Black Mold In Homes Is On The Rise
Black Mold In Homes is not a new problem. Black mold, despite its recent media attention is not some new phenomena and we are not dealing with or some new species that hasn’t been around for millions of years either.
Medical professionals have known for years that exposure to high levels of mold spores and toxins is harmful to human health. Occupational diseases like Aspergillosis or Farmers Lung are caused by Aspergillus a commonly found mold in homes.
Simply put, mold is everywhere. There is no escaping it. People living in dirt floor huts have it and so do people in million dollar homes.
Mold is opportunistic and travels on the wind, on our clothes and the bottoms of our shoes and on us. Inevitably we wind up with mold in the house. All of this begs the question:
Why Is Black Mold In Homes An Increasing Problem?
Are we just getting better at finding black mold in homes or is it actually a problem that is increasing over time?
Ever since the 70’s when energy prices started to soar there has been a trend to save money by making our homes more airtight and better insulated. Our homes are now designed to recirculate the air through heating and air conditioning ductwork and to keep outside air intrusion to a minimum.
Once we get black mold in homes the mold spores can make their way into our HVAC systems and are spread throughout the home. The problem is once inside there’s no natural way for them to escape.
These spores are not a problem if they are at low levels. It is not possible to totally eliminate mold. The spores lay dormant for months or even years. But then one day the washing machine hose springs a leak or the kids spill water on the rug, or the bathtub overflows. You get the idea anyway.
Mold can grow and reproduce extremely fast once it has moisture and a food source and mold is not a fussy eater either. Within 24 to 48 hours mold will be visible in the average home and begin producing more spores. It is easy to see how this situation could easily result in black mold in homes and very quickly get out of hand.
Newer Building Materials Favor The Growth Of Black Mold In Homes
Black mold and other types of mold feed on materials that contain cellulose such as wood and paper and composite materials like particle board.
Most drywall contains a paper layer on its exterior surfaces. This is a favorite breeding ground for black mold. These materials are porous allowing mold to infiltrate them and making black mold removal extremely difficult. In fact you could have a serious black mold problem inside your wall cavities and never see it.
Because they are so porous often it is necessary to remove these building materials completely and replace them. By contrast hard natural wood surfaces, paneling and plaster are much more resistant to mold growth and easier to clean up.
Wall to wall carpeting is another recent innovation that can hold and trap mold and moisture and makes an ideal breeding ground for mold in your home.
Black Mold In Homes Can Be Caused By Remodeling
Although housing may be in a slump right now many people have remodeled their basements either in an attempt to increase their home’s value or simply because it is the cheapest way to increase your living space.
Basements are one of the biggest problem areas for black mold in homes because they have high humidity levels favorable to mold growth.
Many older basements have no vapor barrier beneath their concrete floors and drainage problems on the outside of the house can keep these areas damp. The combination of uninsulated concrete walls and warmer air inside makes conditions ideal for condensation in these areas.
Natural Disasters Cause Black Mold In Homes
Natural disasters like Katrina cause flooding and untold damage to homes and leave behind ideal conditions for black mold in homes to grow rampantly. Generally in flooding situations you have only 24 to 48 hours to get the home dried back down before mold growth becomes a major problem.
When major flooding does occur there generally are not enough water damage restoration companies available to handle the load. Then too, insurance adjusters are overloaded. Very often homeowners will wind up making do and doing their own restoration leaving these homes full of mold spores waiting for a new chance to grow.
Preventing Black Mold In Homes
There are steps you can take to prevent mold growth in your home. The number one factor for controlling black mold in homes is to eliminate moisture in your house. This means keeping the humidity low. It means making sure any spills in your home are cleaned up and dried quickly. Finally it means making sure you have no plumbing leaks and don’t have a leaky roof. Controlling moisture and humidity is the key to controlling
black mold in homes.