Have you heard all the stories on toxic mold? It seems there is a regular issue with mold and mildew in many of the distressed homes we enter throughout Upstate New York’s Capital Region. I often leave house hunting with a headache due to the mold issues that are more severe! Whey do we let it grow out of control?
You may be aware of the $32m award for damages to the homeowners in Dripping Springs, Melinda Ballard and Ron Allison due to the failure of the Fire Insurance Exchange, a subsidiary of Farmers Insurance Group, to act on and cover damages caused by a water leak in the couple’s mansion in 1998, ignoring warnings that molds could grow into a dangerously toxic condition under the subfloors if they were not pulled and replaced.
The case went before Judge John Dietz of the Travis County District Court where the jury responded in favor of Ron & Melinda due to the damage to their home being irreparable and their declining health and that of their son, Reese due to the toxic mold that grew out of control throughout the entire home. (to read more regarding this case, go to http://www.insurancejournal.com/magazines/coverstory/2001/06/18/18627.htm)
I’m not sure why the family didn’t go ahead and resolve the issue themselves and try to get restitution thereafter, but they did not and their health and wellbeing suffered immensely.
We in the residential redevelopment industry see these mold issues remove families from their homes to financial loss way too often! It CAN and should be prevented!
If you have a water leak or spill, you must act quickly; preferrably within 24-48 hours of the leak/spill! Wet/damp areas are prone to mold issues and must be remediated in order to prevent mold growth. Check your bathroom appliances regularly for wet/damp areas … like the walls and flooring around the tub, toilet and sink, but also the ceiling. Often, the humidity can linger in a bathroom after your shower doing damage to much of the surround of the bathroom. These issues need to be addressed regularly.
Ensure that your roof gutters are cleaned regularly and repaired when necessary. If they get blocked, they cannot push the waterfall away from your home, tending to then leak into the home causing damage to the structure and possibly leading to mold that could damage your health.
The property surrounding your home should slope away from the foundation so water cannot leak beyond the foundation and into the home.
You air conditioner has a drip pan that needs to be drained and cleaned regularly, ensuring the lines are not obstructed and flow sufficiently. It is imminent that you have your AC system checked at minimum annually to ensure all systems are functioning properly and moisture is not escaping into your home.
The humidity level in your home should be below 60% (ideally between 30 and 50 percent) relative humidity. If you feel you have an issue with humidity in your home, a dehumidifer can help. If condensation appears on the interior side of your windows, walls or pipes, this is a sign of high humidity in a home. Dry these surfaces immediately and repair the cause of the condensation to prevent futher issues.
There are many ways to prevent mold and mildew and there are many products available to reduce and resolve mold and mildew that appears in your home. Contact your local retailer for solutions IMMEDIATELY if you smell or see mold forming within your home. Do NOT take this lightly. It can be extremely dangerous to your health gone unresolved!
For a clean up solutions, check out www.epa.gov/mold … and for a more organic solution, check out http://www.rootedblessings.com/powerful-mold-and-mildew-spray.
Keep your home clean and family healthy!