Summertime traditionally brings family trips, school vacations, as well as plenty of hot uncomfortable weather. Those sunny days, however, often come with high humidity and afternoon thundershowers — ideal conditions for annoying and potentially toxic mold.
It’s a pervasive menace that is poised each summer to grow and thrive in your house. Left unattended, fast-growing mold can cause damage that will cost in the thousands of dollars to eradicate or, worse, pose a dangerous threat to the health of your entire family.
“No one knows how many homes have mold behind the walls, but the best estimate is about 70 percent,” said Richard E. Gots, a doctor and founder of the International Center for Toxicology and Medicine, a biomedical consulting firm.
Gots’s estimate refers to mold that is at an “elevated level” and therefore should be addressed if the conditions exist for the mold to take hold and grow.
The Environmental Protection Agency sets levels for acceptable radon levels as well as a threshold for lead in the house or water supply, and states regulate termite inspections and control compliance. Yet there are no federal or state regulations that dictate a safe level of mold for a residential property.
D.C. Council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3) has been campaigning for several years to pass legislation that would require residential property owners, including landlords, to disclose the presence of mold in their apartment, condo or house. This legislation is still pending.
According to the District’s housing code, the Department of Consumer Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) inspectors cannot cite a homeowner for mold because the city considers mold to be “an environmental problem,” rather than a housing or safety issue. Mold, of course, is notoriously difficult to detect, and what may look like dangerous mold can only be legitimately determined under a microscope by a competent inspector or lab. Additionally, most homeowner insurance policies will not cover damage from mold — they consider it a “preventable” condition.
In reality, mold is a fungus that can grow anywhere moisture is present. Mold spores thrive in warm temperatures (77 to 86 degree Fahrenheit) and wherever there are damp conditions. Mold spores are in the air we breathe, and they can grow on any surface. In a house, mold can be found in ceilings and walls, under sinks, in drywall, hidden behind wallpaper or baseboards, in the ductwork or even on furniture and clothes. It can also grow outdoors under wood piles or mulch, gutters or abandoned trash.
Mold in a house can lay dormant until it gets the needed heat and humidity to grow and multiply. Additionally, it needs a food source, such as dust, dirt or some other organic debris.
While not everyone will react to this growth in the same way, those sensitive to allergic or toxic mold can develop alarming symptoms upon merely entering a contaminated room. The result can be a serious — even life-threatening — illness if not treated in time.
If you suspect that you’ve been exposed to mold — or begin to experience dizziness, fatigue, nausea, shortness of breath or other symptoms of illness — contact a mold specialist and have your property inspected as soon as possible. Licensed professionals will test the air quality of your house and take samples of the visual mold, which will be sent to a qualified lab for evaluation.
The EPA provides helpful information in its publication “A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home” at www.epa.gov/mold/moldguide.html . And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention focuses on the health hazards of mold exposure and provides recommendations for removing mold exposure at www.cdc.gov/mold/dampness_facts.htm#note .
In addition to the traditional methods for eradicating mold (such as using chemicals or chlorine bleach and physically removing infected surfaces), there is a new, enzyme-based alternative. Previously used as a protective spray for fruits and vegetables, it is now available for home use.
Jenn Sherwood, manager of Green Home Solutions of Maryland, says that the enzyme spray is a cost-effective, time-saving and environmentally responsible way for homeowners to eradicate mold. The process uses a “fogger,” which emits a fine spray that is able to penetrate most porous surfaces (such as drywall) or even non-visible areas — behind walls or inside insulation. This method of eradicating mold often eliminates the need to remove and replace the existing material.
The EPA regards this spray as nontoxic to humans or pets and harmless to both surfaces and belongings in the home. The enzyme works by creating a bond with the mold spore, and then breaking it down from the inside. As a result, the mold is chemically altered into a particle that is no longer allergenic, toxigenic, or able to reproduce other spores. This treatment can cost from one-third to one-tenth less than the cost of traditional methods.
Given that your insurance company may not cover mold damage, it’s important to take immediate action.
Here are three easy steps to help prevent mold when you go on vacation:
●Check for areas where water could accumulate — such as around windows, doors, bathroom leaks, kitchen sinks and washing machines.
●Clean surfaces of oil, soap, dust and dirt. Those materials are a feeding ground for mold when moisture is present.
●Set the temperature inside the house in the low 70s, if possible. If you suspect humidity, set a dehumidifier to keep the moisture level below 60 percent. In your closet, place a hanging moisture absorber (such as Damp Rid) that will trap excess humidity and eliminate musty odors.
