Americans love lists of things; whether is it the Top Ten this or the Bottom Ten that, it’s a fascination that is both entertaining and educating at the same time. Believe it or not, there is even a list of the worst states for mold, the names of which might surprise you.
For a little background, black mold and any other mold that will infest a house or building, requires moisture. A room with a relative humidity (RH) of fifty-five percent or more is ideal for mold generation. This dangerous fungus can be airborne, so an infested ventilation system can literally spit the spores throughout the atmosphere. Black mold is a hazard to both hearth and health. Contamination can weaken the wooden structure of any building and those who suffer from allergies or have respiratory problems can be adversely affected by this particular fungus. It is not something that can be ignored, and should be removed as soon as possible after initial detection.
The following is a list of the Top Ten Worst States for Mold (Including Black) as comprised by American Risk Management Resources : 1. Texas, 2. Florida, 3. Oklahoma, 4. South Carolina, 5. Nevada, 6. Arizona, 7. California, 8. South Dakota, 9. Tennessee, 10. Kansas
Incidentally, this list is based on analysis of insurance claims in the United States, which means that these are the states where the most number of insurance claims based on hazardous mold were filed. Wisconsin, with a shoreline on Lake Superior, had the lowest ranking of hazardous mold. Surprised? Looking at the list a reader may think, “Okay, I can see Texas and Florida being on the list, but why are Louisiana and South Dakota, of all places, in the Top Ten? South Dakota and Arizona are near deserts, and I thought that black mold forms in moisture… so why would a dust bowl state like Oklahoma be on it?”
The key to understanding this is to ask the question: where is the mold growing that folks are concerned about? The insurance claims were not filed on the great outdoors. We really shouldn’t be worried about mold growing on the outside, but on the inside of a building. Climate outside is not the predictor of a mold problem that some think it to be; rather, it is the weather inside of the structure and the level of humidity present. Indeed, it is moisture intrusion that contributes the most to mold in residential and commercial properties of the United States. The above are the states with the greatest incidence of moisture intrusion.
This information should not cause anyone to move or turn down a job offer in one of these states. It does mean, however, that residential and commercial property owners in the Top Ten need to be more sensitive to the possibility of black mold forming in their space. Routine inspections for mold and a company remediation program can keep mold from becoming a serious hazard. It’s pretty clear from the list above that living in an area of low rainfall or few rivers is no protection against this threat. Instead, it is constant vigilance and immediate action that keeps black mold from harming a home or commercial property.