Recently, we went out to perform a Wind Mitigation for a customer who was buying a house and setting up there homeowners insurance. Access to the attic was in the garage, next to the air handler. Now, I’m very allergic to cats and when I walked into the garage, the smell was so strong, I thought there must be a litter box in the garage. Looking around, I didn’t see anything hinting at a cat, but what I did see was significant water damage at the air handler. Hmmm, maybe what i smelled was mold? Not sure. I snapped a few photos of it and moved on to the inspecting the attic for the Wind Mitigation.
When you think about it, buying a home is ultimately the result of many decisions that will be made by a variety of people, including: you, your spouse and other family members who will be living their lives in the new abode and want to be happy with the final choice; the seller, who may be looking for the “right” buyer to replace his or her family for years to come; your real estate agent who is attempting to find the best “fit” based on your budget and your needs; and the seller’s real estate agent who will be negotiating the best purchase price for his or her client.
Mold is a type of fungus that thrives in moist or damp environments. While outdoor molds are a necessary part of the planet’s ecosystem, since they break down decaying organic matter, such as dead leaves and trees, indoor molds are rarely considered welcome guests. In fact, the opposite is true. Exposure to indoor mold can result in health problems that range from the merely annoying, like itchy eyes and a runny nose, to the deadly serious such as neurological or organ damage. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) there are from 50 to 100 different types of indoor molds that are hazardous to human health.
If you watch television regularly, it seems that every day you are informed of some new sickness or ailment that can be attacked, fixed or cured by some new miracle drug created by one of the large pharmaceutical companies. Whether it is “Restless Leg Syndrome,” Low-T, “COPD,” or any number of other disorders, the soothing voice on the commercial will always recommend that you see your doctor and then, of course, go out and buy whatever panacea is being touted to solve your health problems. And yet, one of the most insidious and common health hazards in the U.S. goes largely unnoticed by the drug manufacturers, and even by many medical professionals, themselves, who all too often misdiagnose the symptoms caused by this particular peril, attributing its devastating effects to other causes. The real culprit? Household mold.