Beware of Mold Problems in Vacant Houses, Warns 1-800-GOT-MOLD? Founder
PRINCETON N.J., June 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Vacation home owners and people buying homes that have been vacant for any period of time need to be alert to the possibility of an indoor mold problem, advised Jason Earle, founder of New Jersey mold inspection company 1-800-GOT-MOLD? ®.
Preventing mold problems in a home you're closing up, for any reason, is not difficult to do, Earle says. In an article on the company's website, www.1800gotmold.com, Earle offers instructions and advice on how to prepare a house for closure without inviting mold in as a guest.
"Nearly everyone can recall the distinctly musty odor of a vacation home left empty during the off season," Earle writes. "Few people give it much thought, but that specific odor is a surefire indicator of indoor mold growth, an unpleasant and unhealthy thing to have happening in a place where you intend to kick back and relax for a few days, weeks, or perhaps months.
"This is especially important if you or any of your fellow vacationers have asthma, allergies or sinus problems. While most people seem to think this simply comes with the territory, in reality it is completely avoidable."
Adding to the importance of this issue is the current real estate market, which is flooded with foreclosures. A foreclosed home is highly likely to have been vacant for a long time before you as a bargain hunter find it. If you're lucky, the house won't have been gutted or vandalized – and you can usually tell if this is the case by peeking in the windows.
However, you can't get a whiff of a mold problem from the outside. This requires at least a physical inspection and a good nose. It might also require a professional mold inspection and mold testing. Mold remediation is often a costly undertaking, and a house that's been closed up for a significant time can be so infested that it's cheaper to tear it down and build new than to remediate and repair it. This has a huge impact on your decision whether to risk buying it.
If you are seeking to buy a foreclosed home, find a way to get a thorough look at it, inside and out, before you make a deal.
It's important to know that it doesn't take much for a vacant house to develop a mold problem, Earle says. It doesn't require a roof or siding leak, a broken window or a plumbing failure. All it takes is humidity and condensation. So, a home that's left inadequately heated in winter or is not air-conditioned or dehumidified during warm weather can develop enough moisture to start the mold-growth cycle without any other defect.
In his blog at http://www.1800gotmold.com/blog, Earle writes: "When you close up a house, whether it's at the beach, in the mountains, or in a development, things start to happen that weren't happening when people were there. Humidity rises and falls with the weather, and when it rises it gives rise to mold growth in places you wouldn't expect in an occupied home.
'Why does this happen? It's primarily because you've decided to save money by turning off the heat and/or AC. This turns the house into an incubator for mold. Think of a sandwich in a plastic bag left outdoors."
The bottom line? A mold problem in a vacant home or a vacation home will invariably cost much more to clean up than any amount of money that was saved on the utilities.
The full article is accessible from the blog post cited above.
For other interesting and informative articles about mold and indoor air quality, see:
- The Argument Against Biocides: Why We Don't Need to Kill Mold
Biocides, including bleach, are not good for living things (bio = life, cide=kill). Here's the right way to eliminate mold growth.
- Mold? In my attic? It's more likely than you think
Attics are not necessarily dry. Here's how they accumulate moisture and mold.
- Indoor Mold and Illness: A Primer
Mold can cause and/or aggravate many chronic illnesses, including asthma, allergies, sinus infections and more.
- What to Do After the Flood
It's important to take immediate action after a flood, large or small.
- It's Dehumidifier Season, but Do It Right
All the ins and outs, dos and don'ts of dehumidifying your living spaces.
- Mold? In Your Nose? More Possible than You Think
Chronic sinus problems have been directly attributed to mold in a Mayo Clinic study.
- Sinus Problems? Just Flush 'em!
An ancient and still-effective simple remedy for your troublesome sinuses, natural and drug-free.
- HEPA for Heart Health
Air purifiers – the right ones – can improve your health in unexpected ways.
- Clean Indoor Air Is Essential for Health
Indoor air can be up to 100 times more polluted than the filthiest cities, according to the EPA. Here's how to clean it up.
- Happy Spring! Now Clean Up!
Why spring cleaning is important to your health, and how to do it right.
- How to Humidify Your Home Without Creating New Problems
Winter dry air can be a health problem, but humidifying without this information can create mold problems.
1-800-GOT-MOLD? provides, from its base in Princeton NJ, mold inspections, mold testing, indoor allergen testing, and mold remediation consulting, as a consumer service and in cooperation with health-care providers and/or insurers.
Contact: Jason Earle, 1-800-468-6653 ext. 102, inquiries@1800GOTMOLD.com