A mold infestation is likely in an older property, which causes many homebuyers to gravitate toward a newer construction. Surprising to homeowners, however, is the fact that mold growth is equally possible in a newly built home. Here are the facts surrounding mold growth in a new property.
Homebuyers mistakenly believe that a new home has no risk of water damage or mold damage. The property is brand new, so it’s assumed that moisture cannot become trapped inside due to causes like leaky plumbing, faulty appliances, or leaving the window open on a rainy day.
However, even a brand-new home is at risk of developing a mold infestation. The mold problem begins during construction, and, if left unchecked, continues to worsen once the homeowner moves in. A range of common causes can lead to a mold breakout even in a new home.
What are causes of mold growth in a new home?
1. Damp Building Materials
Lumber that is used to build a home may be delivered to the site and dumped onto the ground. The wood remains exposed to the elements, like rain, if left unused in a timely manner. The lumber retains the moisture and can develop a mold issue within 48 hours.
Building the frame of a new home with damp materials can introduce a mold problem later on. The best solution is to deliver the lumber on cribbing and keep it elevated off the ground. Adding tarp may further protect the lumber until the framers are ready to begin.
2. Insulation Installation
Insulation is added to the cavities between the building frames. Insulating the home using spray foam can be particularly dangerous, since the spray traps moisture in the damp lumber used in the framing assembly. Mold can subsequently grow in the new home.
Dehumidification of the building spaces during the construction process is the most effective strategy to prevent mold growth in the new property. Adequately dehumidify the space before adding insulation and drywall to help circumvent a nasty mold invasion during construction.
3. Wet Foundation Materials
A wet foundation triggers mold in a new home. During construction, basement studs and vapor barriers are set in place while the foundation is still damp. Water then becomes trapped inside the walls and leads to the development of mold colonies.
The foundation can also be a source of mold when it is poured during the fall months and capped with floor joists and temporary flooring. Throughout the winter, the floor joists are exposed to the weather. The home is then built on damp floor joists—which nourish mold spores.
4. Tight Seals
New homes are sealed tight to keep out heat and cold; as a result, the newer properties are energy efficient. However, the tight seals can become a problem when moisture from showering, cooking, and doing laundry becomes trapped. The constant supply of moisture introduces mold.
What are signs of mold?
Depending on the area of infestation, mold growth may be detected visually or smelled. Spores may not always be visible, however, and oftentimes, mold grows in concealed areas, like behind walls or under carpets. Mold smells are often likened to odors from dirty socks.
In a new construction, indications of mold include peeling or cracking paint, stains on walls, discolored ceilings, walls that are soft or spongy to the touch and musty smells. The home’s occupants may start to develop health issues, such as headaches, trouble breathing or severe allergy or asthma symptoms.
How do homeowners prevent mold?
1. Introduce Airflow
Adequate ventilation and airflow are the keys to preventing mold growth in a new construction. Homeowners can introduce optimal airflow into the new home by opening windows (if weather permits) for a few days to give moisture the opportunity to escape.
2. Run Exhaust Fans
During cooking or showering, run the exhaust fans. Afterward, keep the fans running for 30 minutes. Inspect the basement and crawl space for moisture accumulations and mold growth. If musty smells emerge in the basement or crawl space, run the dehumidifier.
3. Conduct a Mold Test
Prior to signing on the dotted line for a new home, homebuyers are advised to conduct a mold assessment and test. Without a mold assessment and test, a homeowner can be responsible for repairing the mold growth, which can run into the tens of thousands of dollars.
Professional Mold Remediation Services
Mold remediation in new homes can require digging out the foundation to treat the growing mold or removing and replacing the drywall to access and fix the mold growth. A new homeowner who fails to inspect for mold before buying can run the risk of a skyrocketing mold repair bill.
Whether your home is newly built or several years old, mold growth of any extent should be promptly addressed. A mold infestation warrants the attention of professional mold remediation experts from ServiceMaster EMT. Our efficient mold removal process ensures your home will become mold-free.
Mold growth is an emergency situation. Left unaddressed, the mold problem will continue to spread to other parts of the home. As mold spores eat away at the building materials, the home’s structural integrity is severely reduced, compromising the occupants’ physical safety.
ServiceMaster EMT technicians will arrive onsite and assess the extent of damage. We identify the mold source, which is oftentimes the water source, and repair it. During the mold removal procedure, our specialists carefully contain the area to prevent spores from contaminating other rooms.
Our highly skilled mold cleanup technicians utilize the latest equipment and products to fully eliminate mold from the home. All surfaces and materials damaged by the mold are either restored or replaced. We thoroughly decontaminate the area and help prevent future mold outbreaks.
Homeowners are urged to avoid delays when facing a mold problem. Mold does not differentiate between a new or old home and will become a problem if left unaddressed. Contact ServiceMaster EMT 24 hours a day at (800) 376-6678 for swift and professional mold removal services in Los Angeles, CA and all of Southern California.