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Mold Destroys Home Values

Does Mold Lesson the Value of a Home?

The jury is still out on whether black mold adversely affects everyone or only those who already have health problems, but one thing is for sure: mold in a home dramatically lessons the value of the home.

If not taken care of, mold will cause serious damage to a home’s structure.

Recent tax liability and insurance issues arising from the presence of black mold in homes has caused people in the real estate industry to heighten their awareness of mold and its role in the selling process.

Whether you’re buying or selling a home, it makes sense to know a little more about mold and take steps to find out if the home you’re buying or selling has mold problems.

Although there are thousands of different mold varieties, most of them are common and thought to be harmless. In fact, in daily life most people encounter several varieties of mold in many different settings.

What is Mold?

Mold is a fungus that reproduces in moist places when its spores land on a mold-friendly, damp surface.

The mold to be aware of is called Stachybotrys, or “black mold.” Black mold, also called toxic mold, produces mycotoxins. These hazardous byproducts are responsible for most of the negative mold reactions in humans.

Although those with respiratory problems such as asthma are particularly sensitive to mold, the mycotoxins released by black mold can affect even those people without a history of respiratory problems.

For babies and seniors, mycotoxins are even more serious as some believe that they can adversely affect lung function and result in a loss of memory.

Are You Planning to Sell Your Home?

If you’re planning to sell your home, have it checked for mold so you can take care of any problems before you have a buyer. All molds should be eliminated from your home.

Whether you choose to take care of the mold problem on your own or hire a professional to do it for you, expect to evacuate your home for at least three days while the mold is being removed.

Both the disrupted mold spores and the cleaning agents will give off dangerous fumes that you’ll want to avoid. Once the mold is successfully removed, correct any problems that might have caused the mold to grow in the first place.

Have Your Home Inspected

Have your repairs inspected by a professional to ensure that everything is taken care of.

If you’re planning to buy a home, insist that the home be checked for mold. Not all home inspectors routinely test for mold, so make a point of asking your inspector to do so or get a referral to a home inspector who performs mold checks.

Your offer to purchase should be dependent on the home passing the mold test, and allow you to refuse to buy the home if a mold problem is uncovered.

No matter which side of the home buying process you are on, it makes sense to check a home for mold before finalizing a sale.

You’ll save yourself a lot of headache – literally and figuratively – by insisting that a home is mold-free.

Further Recommended Reading :

Joslyn from the MoldBlogger Team

mold removal costs

Mold Removal: 3 Tips to Do-It-Yourself

Mold Removal Tips

A flooded home can leave you feeling frustrated, especially when mold is involved, but what can you do? Are you worried about the dangers of black mold to you and your family?

Take back some control with these do-it-yourself mold removal tips.

Follow these three tips to ensure that your do-it-yourself mold removal project will run smoothly and safely.

Prepare Your Home

If the wiring in your home has been affected by mold, you’ll want to turn off the main power. When you’re done disinfecting your home, enlist the help of a professional electrician to make sure it’s safe to turn the electricity on again.

Check for leaks in the water system before you spray your home down. Rent a hose that allows you to spray a soap and water solution together.

Spray down every moldy item in your home from floor to ceiling.
If you haven’t spent time with heavy cleaning chemicals before, test yourself out by disinfecting a small area of your home to start.

If the fumes affect you too much, hire a professional mold remediator to disinfect the rest of your home.

Be Thorough

Mold removal requires you to be as meticulous as possible. After the mold has been washed away, use cleaning pads or a stiff brush to scour each surface.

You can use a commercial cleaner to scrub moldy surfaces after they’ve been sprayed, but any non-ammonia detergent will work just as well. Try a mixture of 1 ½ cups bleach* with a gallon of water for a simple, homemade solution. (Update: We no longer recommend using bleach for mold.)

Furniture, walls, floors, ceilings, and heating and cooling registers and ducts must all be disinfected with a solution that has a quaternary, pine-oil, or phenolic base.

To be safe, get rid of a foot extra of drywall above the flooding level. Call in a professional to get any area that you aren’t able to reach on your own.

Dry each area for at least two days. If you don’t, the mold will return.

Soft materials such as rags, clothes, paper and even heavily affected carpet will retain mold spores even after disinfecting and drying. Throw these items away in sealed bags.

Protect Yourself

When you’re ridding your home of mold, the cure can be as dangerous as the illness.

To keep yourself safe from both mold and cleaning solution fumes, keep your home well ventilated throughout the cleaning. Take frequent breaks to get some fresh air.

Buy a mask or a particle remover respirator at a hardware store to protect you from mold spores released during the drying process.

Because respirators don’t protect you from fumes coming from disinfectants such as bleach, spend as little time as possible around these chemicals.

Always wear gloves when you’re handling anything containing mold and dispose of the gloves when you are finished with your project.

Disinfect Your Home

When you’re finished doing all you can to disinfect your home, you may want to hire a licensed contractor to check your work.

