Homes today are more energy efficient than ever before. The scorching temperatures of summer, and the winds of winter are kept at bay with dual pane windows, air circulation systems and weather tight doors. This is all well and good but as a result, increasingly mold has become a problem. And it is not a problem to be taken lightly as exposures to molds have been linked to a variety of illnesses and numerous studies indicate a potential link between early mold exposure and the development of asthma in some children. A small number of mold species produce mycotoxin, a substance which may lead to breathing problems, headaches, and even permanent neurological damage. Less severe symptoms include a runny nose, sneezing, or an annoying odor, according to the Clinical Microbiology Review.
A primary place for the growth of mold in the home are locations that are damp and dark, and that are exposed to warm temperatures. In older houses this could include closets with furnaces and water heaters. Modern standalone air conditioning units are also common locations for mold growth. Bathrooms without ventilation fans and showers with seeping grout can also contribute to the growth of mold and mildew.
New home construction does not guarantee a mold free home. A poured concrete foundation may seem benign but numerous mold issues begin here, especially without proper treatment of underlying soil. Insulating studs and installing vapor barriers before a poured foundation dries can trap condensation inside walls, which in turn can result in mold or mildew growth. Capping a foundation during construction downtime will often result in moisture buildup on floors and sill plates. And if your home has a basement mold can develop between the concrete floor and sub-floor or between the concrete walls and wood walls.
Often early building phases will leave framing and materials exposed to weather and fluctuating humidity. As modern houses are built with a focus on energy efficiency, tight construction hinders “breathing” of materials or interiors. Hot tubs, sprinkler systems, seeping drains and sweating pipes can also contribute to the creation of a friendly climate for mold or mildew growth.
If you are buying a newly constructed house, call the professionals at Baron Services for an inspection. An inspection will identify issues such as hidden mold growth before you sign closing papers. Ask your inspector to check roof vents, wind turbines, window screens and air ducts.
The old adage about better safe than sorry is applicable to mold, an invader than can turn your dream home into a nightmare. Having a home inspected for mold by a professional from Baron Services is an investment in peace of mind. And if you are building a new home, Baron Services also offers a pre-slab soil treatment for new home construction.
Written by Jim Hinckley or Jim Hinckley’s America