Mold Facts In Real Estate

What is mold? Molds are forms of fungi found all year round both indoors and outdoors.
Outdoors, molds live in the soil, on plants, and on dead or decaying matter. Another common term for mold is mildew. Mold growth is encouraged by warm and humid conditions, although it can still grow during our cold weather here in Summit County Colorado. There are thousands of species of mold and they can be any
color. Many times, mold can be detected by a musty odor. Most fungi, including molds, produce microscopic cells called “spores” that spread easily through the air. Live spores act like seeds, forming new mold growths with the right conditions. All of us here in the Mountains are exposed to fungal spores daily in the air we breathe.

How can mold get into my Breckenridge property? Most of the mold found
indoors comes from outdoors. It needs moisture to grow and becomes a problem only where there is water damage, high humidity, or dampness. Common sources of indoor moisture that cause mold problems include flooding, roof and plumbing leaks, damp basements or crawl spaces, or any moisture condensation on cold surfaces. Bathroom showers and steam from cooking can also create problems if they are not well ventilated.

What should I do if I suspect mold in my Summit Colorado Home:
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment does not recommend testing your Breckenridge home as a first step to determine if you have a mold problem. Reliable air sampling for mold can be expensive and requires expertise. Mold inspection and cleanup is usually considered a housekeeping task that is the responsibility of homeowner or property manager, as are roof and plumbing repairs, house cleaning, and yard maintenance. Another reason the health department does not recommend testing for mold contamination is that there are few available standards for judging what is an acceptable quantity of mold.

Prevent indoor mold problems in my Summit Colorado home?
Inspect your Summit County home regularly for the indications and sources of indoor moisture and mold. Next take steps to eliminate sources of water as quickly as possible. If a leak or flooding occurs:
  • Stop the source of leak or flooding.
  • Remove excess water with mops or wet vacuum.
  • Whenever possible, move the wet items to a dry and well ventilated area or outside to expedite drying.
  • Move rugs and pull up areas of wet carpet as soon as possible.
  • Open  a closet and cabinet doors and move  furniture away from walls to increase circulation.
  • Run portable fans to increase air circulation.
  • Do NOT turn up the heat or use heaters in confined areas, as higher temperatures increase the rate of mold growth.
  • If water has soaked inside the walls, it may be necessary to open wall cavities, remove baseboards, and/or pry open wall paneling.

For Additional Information in Colorado Contact:
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Disease Control
and Environmental Epidemiology Division at (303) 692-2700 or the
department’s Air Pollution Control Division at (303) 692-3100,