5 Expectations about Mold
Mold is often an afterthought to homeowners. Most homeowners think mold is ‘no big deal,’ or that insurance will pay for it. This is often NOT the case. Come learn the differences in homeowners expectations about mold and the realities about mold.
Homeowner’s Expectation – ‘Mold is no big deal.’
Reality Check – Mold can be a huge expense and hassle.
Mold can be expensive to remove. You can’t just kill the mold, and have the problem go away. Just because you destroyed the surface mold, doesn’t mean that the mold is gone. All of the food sources (drywall, carpet, cabinets, wood, etc.) for the mold, and the moisture that helps it grow, must be removed and repaired for the mold to be truly ‘gone.’ So even if you clean the surface mold, it may continually come back. Mildew, mold’s annoying but not quite as destructive cousin, could also be present. To learn the differences between mold and mildew check out our post: Mold vs. Mildew.
Homeowner’s Expectation – Mold can’t hurt me. I’m not allergic.
Reality Check – Mold is a danger to your health.
Oh, friend. That’s just not true. Allergies to mold can be miserable, but mold is so much more insidious than simply causing allergic reactions. Mold can produce mycotoxins and MVOC’s (Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds). Mycotoxins, literally ‘fungus poison’ in Latin, are secondary metabolites that can be produced by molds, and are not living organisms. MVOC’s are compounds created by fungi and bacteria during their metabolic processes. MVOC’s can be detected by simply smelling the air. Both mycotoxins and MVOC’s are a byproduct of mold.
Not all mold spores produce mycotoxins, but some do. So the molds that produce mycotoxins are the ones that could be categorized as ‘toxic.’ When mycotoxins have been in your body for a period of time, you can develop mycotoxicosis or ‘poisoning resulting from exposure to fungal toxins.’ So you see, anyone can be affected by mold. Not just people who are allergic. To learn more see our posts: When Mold Is More Than Allergies and What’s that musty smell? MVOC’s.
Mold also affects the brain and nervous systems in both children and adults. Adults that have been exposed to mycotoxins can exhibit symptoms such as disordered brain function, changes in balance, slower blink reflexes, slower reaction times, color discrimination problems, and depression.14 Mold has been linked to allergy and asthma development in children.16,17 For children who live in homes with mold present, the mold has been shown to cause triple the risk of lower IQ scoring.15
To learn more about mold and your health, see our posts:
- Mold and Mycotoxins: Effects on the Brain and Nervous System in Adults
- Effects of Mold on Children’s Health
- What’s Hiding in Your Carpets?
- How Can Mold Tests Be A Predictor For Our Health?
Homeowner’s Expectation – Mold is covered by my homeowners insurance. Right?
Reality check – Well, yes and no.
If you have a catastrophic event, such as a tree fall, and the mold grows as a result, then it might be covered. It depends on your individual policy. Preventable mold growth, such as growth caused by a slow water leak, is normally not covered by homeowners insurance.1 Insurance companies expect you to take care of your own property, that includes: keeping your roof in good shape, preventing leaks in the roof and plumbing, checking your basement or crawl space regularly, properly ventilating the bathroom, etc.1
So, for example, if you have mold forming in your bathroom, and you or your family members are sick as a result, it will probably not be covered by your homeowners insurance.1 That’s not to say that you shouldn’t try to fix the problem! Mold is not something you want in your home! To learn how to prevent mold from growing see our posts: Top 10 Ways to Prevent Water Damage and How to Prevent Bathroom Mold.
Homeowner’s Expectation – I’m about to purchase a new home. Don’t home inspections tell you everything, including if there is mold?
Reality Check – No, they do not.
Home inspectors are NOT required by anyone (local, state, or federal government) to disclose anything about mold growing in the home. They also usually have a standard disclaimer stating that if it is found, they are not responsible. Some inspectors will tell you if they find mold, and others will not. To know for sure your new home is safe from mold, you need a Mold & Indoor Air Quality Inspection.
