The presence of mold has exploded into a major issue with respect to construction defect claims over the last several years. Homeowners, understandably, are extremely concerned about the possibility of mold in their homes, and whether the presence of mold indicates a construction defect. Here are some basic facts about mold:
1.Mold requires nutrients (food), water, and air to grow. A favorable temperature may encourage mold growth. In buildings, mold conditions can be created when there is water intrusion at or behind walls. Water or moisture gets trapped in the wall cavity, and feeds on the drywall. Water that comes into a building from roof leaks, window leaks, or up through building slabs can all create conditions that lead to mold growth.
2. Not all molds are toxic. The biggest health problem associated with mold is often asthma and allergies in susceptible people. Mold also affects different people in different ways. A person who has a preexisting condition is generally at a greater risk to incur a health problem related to mold.
3. The best indication of a mold problem is your common sense. If you see black or green growth, or if you smell a musty smell, particular in a damp location, you may have a mold problem.
4. An expert is generally required to determine whether the presence of mold presents a health or safety problem. I'm not a big fan of the mold test kits they sell at Home Depot or Lowes. If you truly are concerned about a mold issue, contact a professional Industial Hygenist or similar professional to conduct an inspection.
5. The best way to erradicate mold is to determine the source of the water, and to eliminate it. If the water is removed, the mold won't grow. With respect to removing the existing mold, I would again consult with a professional. Many mold problems need to be professionally treated to be successfully eliminated.