Sandy Gadow, a freelance writer and author of “The Complete Guide to Your Real Estate Closing,”
We are going to tell the bare truth: you cannot make your house mold-proof. The spores are tricky and very easy to catch on to the right conditions. Moreover, mold spores are everywhere, waiting for the best environment for growth.
You can, however, create a house with mold prevention strategies. If small spots of mold appear around the house, identifying and correcting them can save you from an infestation later on. The experts at Fun Guy Inspections want to give you the most dead-simple methods of mold prevention in the following paragraphs.
The first and most natural mold prevention technique is to improve air circulation in your home. Mold cannot grow unless it has a couple of specific conditions, and a closed space with poor airflow is one of them.
It does not mean you will have to keep your windows open at all times. All you have to do is make sure that every inch of your house is well ventilated, at least for several hours during the day. Especially during the day, because mold cannot grow in dark spaces.
Another mold prevention tip is to keep all surfaces dry whenever possible. If you had a leak and a part of your wall is wet, look to dry it immediately. If you keep wet spots around the house, that is where you should expect mold to grow.
Another condition for mold spores to latch on and develop is humidity. Combined with limited airflow, the spores will come and grow on your walls and surfaces in no time. However, if you make sure that everything is within good boundaries humidity wise, then mold will not have its most important growth factor fulfilled. It will make it much harder for mold to grow if you keep your house dry, especially your basement!
One last tip for Mold Prevention would be a close inspection of your home for problematic areas. If you see small mold spots here and there that keep returning you should have your house checked. Look around for the formerly mentioned conditions. Where in your home do you have great humidity levels? Where is there not enough air flow but good amounts of sunlight?
If you do not know how to inspect your house for mold, our experts from Fun Guy Inspections can help you with the matter. The team will come to your house, take a close look at your surroundings and tell you where the mold is coming from; Not only that, they will give you further tips on how to remove and prevent the mold from getting into your house ever again. An expert helping hand will make your house mold-free, and it will teach you how to keep it that way.
Practice the first two mold preventions tips from the moment you get your new house. Doing so will give you a great chance of never having to deal with mold. However, if mold finds its way on your premises, call Fun Guy Inspections, and we will take care of it.
PORTSMOUTH — A federal lawsuit, alleging faulty construction led to mold in apartments at the 100-unit Wamesit Place housing complex, is scheduled for a 2019 trial, while a defendant contractor now alleges “inadequate maintenance” caused the problem.
The lawsuit was filed by Portsmouth attorney John Bosen, on behalf of the Wamesit Place Family Housing Limited Partnership, and claims mold remediation will require a “massive” amount of work and the temporary relocation of some residents. The Portsmouth Housing Authority manages the Wamesit Place apartments on Greenleaf Avenue and its director, Craig Welch, previously told the Portsmouth Herald he can’t discuss the litigation, but said no residents’ health is at risk.
In a joint report to the U.S. District Court of New Hampshire, the parties summarize Wamesit’s lawsuit as pertaining to the 2015 discovery of “ventilation problems” linked to renovations in 2012. Wamesit claims “mold, specifically Alternaria and Cladosporium,” was found in Wamesit apartments and “is growing because humid exhaust air is accumulating and saturating insulation in ceilings and attics.” The mold was due to “missing and/or improper installation of the soffits and ventilation systems in the ceilings of the apartments,” the suit alleges.
Wamesit names Portland Builders as a defendant and that contractor now claims that during construction, Wamesit requested change orders which eliminated attic insulation, ventilation “and other work that was part of the original contract.”
“The conditions of which Wamesit complains, including the presence of mold, were pre-existing and/or due to inadequate building maintenance over the course of many years and not due to any act or omission of Portland Builders,” the joint court motion states. In addition, Portland Builders claims, Wamesit waived claims for “consequential damages” and warranties related to correction of nonconforming work was limited to one year.
Wamesit has also named Goduti-Thomas Architects as a defendant and that firm now contends any claims against it are barred by the statue of limitations.
In a joint motion to the U. S. District Court of New Hampshire, all parties noted they need to further explore issues of insurance coverage, the initial scope of the project, change orders, other contractors who worked on the project and the date when Wamesit discovered the mold. The court has scheduled a trial date of June 4, 2019.
When the $5.8 million renovation project was announced in May 2011, former PHA director Joe Couture said work entailed replacement of all roofs, siding, doors, windows, kitchens, bathrooms and flooring, in addition to new paint jobs and appliances.
