As Foreclosed Houses Grow, So Grows a Costly By-product

NPR News says a nasty ancillary result of the housing crisis is the growth of mold in foreclosed houses, exacerbated by the drawn out process of paperwork, causing many houses to sit closed up for years.  Normal comings and goings in a house ventilate the interior, drawing moisture up to the attic and out through the roof.  Heating and cooling units contribute to this process, called the “stack effect”.  Regardless of the climate, mold and mildew can be devastating.  Water standing in a basement because there is no electricity to the sump pump can cause the floors, walls and ceiling in the entire house irreparable damage.  Said Realtor Rebecca Terakedis, recounting one foreclosed house, “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.”  In some states, it is estimated that over half the foreclosed homes have mold issues.  Analysts estimate there are many houses that have yet to enter the foreclosure process.

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