More Foreclosures Means More Mold

Abandoned homes are perfect environments for mold and mildew
By Tim Karan,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 13, 2011 4:20 PM CDT
More Foreclosures Means More Mold in Closed-Up Homes
As more houses sit in foreclosure, mold is becoming more of a problem.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – At least one population is benefiting from the housing foreclosure crisis—mold. As more foreclosed homes sit unused for months or years while bureaucracy holds back sales, mold and mildew are growing at an alarming rate, reports NPR. More than half of all forecosed homes in some states are thought to be affected.

When a house is occupied, air conditioning, heating, and the flow of foot traffic facilitates natural ventilation that keeps mold in check. But when a home is closed up for an extended time, it can creep into drywall and fixtures and cost thousands to remove. "I had one really interesting [house]," says one Realtor. "It was the middle of winter. There were icicles coming out of the windows above the garage, no heat, but it was 80 degrees inside of the house because it was self-composting." (Click to hear audio of the story on Morning Edition.)

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