MOLD.....It's in every house
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MOLD.....It's in every house! authorMOLD.....It's in every house!
by David Andrick of A-1 Home Inspection Services LLC
05-05-2004

Mold is the latest environmental issue to challenge homeowners and buyers. Since every home has some sort of mold in it (old bread left out sort of counts!), the importance should not be overlooked. It is especially important to understand that mold is not only a potential environmental hazard to the occupants ( i.e. health issues: fatigue, headache, flu-like symptoms), but has destructive elements with excessive concentrations per square footage levels leading to the eventual breakdown of anything made of cellulose (i.e. wood, paper wrapped drywall, etc.).

Opportunistic environments for mold to proliferate seen during actual inspections include:

1.) Over insulated houses where fresh air sources are covered.

2.) Attics with gable vents covered over.

3.) Under ventilated homes (Yes, houses are supposed to breathe).

4.) Previous/current water damage in attics, basements, crawlspaces, plumbing.

5.) Clothes dryers vented inside a home.

6.) Under insulated homes (moisture from heat ends up in the attic).

7.) Lack of proper vapor barrier, insulation, or ventilation in crawlspaces.

8.) Interior exhaust fans (usually bathrooms) venting into the attic.

9.) Improper exterior grading. Lack of proper rain gutters and downspouts provide hydrostatic pressure and moisture     intrusion into basements over time.

10.) Wet basements/crawlspaces without proper means (sump pump) to extricate the water source.

11.) Wood to ground soil contact.

12.) Lack of proper exhaust venting in bathrooms/laundry areas.

13.) Lack of maintenance of exterior siding, especially North facing exteriors.

14.) Poorly maintained forced hot air/central a/c systems.

Generally, with a lack of ventilation and exposure to moisture, susceptible areas can develop widespread mold within days. It's not just the "toxic" type of black mold (stachybotrys) that needs to be addressed in these situations, but ANY type of mold in excess is not a welcome occupant in any house or workplace. The obvious need to be aware of mold is essential to the "health" of every home or workplace and it's occupants especially if any occupant has a history of asthma or allergies. Once identified and cultured, remediation (ventilation, cleanup, or removal of the affected areas) can be considered.


David Andrick is the owner of A-1 Home Inspection Services LLC of Staatsburg NY. He services the Mid-Hudson Valley of New York including Columbia, Dutchess, Southern Greene, Ulster, Orange, and Putnam counties. You can contact David via E-mail or by calling his office at (845) 889-8849.

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