One of the most common environmental hazards for California tenants and homeowners is black mold.
Across California, mold outbreaks affect thousands of homes and structures each year, and these infestations can wreak havoc on occupants and properties alike.
Not all molds are created equal. While some molds are harmless and can be treated with simple household remedies, others are highly toxic and destructive. When it is left untreated, mold has the potential to cause significant structural damage.
Black Mold Explained
Molds are microscopic organisms from the fungi family and are found wherever organic matter is present. Although many common molds are beneficial, some varieties of these fungi can pose a threat to humans and structures. When homes become infested with toxic molds, these outbreaks can cause irreversible damage.
Black molds are most commonly found inside damp and warm buildings. Due to California’s temperate weather, most buildings are susceptible to mold infestations, especially during summer.
Black molds are recognizable by their dark appearance and rapid spreading. Although many molds feed on decomposing plant and animal matter, black mold eats away at the internal elements of a building, such as:
As these toxic infestations spread, black molds can make their way into ventilation systems and cause health problems as occupants breathe in poisonous spores. Black mold infestations should be addressed immediately, and extra measures should be taken on behalf of owners to prevent future outbreaks.
Common Property Damage Associated with Black Mold
Black mold thrives on organic materials in warm and damp conditions. The more prevalent these elements are within a home or structure, the more likely an infestation can spread.
The consequences are often catastrophic whenever mold makes its way into a home’s structural components. Mold can quickly rot and weaken support beams, wooden studs, and even sections of a building’s frame.
In some outbreaks, mold can spread deep enough to collapse entire walls or sections of a building. Mold is also known to eat away at floorboards, making them susceptible to breaking. People can be injured whenever mold deteriorates walking surfaces.
Ceilings are highly susceptible to mold infestations. Small water leaks inside homes often spark mold growth that can go unnoticed for months. Mold can feed on ceiling elements and cause them to weaken and collapse.
While most homes won’t topple overnight, mold that’s left untreated tends to spread quickly. Even a minor mold outbreak can permanently damage critical sections of a building and cause catastrophic injuries.
Bodily injuries from a mold outbreak can result in lawsuits against negligent owners and building managers. Landlords in California are legally required to disclose previous knowledge of mold. Failure to do so can result in additional sanctions.
Just as mold can wreak havoc on homes, breathing in the toxic spores from a mold infestation can cause various short- and long-term health conditions.
Some of the most common symptoms of toxic mold exposure include:
- Memory problems
- Allergic skin reactions
- Eye irritation
- Respiratory tract infections
If you live or work in a building with an active black mold infestation, your property owner is responsible for addressing the problem. Should you develop any health complications resulting from a negligent landlord, you have the right to file a claim in court and to hold them accountable.
Thompson Injury Law represents environmental law claims in San Diego, CA. If you or a loved one were injured as a result of a black mold outbreak, you might be able to recover your losses. Call us today for a free case evaluation.