A professional can help you find any mold that you missed or assure you that your do-it-yourself mold removal project was a success.

Further Recommended Reading

Home Construction Prevents Mold

What is The Best Mold Prevention Method?

Moisture control is the number one preventative for stopping mold growth, and during new home construction is the easiest and earliest way to take measures to prevent future mold outbreaks.

Homebuilders are using a number of new ideas and products to help keep homeowners mold-free, because they know prevention is the least expensive way to deal with mold.

Some steps being undertaken by contractors during new home construction include:

Proper site selection:

The first and most important step in building a home is choosing its site. If a home is built on a site with a high water table, future moisture problems are greatly reduced.

In addition, the proper site will eliminate any extra landscaping or grading that will need to be done to prevent moisture from entering the home or foundation.

Land drainage and grading:

The site a house is built on should be graded, or sloped, so that rain and melted snow flow away from the foundation. In areas where this is not possible, special landscaping and drainage can be installed to redirect the water away from the house.

Damp-proofing:

Damp-proofing is when a special coating is applied on the foundation wall that sits below grade. Make sure your builder uses a durable waterproofing material, as the coating can be damaged during the construction of the home. A high-quality material is essential.

Elimination of Fake Stucco:

When fake stucco is not applied properly, it becomes a breeding ground for mold.

Many builders are encouraging homeowners wary of mold to forgo it altogether, as the application of fake stucco needs to be 100% properly and accurately installed to avoid excess moisture between the surface of the material and the walls.

Positive ventilation:

When the air pressure inside is higher than the air pressure outside, this is known as positive ventilation. Adjusting the HVAC system so that the air is positive will force allergens and mold spores outside the home.

Negative air will bring the air in from the outside, which is not good for those suffering from allergies. The air should not be set too positively though, or else moisture will be forced into the walls and other small cracks and surfaces.

Whole-house air purifiers:

Primarily used in homes which house individuals with suppressed immune systems, these air purifiers can be rather expensive.

However, if you deal with allergies quite frequently, a whole-house air purifier is an excellent way to prevent allergens, dust mites, and mold spores from entering the home and making their stay known.

Futher Recommended Reading :

Joslyn from the MoldBlogger Team

cleaning mold

Types of Mold Cleaners

What Are Some Mold Cleaners that Work?

If you’re battling a mold problem, here are some cleaning solutions recommended by others who have waged war on mold.

  • Lysol – Lysol is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a product recommended for spray disinfecting of mold mildew.You can find Lysol spray cleansers that claim to kill bacteria, as well as spray disinfectants that can be applied to surfaces before the mold or mildew has a chance to develop.
  • X-14 and Tilex – Products like X-14, Tilex, and Clorox cleansers are very similar to bleach, and often the main ingredient is chlorine bleach.They are inexpensive, and while they may not completely remove the mold roots, they are affective at removing the unsightliness of the mold.Keep in mind, however, that on porous surfaces, a stronger mold killer will need to be used. Even Clorox concedes that bleach is a somewhat effective tool in the removal of mold on hard surfaces.
  • H2Orange2® – This is a popular new green product on the market used for eliminating mold problems. It is user-friendly and environmentally safe, having the lowest level of toxicity of any mold killer on the market.It contains citrus oil (from orange peels) to cut through the dirt, surfactants which clean the dirt, and hydrogen peroxide, which oxides the mold and mildew and brightens the surface by bleaching out the stains.
  • AntiGrowth® – This is actually a mold, mildew, and algae preventative solution, and therefore regular use of this can actually prevent and control mold problems just as easily as cleaning up an established stain.The good thing about this product is that it works on almost all surfaces, porous and non-porous alike. It is also safe for all surfaces, made for outdoor and indoor use, and is relatively affordable.
  • Air Ionizers – While an air ionizer is not a liquid cleaner, it does in fact clean the air. Ionizers are powerful air purifiers that remove dust, allergens, and mold spores from the air.These spores land inside the house, using moisture in the environment to grow into troublesome patches. Regular use of an air ionizer may prevent future mold outbreaks by removing the source of the colony.

Further Recommended Reading

Mold Cleaners

When trying to win a war against mold, having the right weapon is necessary.  Many people, if asked which disinfectant they would use to kill or fight mold, would instantly reply with the answer of ‘chlorine bleach’.  However, studies have shown that not only is chlorine bleach a weak substance to fight mold, but it also is highly ineffective on porous surfaces, which is where mold is most likely to grow.  

Having a great cleaner is essential removing mold both effectively and completely from the affected surface.  While you may be tempted by ease, and money, to try bleach first, you will quickly discover that spending a little more money will save a lot more time in the long term. Not only do those who try to disinfect and remove mold with chlorine bleach spend more time trying to remove the mold, but they soon find that their efforts were for not when the roots begin to grow back and require a second attempt at removal.

-The Moldblogger Team

A Few Reasons Mold Claims are Rising

Why Are Mold Claim Rates Rising?

