Our good friends at Foundation Repair of Rochester, NY recently alerted us to black mold problems many residents are dealing with in Monroe and Genesee counties.
Mold is a particularly nasty trait that is neither plant nor animal. It generally belongs to the fungal family and produces enzymes for decomposition and digestion, as well as spores that are used for reproduction. In general, the mold and rot it causes is not a bad thing; our world needs decomposition. Otherwise, we would be piled high with dead trees, plants, animals, and other organisms.
Mold devours dead plants and animals and eventually kills them. Unfortunately, damaged black mold doesn’t know where to stop. You can’t always tell the difference between the things that should go wrong and the things we’d rather not have, and that includes our home. Black mold damage can also be seriously detrimental to our health if left untested.
Harmful black mold thrives on moisture
Harmful black mold feeds on moisture and therefore prefers dark corners. In a home, this can include many invisible areas that you would not normally check. Black mold really likes to hide behind washers, under sinks, in the attic, even behind wallpaper and on walls. Most of these areas are very humid and are rarely or never cleansed. This means that it can grow taller and taller, but as it grows it naturally eats up the structure of the residence it lives in.
Poor sealing and harmful black mold
Homes that suffer from poor waterproofing are particularly at risk because they are more humid and have more moisture around the building. By not waterproofing your home or repairing foundation cracks as needed, you are encouraging harmful black mold to grow anywhere it can find a drop of moisture. (The good news is you might be able to waterproof your home yourself at an affordable cost.) If necessary, it can absorb moisture from your walls and leave the structure of your house in shambles. Of course, a poor seal is not the only way to create mold in your home. In a particularly humid home, condensation collects in many different places. Regular condensation doesn’t just settle on your windows and disappear over time. Pick up soggy wallpaper on the back wall and stick together almost anywhere you like. Eventually, harmful black mold can grow where this moisture does the damage we know it can do.
Protect your home and family
There are several ways to ensure that noxious black mold does not attack your home. Make sure all air conditioning ducts are well sealed. Installing a bathroom fan is one of the most common and effective ways to protect your home from black mold damage. However, there are many others. Be sure to use breathable wallpaper and store firewood and other naturally damp substances outside. If you can smell a musky odor in some of the most vulnerable areas of your home, it is very likely that harmful black mold has manifested itself in your home. You should hire a local foundation professional to visit your home and thoroughly check the entire structure. They can also remove it effectively and give you advice on how to prevent it from coming back.