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Mold and New Trends in Home Construction

In the past I have blogged about the growing concern for mold contamination in the home. I pointed out that mold was not a new problem. It plagued humans before the birth of Christ. Nonetheless, trends in construction over the past 100 years have in many ways contributed to the growth of mold in our interior spaces. Some of the trends I discussed were the elimination of lead paint from interior spaces and the insulation philosophy of current construction.

Today I would like to discuss other ways that changes in construction have altered the landscape of mold in our homes and offices.

Our relationship with plumbing has changed radically over the last 100 years. In 1914, many homes did not have running water. In 1964, the average home had a single bathroom. Today, most homes have two, three or more bathrooms. Each sink, toilet, tub and shower increases the length of pipe and the number of fittings in a new home. Each length of pipe and fitting is a possible entry point for water to intrude into your home. A small, slow, undetected leak can lead to significant mold growth in a matter of days.

Bathrooms are not the only way our plumbing has changed. Virtually every home now has a washing machine. Americans eat out much more often than we use to. Nonetheless, dish washing machines have gone from being a luxury to a necessity. Forty years ago ice makers were uncommon. Now they are sold with virtually every refrigerator.

Each of these devices make our lives more convenient. By making our plumbing systems more complex, they leave us more vulnerable to mold.
Ironically, the more expensive homes often contain more opportunities for water intrusion. Instead of simple tubs, many high end homes have Jacuzzi style tubs with jets. Each of these tubs have complex plumbing systems of their own. However well manufactured, the increased complexity inevitably opens another door for possible water intrusion and mold growth.

Luxury homes often contain other devices that might lead to mold growth that the middling consumer never thought of owning. We once performed remediation on a home where the pot filler had begun to leak. A pot filler is a separate device, attached to a sink that allows you to easily fill a pot. Until that day, I was completely unaware that any such device existed.

Plumbing has made our lives infinitely more convenient. No one can deny the benefits of clean water and the sanitary sewer system. However, an unintended consequence of our elaborate plumbing systems is greater vulnerability to mold.

If you are concerned about mold in your home, call Rainbow International of Charleston. We perform mold remediation in Charleston, North Charleston, Mt. Pleasant, James Island, Johns Island, Kiawah Island, Seabrook Island, Sullivan’s Island and the Isle of Palms.