There should be no place for mold in a luxury custom built home, nor in any home for that matter. The unfortunate truth is that mold growth can often go undetected in virtually any home; it does not discriminate by income or age, only by climate and environment. While allergic reactions to mold spores and accompanying symptoms are the most common health effects of exposure, there are some types of mold that produce toxic substances, which could lead to more serious health problems.
Those with compromised immune systems and mold allergies may be most vulnerable to more severe reactions, yet persistent exposure may cause otherwise healthy occupants to have similar reactions. Symptoms are typical of allergic reactions, such as sneezing, coughing, runny nose and skin irritation, yet asthma sufferers could experience more serious consequences. And, given the fact that mold is capable of releasing toxic spores, with health effects that are yet inconclusive, one should take precautions to identify potential mold hotspots and eliminate its growth as effectively as possible.
Mold typically thrives in damp, warm and humid environments, existing both indoors and outdoors. Moisture is the number one thing that mold needs to grow, and two problematic sources within the home are water coming into the home and water vapor. Flooding and unsound foundations can be the culprit for water seeping into the home, penetrating carpets and cement. Once mold is present, it quickly germinates and spreads.
The best way to prevent mold growth in the home is to control the moisture. While it is impossible to eliminate the presence of mold spores entirely from the indoor living space, particularly when there is an outdoor source, controlling the interior’s moisture levels will prevent growth and spreading.
Some of the easiest ways to abate moisture levels in the home include: identify leaks in plumbing and other structures where moisture can build up; clean and dry any areas of water leakage and damage within 24 hours; use an air conditioner or dehumidifier during humid seasons; avoid carpeting in bathrooms and humid basements; provide good ventilation to control dampness throughout the home, including fans and open windows, particularly in bathrooms.
Mold growth potential is not limited to bathrooms and basements. Roofs, walls and windows all need to be properly sealed and protected, as mold can attach itself to anything moist. Ventilation is extremely important as it is the venting system that removes water vapor, yet the fans to the vents have to be used in order to effectively remove the vapor, and all vents need to lead to an outdoor source to prevent water vapor from being moved to different areas of the home.
A luxury custom home builder will ensure the proper sealing and protection of all materials in the home, as well as optimum ventilation. It is up to the homeowner to be vigilant about maintaining the health of the home and its occupants, being aware of potential areas for mold growth and seeking professional cleaning assistance should extensive growth occur.