it. Personally, I’m allergic to mold and have asthma so I would not stay in a home with mold.