For many people in Chicago, their house is their biggest investment. Whether you have built your house from scratch, or spent thousands on renovations, your expectations are the same. You trust that your property is safe, and maintains value. However, the presence of toxic mold changes everything.
There are a few ways to spot mold even before an inspector comes by, such as:
- You can see it. An obvious sign is the visual evidence of mold. Surface mold often starts from water intrusion, such as a broken pipe, flooded basement or roof leak. You may notice discoloration, peeling or bubbling on your walls or ceiling.
- You can smell it. Mold smells musty. Some compare the odor to rotting wood or dirty wet socks. Overall, the scent is stale and unpleasant.
- You can feel it. Breathing in mold can cause a variety of persistent symptoms. Sneezing, runny nose, rashes and red eyes are a few ailments people suffer. These symptoms lessen when you are gone, then come back once you get home.
As stated above, moisture is the key cause of mold growth, along with other conditions. It only takes 24 to 48 hours for mold to grow and spread throughout your home. Leaking pipes, leaking roofs and poor ventilation are examples of flawed structural elements that might cause the fungus.
Who is responsible?
Mold hurts more than your health. It could also destroy the value of your home. Anything viewed as a problem drops the value down to zero. To make matters worse, most insurance policies do not cover damages related to mold.
For new homeowners especially, this can be devastating. Depending on the circumstances, you may have a case to sue those responsible for the structural failures. Parties often responsible for toxic mold in homes include:
- Structural engineers
- Material suppliers
Homeowners may file claims for damages such as medical expenses, structural fixes, and cleanup costs. An attorney with experience in construction defects can evaluate your situation.