Mold and Bacteria Contamination in Foreclosed Homes – An Epidemic
*by Transworld News – Top Story *
Atlanta, GA.-- Mold and foreclosure—their may not seem to be an immediate correlation between the two, but if you’re talking about the foreclosure crisis you might see that oftentimes they go hand in hand.
Foreclosed homes or buildings can sell for a fraction of their original value, and may seem like a steal: A fixer-upper at a low price. But while there are plenty of good deals to be found on the foreclosure market, “these homes can also harbor unpleasant guests—such as mold, bacteria, mycotoxins and endotoxins” stated Dr Rajiv Sahay, Director of Lab Services at Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory (EDLab) an AIHA accredited microbiology laboratory.
RealtyTrac®, the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, released its February 2009 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report™, which shows foreclosure filings - default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions - were reported on 290,631. More than 850,000 homes have been repossessed by lenders since August 2007, when the credit crunch took hold.
The foreclosures are bad enough though realtors and consumers are very concerned about the condition of these unattended homes. What can be done about restoring the indoor environment after foreclosure?
Bill Radu, CIAQP/Industrial Hygienist with Pure Air Control Services/Building Heath Check®, a national leading indoor air quality consulting firm with over 24 years experience and over 10,000 studies stated</SPAN>*“we have evaluated numerous foreclosed homes. Many homes have been locked up tight with no utilities. These conditions translate into exponential microbial amplification that is causing significant growth and poses a potential health risk to those who enter.” *Temperature and humidity levels have been out of norm for weeks and in most cases months and will produce conditions where microbial contamination can and will proliferate.
According to Bill, “the foreclosed homes are like giant Petri dishes. The longer a home sits under these type conditions, the worse it gets.” Bill suggests “if you come across a home that has microbial amplification, consider doing a complete baseline to determine the depth and breadth of the problem before undertaking remediation type activities. The type of baseline data needed would include air and surface sampling for mold, bacteria, mycotoxins, and endotoxins. The resulting information would be used to develop an effective remediation plan that will ensure a healthy indoor environment.”concluded Bill Radu.