“The New York Times” recently reported that the Department of Housing Preservation and Development issued over 14,000 violations for mold infestations in residential buildings in 2010. Not just found in NYC’s older buildings, the Stachybotrys chartarum strain of mold was found along with other molds linked to respiratory tract illnesses in buildings that are not even five years old. New York City investigates approximately 500 cases of mold each year.
The cause of the mold infestations in newer buildings in the city is linked to water damage caused by poorly installed plumbing or insulation. While one may think that the mold problems are isolated to low-income neighborhoods, the “Times” states that spores were recently found in brand-new, multimillion-dollar condos.
To help prevent the growth of mold, some contractors are looking to mold-resistant drywall, which they install in kitchens, bathrooms or near HVAC units. These areas tend to have the most water damage or are more prone to leaks. Mold-resistant drywall is a little more expensive than its, gypsum board counterpart, but its use can save thousands of dollars in mold remediation in the future.
In 2010, the Green Codes Task Force proposed requiring contractors to use mold-resistant drywall in new buildings. The city council is still considering the proposal. “The New York Times” adds:
“The use of mold-resistant drywall alone is not enough to ensure that a home will be mold-free. The exterior needs to be impermeable; all the building materials need to remain dry during the construction process; and condensation should not form inside the walls.”
Many mold problems in a home are out of sight as the family within it blames their coughs and breathing problems on allergies, viruses and unexplained asthma. If you see mold in your home, call a mold remediation specialist in the near future for mold removal services. Chances are that the visible mold is only the introduction of a widespread mold infestation.
[photo: Angela Schmeidel Randall]