1 in 8 children in America suffers from asthma! One of the primary contributors is mold, and I come across severe mold problems in many of the homes I visit. Sadly, the worst cases tend to be found in homes that were built or remodeled recently — in the last 30 years – mostly due to a poor choice of materials, combined with poor installation details. Frequent contributors include damp crawlspaces, rotting exterior doors, windows and trim; leaky roofs; missing or inadequate flashing; drainage problems; and ventilation problems. But here’s something you might never think of — both vinyl siding and synthetic stucco have a tendency to trap water behind them and can rot your walls from the inside, creating a haven for mold all the while.

In fact, the mold is most likely to be growing in places you can’t see; so if your family seems to have more than its share of respiratory problems, please have your home professionally checked for mold. One of the best firms I’ve found for this is Grangeville Environmental Services www.grangevilleenvironmental.com. We have worked with them recently on various homes in Bethesda-Chevy Chase, where we suspected mold infestation; they tested and confirmed significant contamination and provided remediation services to our clients — allowing us to install the correct materials, in the correct manner, to ensure a healthy home for the family.