A broken doorknob or a faulty window latch is something you can generally put off until it’s convenient. When you’re responsible for the upkeep of an entire home, there are many things that fall into this category. Your “to do” list is always growing, and some tasks just aren’t critical.
Other things can’t be put off until later. Repairing your HVAC system ahead of winter or summer, taking care of faulty plumbing, or restoring electrical systems are a few examples.
What about residential mold? Where does this fall on the spectrum of urgency? For many homeowners, mold is something to be aware of, but it certainly doesn’t constitute a pressing issue. In fact, many people do nothing to prevent mold. Even after they notice mold in the home, they aren’t in a hurry to consult a professional mold specialist and have it cleaned up.
In a nutshell, many people don’t take residential mold seriously. They don’t treat it as a problem that has to be monitored closely and solved in the immediate future. But that’s because they don’t understand the consequences. Here are the top five reasons to take residential mold seriously.
1. You can’t always see it
It would be so much easier if mold were always a problem you could see with the naked eye. Unfortunately, mold often grows behind walls, beneath floors, and even in the ductwork. That’s why active prevention measures and periodic mold testing are crucial.
2. It poses serious health risks
The health risks of acute mold exposure are long and well-documented. They range from mild allergies to significant brain damage in the worst cases.
3. It becomes part of your home’s documented history
Most States and municipalities require homeowners to divulge mold cleanup efforts to potential home buyers and real estate agents. This can make your property tougher to sell.
4. It drives down property value
Large scale mold invasions can be dealt with by capable professionals—but in many cases, the effect on property value lasts much longer than the mold problem itself. Such problems are known as “mold stigma damages.”
5. It’s gets worse over time
Mold really only has one instinct, and that is to grow/expand the colony. It’s true that mold serves an ecological purpose, but it can quickly reach toxic levels for humans and animals. The longer you ignore the problem of mold, or the underlying conditions that cause mold to flourish in your home, the worse it will get over time. In the very worst cases, entire homes have been condemned and demolished due to the overwhelming presence of mold.
Steps to a safer home environment
You already have plenty of items on that homeowner “to do” list. The good news is that taking mold seriously isn’t really that much work. Controlling your humidity, addressing water/plumbing issues, removing materials that are especially susceptible to mold, and bringing in a mold prevention specialist for consultations—these are all measures that will keep you on top of the mold situation and prevent nasty surprises in the future.