Indoor Environmental Air Quality


Are older buildings more susceptible to mold?


Although it may seem counterintuitive, older buildings are generally less prone to experiencing mold problems than newly constructed buildings. This is primarily due to the type of building materials used in construction.

Newer buildings are primarily constructed using gypsum board, commonly referred to as drywall. When this material becomes water damaged, the paper component of the drywall can serve as a food source for mold to become established. It’s important to quickly dry these materials when water leaks are identified.

Older buildings are primarily constructed of hard plaster. This material lacks the organic food source necessary to support mold growth. When hard plaster is exposed to prolonged moisture, the matrix of the material breaks down, causing the material to bubble and blister; however, it will not support mold growth.


Additional resources:

CDC's Main Page on Mold:

CDC’s Mold Testing page:

CDC's Indoor Air Quality Page:

EPA’s Mold Testing and Sampling page:

EPA's Main Page on Mold: