New homes are just as much at risk for mold problems as older homes. Though we've been living with mold for centuries, modern building materials like drywall are particularly vulnerable to mold growth. Complicated heating and cooling systems, as well as air-tight buildings that aren't ventilated adequately, can make home mold problems worse.
Some kinds of home molds cause allergy or asthma symptoms in those who are sensitized, so it's important to avoid the presence of mold growth indoors. If that's not reason enough, look at some of the dollar figures:
- The cost of a single mold claim can range from $10,000 to $100,000 for investigation, remediation and additional living expenses if the property owner has to move out.
- In Texas in 2002, mold costs "surged to $2.3 billion."
- Hilton's Kalia Tower in Hawaii had to close shortly after opening, due to mold contamination; the mold remediation cost over $50 million.
In the newer home, mold growth is more worrisome in some spaces than others. Home mold is often an issue in carpeted basements, for instance, where mold can grow in floor coverings and the spores and other byproducts of mold growth can be carried into the rooms above by air flows. On the other hand, mold is not as likely to grow in an unfinished attic with proper ventilation allowing air flows to carry mold spores back to the exterior where they belong.