We like to provide our clients, whether they're in Orange County, LA County, San Diego County or Riverside County, with their best resources for understanding mold. We also like to impart our expertise when we're onsite to disseminate the most comprehensive and sage advice on maintaining the structural integrity of a property.
Apropos to this point, the American Industrial Hygiene Association is a great source of information regarding mold, its formation, the potential effects and preventative measures to take.
One particular concern we often hear from clients is regarding what the media has referred to as 'black mold'. This has had hyperbole surrounding it for some time and 'black mold' actually usually tends to be a specific type of mold called Stachybotrys Chartarum. This mold is certainly more discernible than others. As stated on the AIHA website,
"The news media and some contractors often refer to “black mold” or “toxic black mold.” It is usually associated with Stachybotrys chartarum, a type of greenish‐black mold commonly associated with heavy water damage. Not all molds that appear to be black are Stachybotrys. The known health effects from exposure to Stachybotrys are similar to those caused by other common molds, and again in high exposure situations (as in agriculture), are known to be associated with severe health effects in some people. Such exposures seldom, if ever, occur in buildings except during remediation activities by people not taking appropriate precautions."
The potentially toxicity of 'black mold' is what has been exaggerated by the media since NOT ALL molds that have a darker color are necessarily bad; there are many variables to consider to determine whether a mold is that severe, which is why having a certified professional is imperative to diagnose any potential problem.
To gain more information from AIHA, feel free to follow the link to their website, which covers vast amounts of material on black mold and toxic mold.
Many homeowners, upon discovering they have a potential mold problem, often posit the question of how common mold growth is in a home?
With the risk of sounding ambiguous, mold growth does tend to be common in households. The issue that we should be concerned with is the type of mold; as well as the number of active spores and how much it has spread in the property. The three main reasons people should have mold eradicated from their indoor ecosystem are:
-To ensure their health is protected
-To protect, maintain and even enhance the structural integrity of their property
The ubiquity of mold is a given. There is mold everywhere in our environment, which tends to shift due to seasonal variations. The difference is that the mold in the natural environment tends to be benign. The most common indoor molds found are The most common indoor molds are Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Alternaria.
It shouldn't be surprising that mold is common in households due to the factors which contribute and exacerbate a potential issue. Such factors which could elicit and exacerbate mold growth are:
potential exterior openings/intrusions, poorly sloped foundations, outside flora in contact with wooden structures attached to the property, high humidity, poor ventilation, perpetual leaking, condensation, as well as general negligence in the property.
These are just some, amongst a plethora of possible contributing factors towards mold growth in the property.
Therefore, mold growth in a property can literally happen to anyone, but it's the severity and type of mold which needs to be diagnosed to really determine whether there is a concern.
RWe often, during real estate transactions, get asked about insurance claims with regards to mold discovery and remediation. This is a somewhat convoluted issue due to the following considerations:
-The wording and stipulations, as well as the exclusion, in your homeowner's insurance policy.
-Whether or not you have a "rider" added onto your policy.
-What the source of water is which induced the mold growth in the first place.
-The level of negligence, if anything, took place in the property to elicit the mold growth.
This is just a very soft outline of the considerations involved in filing an insurance claim for mold remediation in a property. We always impart as much information as we can to our clients in these instances and have brochures outlining the information and procedures to take in such an event. We are always happy to give our clients these items during an inspection to ensure they are fully equipped to pursue their mold issues further.
Remediation companies, rather than inspection/testing companies, will be contracted with insurance companies. This information should be available to you through your insurance company, as well as directly through the relevant remediation company.
Read more about mold and homeowner's insurance.
MOLD HEALTH EFFECTS BLOG AND RESEARCH