According to experts, the more economical heating this winter will cause more mold damage in apartments and houses. “The risk of mold growth as a result of inappropriate heating and ventilation behavior can definitely be classified as high,” said Stefan Betz, chairman of the Federal Association for Mold Remediation, the German Press Agency. From the point of view of the energy consultant association GIH, there is a lack of information about the correct heating and ventilation.

“Mould damage will increasingly occur in older existing buildings, especially in the poorly insulated apartment buildings from the 1960s and 70s,” estimates Betz. In principle, kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms are more at risk in all buildings because a lot of moisture is produced here. “If less heating is used here than in previous years to save energy costs, but the ventilation behavior is not adjusted, increased moisture can enter walls, room corners, furniture and fabrics, and mold can result,” said the Expert.

There is a lot of advertising for saving energy, but not enough information about correct user behavior, says Lutz Badelt, chairman of the GIH regional association in Berlin-Brandenburg. He is aware of a case in which the residents of a house no longer heat, but use the heat from cooking. This is how the humid air gets into the other rooms – a danger for mold.

Taboo subject mold

Mold is also sometimes a taboo subject. “Especially in the older generation, mold is associated with uncleanliness,” says Badelt. That’s why people don’t like to talk about it and the problem doesn’t get solved. Victims would also be stigmatized. “Sometimes people are accused of not ventilating properly. But that can’t be said in general terms. Residents of poorly insulated buildings often have no chance at all of avoiding mold.”

“If a tenant discovers mold damage, there is a high probability that he will contact his landlord first,” says Betz. This phase often leads to arguments about the cause. “It often takes weeks and months before damage is reported to a restructuring company or a lawyer,” says the expert. Usable figures will therefore only be available in six months to a year.