Does not heating home damage home?

Hello. I live in the bottom unit of a flat (two unit building) in San Francisco, about a mile from the ocean. The top flat is kept unoccupied most of the time so the owner, who lives in another nearby city, can make use of it when he or one of his grown kids needs / wants to stay in SF. The weather in the coldest parts of winter is typically in the upper 40's / lower 50's during the day and in the upper 30's / lower 40's at night. This winter has not been typical as it's been warmer this winter than I can ever remember it being (except for the last couple days).
To save money, I don't turn on the heat in the flat, and will instead put on additional clothing to stay warm which is fine with me. Thus the house for the most part is never heated.
Somebody mentioned to me that perhaps this is not good for the house to never be heated during the winter. There's no mold anywhere in the house except for a little scattering of it on the two most bottom 1" aluminum slats of the blinds at the three west-facing windows in the front of the house (which I intend to clean off real soon) and a bit on the window sills that those aluminum slats rest on. There's no mold on the walls or anywhere else.
Am I damaging the house to not turn on the heat in the winter weather conditions of San Francisco that I described? Is there any code or standards or discussion that I could read online that covers the necessity (or non-necessity) of heating a house in various climates to prevent damage from mold? I do not want to do any damage to the house and will heat the house if I am damaging it.
Thanks for any help.
Chris.
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Get out of the house immediately! That little bit of mold WILL kill you! You will need to have the house demolished and burned. Next time dont be such a tight ass. Heat your home and save the aggravation. Bubba
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Chris wrote:

Hmmm, In your case freeze damage is not an issue. Maybe humidity concern? Then
heat is needed to control it. Don't be the case of penny wise pound foolish.
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Chris wrote:

From my experience in your area, it should not be a problem as long as you don't get cold or you don't feel like it is damp. SF from my experience is not very damp. If you air it out from time to time on dry warmer days, I doubt if there will ever be a problem. Heating and then cooling and repeating that cycle is likely to cause more damage.
--
Joseph Meehan

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I'd be more concerned about the mod than anything else. There are millions of barns and sheds and warehouses around the country, around the world, that have no heat. Constant up and down would be more damaging than no heat.
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It should be fine provided plaster etc isnt cracking.
the one issuer might be mold in unseen areas. if it were me I would heat the home for a few days perodically thru the year, just to minimize mold growth./
a few years ago mold wasnt considered a health hazard, today its the end of the world.
you wouldnt want to hrt future resale value y running a mold farem:(
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Chris wrote:

If you can live in the house without heat, then the lack of heat won't hurt anything in the house. Might be a little hard on some plants, but then the lack of heat will also slow the growth of any mold. If the thought of mold bothers you, just keep everything clean.
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Thanks for all the replies everybody (my original post is at the bottom of this post). I guess the main thing I'm concerned about is possible mold in unseen areas behind the walls. Also it's not cold year round. It eventually does heat up to typically 60 - 70 degree (F) during the day and sometimes in the 80s and 90s during the hottest parts of the year. Here's a few questions that I'd appreciate any info on:
* Would the heating that occurs when the weather warms up during non-Winter times of the year take care of any mold that appears due to any condensation behind the walls due to cold weather?
* Aren't there areas in a heated home behind the walls that would still be as cold as a nonheated home such as near the exterior walls?
* Is sheetrock inside walls vulnerable to cold wet weather?
* What organization would have rules or other info on this that I could find online or in a library?
Thanks again for the answers given to my previous post and thanks in advance to those who provide info related to any of my questions above.
Chris

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I worked at a remote mountain resort where several guest buildings were left unheated during the winter. There were no mold problems that I knew of, but there were sheetrock nail pops and cracks that I believe were due to contraction of the drywall from the cold (especially in the long hallways). The cold also ruined the seams of the vinyl in the bathrooms--they couldn't handle the shrinkage. Mind you there were no people in these buildings, thus no added moisture.
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And in the mountanins it would have been colder than the numbers he gave, right?
Remove NOPSAM to email me. Please let me know if you have posted also.
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track the temperature and humidity indoors and outdoors to have some relative humidity numbers to compare to the construction information at the relative humidity link that says 70 percent surface humidity causes damage. the black mold is a red flag for action. for your best answers read what the experts say at: http://www.buildingscience.com/resources/homeowner.htm
also, what does the owner's lease require? what minimum temperature does he keep his upper flat at?
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"buffalobill" wrote

Thanks "marson" "mm" and "buffalobill" and everyone else who replied to my two posts for the info you provided. All of it is helpful.
I don't know what the owner's lease requires and the upper flat is not heated when it's unoccupied.
Thanks so much for your post buffalobill and the great info in it. I'll read that link you provided thoroughly. It was just the kind of link I was hoping to get so thanks again! And once again, thanks to everyone who answered my questions.
Chris
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