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Mold grows incredibly fast in my kitchen. What's going on?

Mold grows incredibly fast in my kitchen. What's going on?

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Old Jun 4, 11, 10:30 am
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Mold grows incredibly fast in my kitchen. What's going on?

A few months ago, I moved into a larger apartment in the same building that I lived in previously. The building is well over 100 years old, all brick, but with some water damage (especially after this past winter's heavy snows).

In the previous apartment, I've never had an issue with food (especially bread) molding. Now, mold is a scourge.

I like to bake bread, and the last batch I made had mold on it within two days, despite being stored in an air-tight zip-lock plastic bag. Even bread that I put in the fridge seems to mold over quickly, and not to mention fruits/vegetable that are left on counters.

What's going on?

I keep my kitchen nicely aerated, there is no visible mold on any walls or anything like that, and neither my GF nor I have had any respiratory/allergy issue that are tell-tales of a mold infestation.

Is there anything I can do besides vacuum-sealing everything?
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Old Jun 4, 11, 6:30 pm
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The spores are probably everywhere. You could try spraying and wiping down all surfaces with diluted bleach (or even vinegar) or some commercial mold killer and see if it helps. Of course it may do you no good if you can't get into the vents (depending on how the place is ventilated).
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Old Jun 4, 11, 7:05 pm
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You should get a mold test kit, they are like $5 or $10 and see if you have a problem. Most hardware stores have them. I'm betting it comes back fairly high for spores.

That will only confirm they are there, you will still need to address where they are coming from and either eliminate them or stop them from coming in. Though if there was water damage, there is probably mold if they did not take care of it all.
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Old Jun 5, 11, 7:28 am
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Originally Posted by cordelli View Post
You should get a mold test kit, they are like $5 or $10 and see if you have a problem. Most hardware stores have them. I'm betting it comes back fairly high for spores.

That will only confirm they are there, you will still need to address where they are coming from and either eliminate them or stop them from coming in. Though if there was water damage, there is probably mold if they did not take care of it all.
Thanks, I will start with that.
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Old Jun 5, 11, 7:55 am
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You might also check out these previous threads:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/omni/...-now-what.html
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/omni/...om-smelly.html
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Old Jun 5, 11, 8:14 pm
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Originally Posted by notsosmart View Post
...I like to bake bread, and the last batch I made had mold on it within two days, despite being stored in an air-tight zip-lock plastic bag. Even bread that I put in the fridge seems to mold over quickly, and not to mention fruits/vegetable that are left on counters.

What's going on?

I keep my kitchen nicely aerated, there is no visible mold on any walls or anything like that, and neither my GF nor I have had any respiratory/allergy issue that are tell-tales of a mold infestation.

Is there anything I can do besides vacuum-sealing everything?
Lots of possible reasons, but the 2 most likely are that the flour is contaminated (mold spores staying dormant until water is added) or that something is blowing the spores around (classically HVAC with ducts needing cleaning, but could be other things). The latter would generally result in other symptoms (at a minimum mold around the shower/bathtub unless that has no airflow access). I'd try a freshly opened bag of flour, with bleach cleaned bowls and utensils, and see if that fares better. A minute amount of uncleaned mold can spread like wildfire.
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Old Jun 6, 11, 6:49 am
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If you find you do have mold spores, which I'm guessing you do, talk to your landlord (assuming you rent, since you said apartment building). They should be responsible for paying someone to remove the mold and take measures to ensure they've removed all of it, and that it won't return. They may temporarily place large, industrial-sized air dryers wherever the water damage was, in an attempt to remove any remaining water.

In some cases, mold remediation means gutting the apartment, down to the studs. When Mr. Kipper was doing mold remediation 7-8 years ago, they'd apply a bleach-based solution to the studs and would also usually apply Kilz to a lot of the cleaned surfaces, IIRC.

Good luck!
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Old Jun 6, 11, 2:00 pm
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Originally Posted by kipper View Post
If you find you do have mold spores, which I'm guessing you do, talk to your landlord (assuming you rent, since you said apartment building). They should be responsible for paying someone to remove the mold and take measures to ensure they've removed all of it, and that it won't return. They may temporarily place large, industrial-sized air dryers wherever the water damage was, in an attempt to remove any remaining water.

