Pennsylvania’s wet climate and constant humidity, actually it is classified as a humid continental climate to a humid subtropical climate, which, greatly contributes to the ongoing mold outbreak.
Unfortunately, more and more stucco homes in Bucks County are experiencing severe levels of mold damage. The mold originates underneath the stucco because of water intrusion and spreads. This is typically due to the fact that most stucco contractors do not allow for the manufacturers recommended minimum clearance/ joint from dissimilar materials is ½” and should be professionally caulked; due to this there is always leakage and water intrusion around all doors and windows.
Poor construction materials, leaving building materials exposed to the weather, under trained and poor craftsmanship allowing materials to become contaminated and/or, saturated with water and installed in homes or improper water and vapor barriers installed on homes.
Local municipal code inspectors are not required to specifically check for errors that could lead to water intrusion, combined with poor workmanship, water intrusion problems are never identified or even evaluated until after there is a mold infestation.
In Bucks County there is an abundance of older and historic homes and without proper maintenance, lack of attention to water intrusion specifically around windows, doors or old roofs that slight water leak becomes a breeding ground and mold food.
There is a growing issue surrounding water intrusion that leads to mold, rotting and infestation beneath building materials. Unfortunately, many unskilled contractors are trying to profit from homeowners without truly understanding the remediation process, nor are they equipped for it.
So . . . here are 10 myths about mold remediation:
- Mold is always visible:
- Sometimes homeowners in denial turn to the excuse that unless they see mold, there is none. This misconception is dangerous because mold problems grow rapidly if not remediated by professionals.
- Mold can hide in odd places and develop beneath building materials, inside of walls, inside of ventilation ducts, and inside ceilings. Later stages of mold can be visible on the exterior through dark spots and discoloration.
- Remember 1 square inch can contain 1 million to 1 billion mold spores. Early detection of mold is possible only by trained professionals who are remediation experts.
- A little mold never hurt anybody.
- While the seriousness of symptoms vary depending on the individual, mold has been know to cause a variety of health issues, diseases and complications.
- Keep your family safe by not disregarding mold as harmless.
- There are surfaces that are immune to mold.
- Mold can grow on any surface as long as it is: in contact with water, in a humid area, or in contact with water damaged materials. Mold can grow anywhere in and around your home.
- Only houses in wet climates can be victim to mold problems.
- Mold thrives in any area where there is trapped water, humidity (most basements and crawl spaces), and a food source (almost all building materials).
- There are laws that regulate mold problems
- As of right now, no national guidelines exist for dealing with mold testing, remediation process, contractor qualifications; there are only recommendations by the CDC and the EPA. There are national associations and trainings but ethics, workmanship and devotion to the quality of care towards customers are the key factors. It is an important decision to hire the right contractor and remediation expert.
- Simply removing mold and cleaning the area will do it.
- Having tendencies to replicate within 24 hours, mold must never be underestimated. As long as the mold has a source of water or is exposed to excessive humidity, it will continue to grow and spread. The only sure was to get rid of the mold is to employ a professional remediation contract. This is necessary because the water source must be removed and all areas where water damage is present must be either fully removed or sanitized.
- Mold only happens after a flood.
- Mold grows from moisture, access to water, wet climates, excessive humidity and poor air exchange rates.
- Outside factors such as wet climates are often not the sole reason for mold, but it certainly contributes.
- With over 47.5” of rain per year and being classified as humid continental there is no wonder there is an on going sick home syndrome.
- A common misconception is that mold problems only arise after a flood.
- Stay safe and get your home checked.
- Any general contractor would’ve noticed mold problems
- While there are many contractors and handymen who are great at fixing up your home, performing general maintenance, it takes a professional to identify mold problems and have the experience and training to do the appropriate remediation.
- Mold is normal and happens to all homes.
- Many homes that experience mold problems do so because of faulty installation of building materials (incorrect installation of vapor and water barrier, improper flashing installation, installing wet and/or even mold contaminated materials).
- Improper maintenance such as letting leaks go unchecked, not paying close enough attention to caulk joints, leaks in roofs or around windows and doors, deteriorated flashing- step flashing on chimneys is common but after time 10-15 years the flashing cement deteriorates and pulls away allowing water intrustion.
- It is true that mold is natural and lives naturally in our environment both in and outdoors but with the move to build higher energy efficiency homes it allows for a very little air exchange rates and when there is water intrusion, a leak or excessive humidly it allows for mold to grow, and it becomes a toxic problem.
- Any Contractor can handle mold removal.
- Unfortunately, there are huge differences in the level of care. First off prior to any mold remediation there should be a plan and protocols in place for sampling, remediation, restoration and reconstruction.
- While the EPA states that if mold is present mold testing is not necessary, if you do not take pre and post mold samples prior to and after remediation how do you know the problem is actually solved? Mold is typically spread throughout the microclimate during the removal of contaminated materials and lingers in the air. Most companies unless forced to do so do not do post remediation sampling; this is part of the reason and false security that while believing the problem has been removed it is often unchecked and allowed to come back without the homeowners knowledge.
- We treat your home as if it was our own, we do not believe in false securities! Throughout the process we not only explain what we are doing but why, we inform our clients and share our experience and knowledge base. We like you to learn about your home, so that you are made aware of the hazards and we want to to live in a healthy and safe environment.
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