Is Mold Dangerous?
What is the usual cause of mold?
Water damage is a common cause of mold formation in a home or business. Since mold spores are everywhere, mold can begin forming within 48 hours if the conditions are right. Mold only needs moisture, warmth and a porous surface in order to thrive. If a leak is found and stopped quickly enough, the mold may not have enough time to develop. In most water damage situations where the leak has been ongoing for a long period of time, the infestation of mold becomes clear: damaged drywall or carpet will be lined with dark patches that are easily visible to the naked eye.
What If Mold Goes Unseen for years?
Sometimes, the leaks are out of sight and the mold is allowed to grow and breed for months or years. This leads to people living in a home where there is mold growing inside of a wall or in their attic without knowing. Fortunately, the health hazards associated with mold are overstated.
It is generally believed that mold is extremely toxic and can cause serious illness to those exposed to it. However, mold is everywhere; depending on where someone lives, there can be dozens of different types of mold spores floating in the air. Out of the thousands if different types of classified molds, only a few dozen are actually harmful to humans. Most likely, the mold found in homes is non-toxic. As long as no one in the household has serious allergies, it is possible for people to live in a home with mold for a long time.
Despite posing no significant health hazards, mold can still cause other problems. Mold growing on drywall or wood can significantly weaken the structural integrity of a wall or beams, which can lead to much costly repairs if a wall should collapse. Slime mold is also capable of causing problems by clogging pipes if they are not cleaned and sanitized, which in turn can lead to the average water damage scenario. Typically, homeowner's insurance will not cover the damage because long-term mold damage often falls under gradual damage that is the homeowner’s responsibility to fix as part of their regular home maintenance and upkeep. While companies that offer specific mold insurance developed to cover the gaps where homeowner's insurance does not, they are often expensive. The initial upfront cost might not be less than simply hiring a remediation company.
Fortunately, with proper maintenance, mold is typically not a recurring problem. Proper maintenance and ventilation will prevent future infestations.