Our mold inspectors are the best in the business. It takes someone who is an expert on mold to find mold. As we have said, mold is extremely good at hiding in places where it is difficult to find. Our inspectors are specially trained mold experts, and will stop at nothing to be sure your home is safe. Our inspections are also not free. The primary reason that we charge for our mold inspections is the time and resources that go into each one. To learn more about why we charge for mold inspections see our post: Do You Have Mold? How to Choose Between a Paid or Free Mold Inspection.
Homeowner’s Expectation –
Mold is no big deal. I’m sure I can clean it up myself.
Reality Check – The problem may be much bigger than you can see.
Mold is extremely good at hiding. It grows where you don’t usually look, such as inside walls, under floors, behind cabinets, in basements and crawl spaces, etc. You might clean all the surface mold, only to find it growing again a few weeks or days later.
You may be able to clean surface mold on the walls, ceilings or floors of your home that are less than ten square feet by using gentle detergents, vinegar, baking soda, and water. Our post A Simple Guide To Cleaning Mold can show you how to clean small areas of mold safely and effectively.
If you see areas larger than ten square feet, or there is a musty smell you can’t identify, it may be time to call on the professionals.
You know what they say, “Prevention is worth 9/10 of the cure!” Indoor mold growth can be prevented by simply controlling moisture and controlling humidity indoors. Using vent fans every time you shower, and keeping surfaces dry helps prevent mold growth. To learn more about mold prevention check out our articles: How to Prevent Bathroom Mold and Top 10 Ways to Prevent Water Damage.
As you can see, expectations are not reality! Mold is dangerous to your health, difficult and expensive to remove. Homeowners insurance may not cover mold growth. It can be difficult to determine just how much mold there really is. It’s a good idea to know when to call the professionals. If you see areas larger than ten square feet, or there is a musty smell you can’t identify, it may be time to call us.
We’re Here When You Need Us
Call Branch Environmental. We’re experts not only at mold removal, but at determining and remediating the underlying causes. From hidden mold sources to major contaminants, we can identify exactly what is going on in your home and rid it of environmental toxins, often for good. So you can get back to living your best life in your best health! Call us today!
Branch Environmental – Because nobody should live or work in a building that makes them sick.
For more information go to:
- Is mold damage covered by homeowners insurance? – Insurance.com
- Top 10 Ways to Prevent Water Damage – Branch Environmental
- When The Home Inspection Misses The Mold – Branch Environmental
- What’s Hiding in your Carpets? – Branch Environmental
- Effects of Mold on Children’s Health – Branch Environmental
- How Can Mold Tests Be A Predictor For Our Health? – Branch Environmental
- Mold and Mycotoxins: Effects on the Brain and Nervous System in Adults – Branch Environmental
- Asthma and Mold – Branch Environmental
- How to Prevent Bathroom Mold – Branch Environmental
- What’s that musty smell? MVOC’s – Branch Environmental
- Mold vs. Mildew – Branch Environmental
- When Mold Is More Than Allergies – Branch Environmental
- A Simple Guide To Cleaning Mold – Branch Environmental
- Ratnaseelan, A. M. et. al. 2018. Effects of Mycotoxins on Neuropsychiatric Symptoms and Immune Processes. Clinical Therapeutics V40, number 6, p903-917. https://www.clinicaltherapeutics.com/article/S0149-2918(18)30229-7/pdf
- Jedrychowski, W., Maugeri, U., Perera, F., Stigter, L., Jankowski, J., Butscher, M., Mroz, E., Flak, E., Skarupa, A., & Sowa, A. (2011). Cognitive function of 6-year old children exposed to mold-contaminated homes in early postnatal period. Prospective birth cohort study in Poland. Physiology & behavior, 104(5), 989–995. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3758954/
- Harris, S. et. al. (2019). Improving Housing Quality to Reduce Asthma Rates and Healthcare Costs in Athens-Clarke County, GA. Journal of the Georgia Public Health Association: Vol. 7 : No. 2 , Article 1. https://digitalcommons.georgiasouthern.edu/jgpha/vol7/iss2/1
- Jacob, B. et.al. (2002). Indoor Exposure to Molds and Allergic Sensitization. Environmental Health Perspectives. Volume 110, No.7, p647-653. https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/doi/pdf/10.1289/ehp.02110647
- Do You Have Mold? How to Choose Between a Paid or Free Mold Inspection – Branch Environmental
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