In some cases, mold remediation means gutting the apartment, down to the studs. When Mr. Kipper was doing mold remediation 7-8 years ago, they'd apply a bleach-based solution to the studs and would also usually apply Kilz to a lot of the cleaned surfaces, IIRC.

Good luck!
i cannot believe one can get a landlord to de mold ify an apartment. we are talking about food mold and food spores. i do not think it possible, other than in clean room conditions to keep a lived in kitchen food spore free. this is not the stuff in florida that is between the walls.

my wife bakes bread often. it always molds within 2-3 days. no preservatives, like wonderbread.

Last edited by slawecki; Jun 7, 11 at 6:29 am
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Old Jun 6, 11, 2:51 pm
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Originally Posted by slawecki View Post
i cannot believe one can get a landlord to de mold ify an apartment. we are talking about food mold and food spores. i do not think it possible, other than in clean room conditions to keep a lived in kitchen food spore free. this is not the stuff in florida that is between the walls.
The OP says about mold in/on food, but also says the building has water damage. If there is mold, from water damage, then I'd guess that the landlord is responsible for handling the remediation, especially if the OP didn't live in the apartment when the water damage happened.
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Old Jun 6, 11, 5:31 pm
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Spores can also hide in AC/heating ducts. Legionnaires' disease (caused by a bacterium not mold) was traced back, I believe, to fetid water in the hotel's AC units.
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Old Jun 7, 11, 3:55 pm
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Dehumidifier may also help, UV based air filter would do some good too.
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Old Jun 9, 11, 7:15 pm
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Check the refrigerator pan -- that is a great source of mold, and often over-looked. Presuming you didn't move the fridge from the old apt, and didn't clean the new one. That would explain the lack of people effect while still rapidly contaminating food.
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Old Jun 9, 11, 8:49 pm
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In recent years common household mold has become big business. There's a lot of money to be made remediating mold when the general public can be "educated" to believe that any water damage means mold spores are lurking in the HVAC and behind the the walls and that this, and only this, is making people sick. That the symptoms are the same as the common cold or that the pollen count is high couldn't be the reason. Not when everybody who goes for allergy testing tests positive to mold and a few think it kind of fun creating some drama with the landlord. It is evidence of the hysteria about mold that people here are suggestiing that the landlord should take care of it, even mentioning taking it down to the studs, when the posting was only about bread mold. That kind of talk just feeds the hysteria.
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Old Jun 10, 11, 7:01 am
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Originally Posted by number_6 View Post
Check the refrigerator pan -- that is a great source of mold, and often over-looked. Presuming you didn't move the fridge from the old apt, and didn't clean the new one. That would explain the lack of people effect while still rapidly contaminating food.
Good idea. I've bleached everything so far, as YVR suggested, but haven't really disinfected the fridge, as it appears pretty clean. (Although it wasn't new when I moved in).

Originally Posted by Tizzette View Post
In recent years common household mold has become big business. There's a lot of money to be made remediating mold when the general public can be "educated" to believe that any water damage means mold spores are lurking in the HVAC and behind the the walls and that this, and only this, is making people sick. That the symptoms are the same as the common cold or that the pollen count is high couldn't be the reason. Not when everybody who goes for allergy testing tests positive to mold and a few think it kind of fun creating some drama with the landlord. It is evidence of the hysteria about mold that people here are suggestiing that the landlord should take care of it, even mentioning taking it down to the studs, when the posting was only about bread mold. That kind of talk just feeds the hysteria.
Yea, that's not us. It's just the food that ticks me off. I want to be able to keep bread for longer than a day or two, dagnit. Well, today I'm baking, so we'll see how that goes.
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Old Jun 10, 11, 11:26 am
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Originally Posted by number_6 View Post
Check the refrigerator pan -- that is a great source of mold, and often over-looked.
Just wondering, where is this in the fridge? Do you mean underneath (for bottom coils) to catch the drip?
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