The article I’m linking to today is not necessarily groundbreaking information, but it is important to know about. The information it contains could actually help you to make a more informed decision when purchasing a home.
The article brings attention to a potential builder defect in some stucco homes that can cause the stucco to trap moisture and, thus to be very vulnerable to mold growth. When this defect is not caught and corrected, the walls, floors, etc. can eventually crumble or collapse–obviously making a house very dangerous. Sometimes people aren’t even aware of the problem until it is too late–the article even cites the 7-year mark as the time in which most people start to notice problems for the first time.
The article also calls attention to the fact that a prominent mold strain found in the affected homes is Stachybotrys, which is one of the more dangerous types of mold. It can cause “upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough, and wheezing in otherwise healthy people,” according to the Institute of Medicine. Yikes!
The large, nationally recognized building company at the heart of this story is Beazer homes. But Beazer and other builders are not required to notify homeowners about the defect. Therefore, if a homeowner suspects a problem, it is solely their responsibility to contact the builder in a timely manner, (prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations on the builder’s responsibility, which is different in every state) in order to have the problem identified and properly fixed.
This type of issue is obviously not one that I address in my blog, because it cannot be cleaned up without professional intervention and help. What you can do on your own, though, if you ever suspect this type of defect or mold growth, is to test your home (here are the tests I recommend on the Micro Balance Health Products site) and have your home inspected by an inspector who is experienced with mold and water intrusion issues.
Anyway, that’s all for my public service announcements for the day.