Depending on where you live in the States, there is a high chance that people could be living under a damp roof without even being aware it. In most cases, it is impossible for people to tell how bad their roof condition is, without having it checked professionally.
Fortunately, it is not that difficult to detect signs of roof damage early on, provided that the residents know what to look for. It was found that almost all homes with light to moderate water damage inside their roof displayed a range of common signs, before things got really bad. As to why it might get really bad in 2021, a discussion regarding certain alarming facts is necessary to ensure public safety.
Why is a Moldy, Damp Roof Particularly Bad News this Year?
A susceptibility to certain mold spore related infections has been recently observed in several covid patients. The afflicted individuals are usually just recovering from covid, or patients who are still fighting against the viral infection’s most serious respiratory effects. In some instances where patients are predisposed to immunocompromised conditions, invasive mold infections have even made them more susceptible to chest infections in general and SARS-COV-II variants in particular.
This condition is serious and novel enough for it to have been classified by the CDC and the WHO as a new disease called COVID-19–Associated Invasive Mold Infection (CAIMI). Even more alarmingly, CAIMI has a mortality rate above 30%, which makes covid alone seem timid in comparison with its 2-4% mortality rate. CAIMI is not a pandemic of course, which means that it doesn’t spread to other unaffected people like covid alone does, but for those living in a damp, moldy environment, the risks of contraction are not completely negligible either.
Which Fungus is Responsible for Causing CAIMI?
COVID-19–Associated Invasive Mold Infection has so far been associated with the fungus aspergillus. It is believed that CAIMI is an extremely lethal version of viral aspergillosis. Invasive mold infections are not exactly new concepts on their own, but the new viral strains have made it a novel and extremely dangerous situation to deal with.
What really makes the situation particularly scary for everyone is the fact that the fungus aspergillus is an extremely common species of mold, whose spores were not deemed previously as particularly harmful in small quantities, unless the individual had a specific mold allergy, or had a preexisting immunocompromised condition. If a house has mold hiding inside the roof, in the bathroom, behind the wallpapers, or under the carpeting, it probably has aspergillus spores floating indoors.
Aspergillus is Not the Only Mold Species Responsible for Causing CAIMI
Due to the common occurrence of aspergillus in damp buildings, it was found to be the major cause of concern in roughly 75% of the cases. However, other species of fungi such as the rhizopus and the scedosporium were also found to create complications in serious covid patients.
Each and every complication associated with viral pneumonia and invasive mold infections were found to be extremely dangerous. A few examples, as cited by the CDC are nodules, cavitation, cavitated nodules, pulmonary embolism, pleural effusion, and in rare cases, even brain affectations.
What Can be Done to Keep CAIMI at Bay?
There is only one permanent way to get rid of mold from any hospital, office or residential building for good, and that involves cutting out their water supply. Mold cannot grow without moisture, and it will eventually dry out and die within just a few days to a few weeks if the dampness is taken care of with due diligence.
Since the roof is one of the most susceptible areas of water damage in any building, it is highly advisable to get it inspected by professional roofers first. If the property is anywhere within the Wayne, Macomb, Oakland, or St. Clair Counties, contact Rock Solid Exteriors for a consultation and inspection.
What are the Signs of Hidden Mold Growth?
As mentioned, the extent, species and effects of mold are hard to confirm without a professional inspection, but even homeowners should at least be able to tell that they have a mold problem by looking for these signs early on.
- Mold is almost always accompanied by a musty smell, and the stronger this musty odor gets, the worse that growth is likely to be
- Pooling water in cracks of the roof, walls, foundation, bathroom tiles, etc.
- Isolated dots of dark brown or black on the floor/wall/roof/ceiling, which looks like congealed dirt, but doesn’t go away on rubbing or scraping
- Multiplying or growing of those same isolated dots
- Damp, hot air in the bathroom is both a cause and a sign of mold
- Peeling wallpaper with damp spots on the wall
- Rotting carpet with damp spots on the wall
- Swollen/bulging spots on the ceiling/walls/wooden doors
- Unprecedented susceptibility to allergies in individuals and children without a history of allergic reactions
- Increased instances of serious allergic conditions such as runny nose, sneezing, itchy, swollen & reddish eyes, and asthma attacks in children and adults predisposed to allergies
Mold is not equally harmful for everyone and a few common species of the fungus in small temporary clumps may not be anything to worry too much over. However, even the most harmless species of mold can pose serious health risks to every resident of a damp home, provided that the fungus is allowed to grow without check. In 2021, however, the growing instances of deadly CAIMI have added a new dimension of threat to human health after the pandemic.
Sooner or later, the sheer number of spores in the air will begin to negatively affect all residents, whether they have had allergies previously or not. It is not worth the risk, and homeowners should act much before that stage is ever reached. Understand that mold will always continue to grow inevitably and beyond control, if we are unable to dry the damp, seal the cracks, and even change a roof if needed.