The “massive” undertaking, according to the lawsuit, will include removing all insulation, cleaning all surfaces in ceilings and attics, replacing ceiling drywall, re-insulating to allow for proper ventilation, replacing bathroom fans and missing duct work to roof vents. Welch previously said “a couple dozen” housing units were affected over the past five years, but he could not comment about whether all 100 will have to be renovated.
Wamesit alleges breach of contract and negligence and seeks attorney’s fees for bringing the case to court.
Representing Portland Builders, attorney Douglas Steele denies all the allegations and claims Wamesit failed to take reasonable steps to mitigate its damages.
Article Source: http://www.seacoastonline.com/news/20180115/lawsuit-over-mold-in-portsmouth-housing-set-for-trial
A sippy cup company is under fire.
Two moms from Montreal shared unnerving photos of Tommee Tippee sippy cups on Facebook, Buzzfeed reports.
These photos show moldy sippy cups. Worse, the women allege that people can’t get rid of the mold when they try washing the cups.
Unsurprisingly, the moms are not happy about this.
According to Marie-Pier S. L’Hostie’s post (translated from French), her friend was wondering why his son had gotten sick, so he called Tommee Tipee. He got an unfortunate response.
“My friend Simon O’kanada wondered why his son was always sick. He broke the anti-spill top of his ‘Tommee Tippee’ bottle and discovered mold inside the mouthpiece. It doesn’t wash and can’t be seen unless it is broken open. He called the company, and the lady on the phone laughed out out loud. Several moms on other groups have also discovered mold after my post in another Facebook group, so I’m sharing you. If you please, those who have these cups, pay attention! Being washed by hand or in the dishwasher, the mold will stay there!”
Her friend Penny Powell shared the story (and nasty photos) as well, and said that the unsettling mold could only be seen if it the anti-spill top was broken open. She wrote that other mothers in a Facebook group complained about the issue.
She encouraged parents to share the issue and to complain to the company.
The photos that the women shared tell the story — there’s tons of mold right below where the mouthpiece is.
Tommee Tippee responded in a Facebook post to the angry parents, apologizing and claiming to be “actively working on the subject.”
The company pointed to an FAQ section on its site describing how to pope-rly use the cups, but also said that the company could not find “any trace of the conversation with [the original friend who discussed the issue], however we ask him to contact us by private message so that we can answer him directly.”
In a statement to Buzzfeed, the company advised consumers to use the cups with “recommended liquids” which include “cold, light fluids including water and non-pulp juice” and to clean the cups according to the instructions. ” Difficulties have arisen though when liquids that are not recommended for use in the cups have been used, like thick formula milk, pulpy juice and warm liquids. We also recommend that cups are not left for long periods before being cleaned,” the company added.
Tommee Tippee did say in the statement that “we understand that the well being of little ones is paramount and we can reassure all parents that we have extensively tested the valves,” and again, encouraged troubled. consumers to reach out ot them.
You can view the original Facebook complaints in full below.
Capri Sun released a statement earlier this month after Capri Sun Pouches went viral on media sites, like Facebook.
The Capri Sun pouch was posted by a mother. Reports indicate that her son was drinking the juice and commented on the funny taste. The mother opened the pouch and found nothing inside but mold.
This incident is not the first time the juice makers have received complaints of the pouches containing MOLD. Other incidents have occurred in 2010 and 2012.
Capri Sun is distributed in the United States by Kraft Foods, Inc.
The official statements said:
“We’ve noticed that there has been loads of discussion on Facebook around a photo of a Capri Sun pouch containing mold. The safety of our products and well-being of our consumers are our top priorities, and we appreciate your openness and the concerns that have been expressed here on our page. We feel it is important that you have the most accurate and up-to-date information from us.
While we have not had the opportunity to examine the affected product, the substance appears to be mold. When we have had the chance to have an independent lab analyze a sample in the past, it was confirmed to be similar to common bread mold. Among the many, many millions of pouches we sell each year, it does happen from time to time because the product is preservative free. A statement is included on all cartons telling consumers to discard any leaking or damaged packages. If mold does occur, we completely agree that it can be unsightly and gross, but it is not harmful and is more of a quality issue rather than a safety issue.
We regularly check our quality control records, product samples and recent consumer contacts for issues or patterns and we don’t see anything that indicates this is a broader problem. In regard to the use of clear pouches, we have tried that but found that combining two different packaging materials (front and back) created manufacturing problems. We welcome open feedback, as many of us are parents too, and care deeply about what our kids and your kids drink.
While we hope this as help answer some of your most pressing concerns, we invite you to visit our FAQ tab for more information.”
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