CAHPtalk – The Truth About Mold

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Men laying new hardwood flooring

The big “m” word. MOLD! It scares people and has created more litigation than ever before. Foreclosed and vacant properties can be even riskier since there can be a higher presence of mold in these houses. Banks have established special disclaimer forms dealing with mold when selling a foreclosure. No one wants to take responsibility and for good reason. The clean-up and the mitigation can be very cumbersome and very expensive. There is panic, intimidation and fear in the market with most industry people scrambling to avoid mold issues and liabilities.

Mold has been part of the environment for years. In an open environment, it does not pose a threat. It’s when we are exposed to mold inside the home that it becomes a problem. Finding out the truth about mold versus scare tactics has created a new opportunity for business. Unfortunately, not everyone is upfront and honest, and many consumers are being led down the garden path at a very high cost.

Mold is not restricted to older homes or vacant homes. It can also be an issue in new construction since we have increased our vulnerability to it. Building materials are a food source, and air-tight homes without good ventilation along with complicated HVAC systems are contributing to mold issues. When deciding what molds will present a problem, we have to remember that people do not react the same way to mold, and that some molds affect us differently.

The ultimate goal would be to avoid mold growth inside the home. It can protect one’s health and save the pocketbook. Mold can surface at any point in a home, especially in the crawlspace and attic. Any location that is damp or where there is high moisture and darkness becomes a source of food for mold.

One of the questions asked is whether or not mold can destroy the structure of the home. Mold is a fungi and can deteriorate cellulose which is found in wood. Over a period of time, if not treated, structural damage can develop. Microfungi also produce spores that affect people’s health. For this reason, it is important always to be on top of mildew removal when seen.

If you suspect that you have mold in your home, or if you are looking to purchase a property that has mold or spores that are visible, then make sure the conditions are evaluated and full mitigation takes place. It is important to identify the food source for mold growth, eliminate that first and then mitigate the mold. It is always best to use a professional mold mitigator that has experience dealing with mold.

Stan-Garnet

Stan A. Garnet ACI, ASHI, ICC, is an ASHI-certified home inspector and an IRC Residential Combination Inspector with his company, Inspectors Associates, Inc., in Atlanta. Stan is the director of www.ConsultAHomePro.com, director of education at the We Teach House™ Institute and the developer of the See Thru-House at the Atlanta Home Show. For more information visit www.INeedAnInspector.com or e-mail [email protected]

 

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