Indoor fungal growth and contamination become causation to action when they cause property damage, personal injury to the owners or occupants of the affected building, or both.
The elements essential to an action based on water damage and fungal growth are:
- Water intrusion
- Resultant fungal growth or contamination that causes damage to either or both:
- The building structure and personal contents
- The building occupants (i.e., personal injuries)
In evaluating the case, we look to certain aspects to determine whether a situation is a reason to incite action:
- In non-water-damaged environments, a balanced relationship typically exists between outdoor and indoor fungal concentrations. Mold is ubiquitous and exists in non-problem buildings.
- When a building sustains water damage and certain conditions exist (i.e., moisture, humidity, or a nutrient source), fungi can start to grow within 24 to 48 hours. If, however, the source of water intrusion is quickly identified, abated, and the moisture source necessary for the fungi to survive is eliminated, fungi become dormant and eventually die off.
- Even nonviable fungi (fungi in a dormant state) have the potential to cause adverse health effects. Therefore, abatement of water must be accompanied by proper cleanup of all affected areas. An expert should evaluate how to remediate such an environment.
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