Officials in Michigan’s Ypsilanti Township are mulling over plans to reclaim an abandoned home that poses a health risk to neighboring homeowners. According to a report from MLive, a home thought to have been abandoned by its previous owners following foreclosure has had a water leak coursing throughout the home for at least two months. Subsequently, an estimated 88,000 gallons of water is thought to have saturated the home, although the majority has since leaked out through the basement.While this may seem like an issue for the lending institution that foreclosed on the property, the resultant mold infestation in the home poses a public health risk. Mike Radzik, director of Ypsilanti’s Office of Community Standards, describes the infestation as “advanced and severe.”
The Home May Be Abandoned, but It Still Poses a Health Risk
Under normal circumstances, concern over mold infestation in a home would be limited to the homeowners. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), extended exposure to toxic mold, particularly Stachybotrys chartarum, or black mold, can lead to sudden onset asthma, chronic respiratory conditions, and even death, in extreme circumstances.The health effects outlined by the CDC are typically limited to those living in the infested home, but in the case of the Ypsilanti derelict, the infestation is so severe that it could potentially affect the air quality around the house. A 2007 study by Ebere C. Anyanwu of St. Peter’s Middle College House suggests that an infestation of this size can lead to neurological conditions, pulmonary and respiratory illnesses, and other negative effects on those living near the site of infestation. In this instance, an exterior wall has fallen off the house, exposing the mold spores to air currents. By granting permission to either demolish or repair the home, the Ypsilanti Township Board of Trustees hopes to protect those in the danger zone.
“When mold is is actively colonizing in indoor environments, i.e., fueled by a moisture source like a flooded basement or pipe leak, it needs to be addressed by a professional specifically experienced and trained to safely eradicate mold,” says Joe Mulieri, President of MoldGone, LLC. “Your mold remediation company should be fully certified, insured, and experienced.”