True freedom from mold might look different for everyone! There is no reason to let someone else define what freedom looks like for you.
I can promise you: Perfection is not required, here. We live in a natural world. Fungi are everywhere, though ~more~ in some places than others.
The primary issue: Depending on how sensitive we are to mold, we just don’t want to live in a place where there is more fungal presence.
And what causes more fungal activity in buildings? The presence of water. Specifically, water where it shouldn’t be.
Inside water should be contained in buildings. Inside pipes. Temporarily in a sink or washing machine. Then it should leave and go down the drain.
Outside water should remain entirely outside buildings. The roof should shed water (to gutters, downspouts, and then the ground), and the walls should let water run off and drip to the ground. Windows should shed water away from the structure. At no point should water be allowed inside walls, attics, or crawl spaces. Ground water should be directed away from the foundation.
For all of this to happen successfully, each construction system — and every appliance — must be installed properly.
- If gutters have the wrong slope, water pools up and into the attic.
- If windows aren’t flashed properly, water can leak in under the window and into the wall.
- If showers aren’t waterproofed correctly, water gets behind tiles and rots the studs and subfloor.
- If a dishwasher isn’t hooked up carefully, it could leak and ruin kitchen cabinets and flooring.
- If the HVAC system lacks a UVC light or an in-line MERV 13+ filter, it could get moldy and spread moldy spores and fumes to the entire house.
You get the idea. Each area of the house is susceptible to moisture. Even humidity, itself, is moisture — sufficient to rot out any wood-based material.
In this picture (from Dec 2022), a family removed the drywall in their bathroom — and then bathed in it normally for 3 months. The humidity from showers/baths wasn’t properly exhausted (via a bathroom fan) and, subsequently, mold grew on the OSB sheathing.
Humidity is water, and it is dangerous to building materials.