Today, mold claim rates have sky rocketed. Compare the number of now to just twenty years ago and you’ll see the number of mold claims being filed as jumped significantly.

People are more aware of the dangers of mold. They’re experiencing the symptoms. They’re dealing personally with mold exposure.

Here are 5 reasons why mold claims are rising :

  • The public is more knowledgeable:
    Perhaps 20 years ago, people didn’t as readily know about mold as they do today. We weren’t aware of its causes or risks, or that it could be prevented. Now, if mold is left untreated, the public is aware that there is negligence that can be claimed against another party. 
    Most people affected by mold want the responsible party to take action, and often a lawsuit is the only way to achieve that.
  • Mold is more common than people realize:
    Mold spores are present in every home and every building. It is impractical to eliminate all mold spores in the air, but it is not as impossible to prevent them from growing.
    Even so, mold easily grows in moisture-filled areas such as between and on walls, in bathrooms, under floors, and under roofs.
  • Moisture-related damage is common:
    The Southern states deal with humidity every year, but areas that don’t deal with humidity may be prone to natural disasters such as flooding.
    In addition, it is common for damage to appear because of plumbing leaks, broken pipes, or inefficiently installed HVAC systems. Moisture is the number one cause of mold.
  • Cross claims and counter claims:
    Once a claim is filed, for instance, against a contractor, that contractor may in turn file a cross claim against another defendant, such as a subcontractor.
    Anyone involved in a new construction project can be liable, from contractors to architects, and most everyone involved usually ends up having a claim against them.Counter claims are when the defendant files a claim against the plaintiff, usually claiming that their own negligence caused the damage.
  • People spend more time indoors:
    Society is spending more and more time indoors, either working or relaxing at home.
    As our culture strays away from spending more time outdoors, we will use more water indoors, bring more mold spores inside, and overall contribute more often to the conditions that enable mold to grow more readily.


Further Recommended Reading :

Joslyn from the MoldBlogger Team

Mold Lawsuits Rising

Why are Mold Lawsuit Cases Rising?

Lawsuits against building owners, contractors, and insurance companies have skyrocketed over the last 10 years. Many people blame the increasing American culture of wanting to sue.

However, many factors play into the overall increase of claims being filed.

Many fears of mold, and the claims that go with them, are without warrant, though there are a number of valid claims that are filed every day.

Judges and juries have already awarded millions in several lawsuits regarding health and home damage that resulted from mold exposure.

Desert State Claims Rise Even Faster

In desert states such as Arizona and New Mexico, the number of mold claims against insurance companies continues to rise faster than in any other part of the nation.

This is due to the increase in new construction, as well as the need of the occupants to use air conditioners, which can trap and redistribute mold spore.

With more homes being built, more water being run into commercial buildings, and more people being aware of the hazards of mold, lawsuits will only continue to rise until legislation or insurance limits are put in place.

Further Recommended Reading :

Joslyn from the MoldBlogger Team

The Economical Changes you Can Make to Prevent Mold

How Can I Benefit the Economy & Prevent Mold Growth?

There are so many ways to prevent mold in your home and your business. What about mold prevention that benefits the economy?

Taking care of the economy is a responsibility all of us carry; why not prevent mold and benefit the economy at the same time?

Here are a few economical changes that YOU can make, to prevent the growth of mold in your home :

    • Ventilate with hosing and exhaust fans:

Moisture from appliances needs to be properly directed to the outdoors, including clothes dryers and oven exhaust fans. Old ventilation should be checked regularly to ensure there are no leaks allowing moisture to remain trapped indoors.

Installing exhaust fans in the bathroom, kitchen, or laundry room is an quick and efficient way to eliminate excess moisture from any room. This is especially important in rooms without windows.

    • Install appropriate drainage:

All appliances and fixtures that use plumbing will need to be checked for appropriate drainage, including the dishwasher, toilets, sinks, and washing machines. In the absence of reliable drainage, hosing will need to be installed to keep the moisture out of the air and draining properly.

Appropriate drainage also needs to be installed on gutters as well, as an overgrowth of outdoor mold can mean problems indoors.

    • Replace outdated HVAC systems:

Old HVAC systems may have leakages and dirty or wet drip pans. They may be beyond a little repair and replacing outdated systems will more efficiently heat and cool your home, as well as reduce the allergens and mold spores that are introduced into your home.

By doing a thorough check of the HVAC system, homeowners can prepare for a humid summer (and increase in mold) by replacing that inefficient system with a clean and moisture-free one.

    • Keep landscaping tidy and properly graded:

Mold spores that develop into unsightly mold come from the outdoors. By keeping landscaping in order, homeowners can greatly reduce the mold growing outside there home, which in turns greatly decreases the mold spores that reach the indoors.

Cleaning out gutters, properly grading the land, and checking regularly for proper drainage of water will reduce the chances of outdoor mold, as well as water problems on the foundation or roof, which can lead to indoor mold.

Further Recommended Reading :

Joslyn from the Moldblogger Team

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