Mold In the Bible

The following is an excerpt from the Old Testament on what to do if you have mold in your house.  Notice the Lord did not advise to simply paint over it or use bleach.  Depending on the extent of the mold growth, an owner may be able to safely remediate the problem themselves or it may require professional help.  Mold Investigations will be able to help you make those decisions.

Leviticus 14

33 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, 34 “When you enter the land of Canaan, which I am giving you as your possession, and I put a spreading mildew in a house in that land, 35 the owner of the house must go and tell the priest, ‘I have seen something that looks like mildew in my house.’ 36 The priest is to order the house to be emptied before he goes in to examine the mildew, so that nothing in the house will be pronounced unclean. After this the priest is to go in and inspect the house. 37 He is to examine the mildew on the walls, and if it has greenish or reddish depressions that appear to be deeper than the surface of the wall, 38 the priest shall go out the doorway of the house and close it up for seven days. 39 On the seventh day the priest shall return to inspect the house. If the mildew has spread on the walls, 40 he is to order that the contaminated stones be torn out and thrown into an unclean place outside the town. 41 He must have all the inside walls of the house scraped and the material that is scraped off dumped into an unclean place outside the town. 42 Then they are to take other stones to replace these and take new clay and plaster the house.

43 “If the mildew reappears in the house after the stones have been torn out and the house scraped and plastered, 44 the priest is to go and examine it and, if the mildew has spread in the house, it is a destructive mildew; the house is unclean. 45 It must be torn down—its stones, timbers and all the plaster—and taken out of the town to an unclean place.

46 “Anyone who goes into the house while it is closed up will be unclean till evening. 47 Anyone who sleeps or eats in the house must wash his clothes.

48 “But if the priest comes to examine it and the mildew has not spread after the house has been plastered, he shall pronounce the house clean, because the mildew is gone. 49 To purify the house he is to take two birds and some cedar wood, scarlet yarn and hyssop. 50 He shall kill one of the birds over fresh water in a clay pot. 51 Then he is to take the cedar wood, the hyssop, the scarlet yarn and the live bird, dip them into the blood of the dead bird and the fresh water, and sprinkle the house seven times. 52 He shall purify the house with the bird’s blood, the fresh water, the live bird, the cedar wood, the hyssop and the scarlet yarn. 53 Then he is to release the live bird in the open fields outside the town. In this way he will make atonement for the house, and it will be clean.”

Dehumidification Can Be the Solution

The key to preventing mold growth is controlling moisture. Excluding water leaks into a home or building, the number one cause of excess moisture in a structure is excess humidity. This is especially a problem in homes with electric wall or baseboard heaters which do not provide air movement while providing heat. Humans introduce water vapor into the indoor air environment through breathing, bathing, cooking and cleaning. Without adequate ventilation this excess moisture condenses on cold surfaces (window frames, un-insulated exterior wall corners, etc.) and collects in areas isolated from air movement (behind pictures on walls, book cases, boxes stacked against walls, etc.) resulting in mold growth in these areas.

The solution to the problem is either increased ventilation or dehumidification. The diligent use of bathroom and kitchen fans during bathing and showering will help in the moisture control but are often not sufficient enough to adequately remove the moisture from the air. The EPA recommends a relative humidity level between 30% and 50%.  Maintaining the recommended humidity levels not only helps prevent mold growth but will inhibit bacterial and dust mite levels.   Mold Investigations often recommends the installation of a dehumidifier in homes with high humidity and inadequate ventilation to maintain recommended humidity levels.  A small dehumidifier (approximately 45 pint capacity) costing between $200 to $300, can reduce the humidity levels in an apartment or small home to acceptable levels.

The units should be installed in an area with access to the air from the rest of the dwelling.  If they are installed in a closed room or closet, ventilation to that space needs to be provided (i.e. installing a louvered door panel).  For continued operation without manually unloading the bucket, they can be either piped into a utility sink or drain or connected to the homes drainage system.  The dehumidifier collects the excess moisture from the indoor environment and drains it out of the dwelling which reduces the conditions conducive to the growth and proliferation of mold, mildew, bacteria and dust mites.

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