San Diego

Man's Invention Can Detect Moisture Conditions Right for Mold

A man hoping to protect his castle from the invasion of sneaky, silent fungus has invented a sensor that stands guard and alerts your phone when conditions are right for an attack.

Mold is one of those nasty things that can creep up in your home, without you even knowing it, and make your family sick.

That fact, and the birth of his daughter, was all the motivation Erik Laybourne needed to found Moat Technologies.

“Just like a castle. “Moat.” I wanted something fun and snappy and the tag line is, “Protect your castle."

Laybourne says mold begins mostly with moisture. After an extra-wet rainy season like we just had, the potential for rain water collecting underneath, in and around your home has heightened.

So Laybourne invented a battery-powered sensor that you can place in your crawlspace or inside your home that detects moisture conditions that can lead to mold growth. The sensor will ping your smartphone if it detects any red flags.

“We’ve got one in our daughter’s room,” he said.

Laybourne’s sensors are 3D printed and the batteries last around a year.

Mold, in most cases, won’t kill you, but it can lead one to develop breathing problems or worsen preexisting conditions.

“We just had a child of our own and that was one of the things that scared me the most,” Laybourne said.

Laybourne said one of the worst things a homeowner can do is pay someone thousands of dollars to inspect their house for mold before they’ve done their homework.

He didn’t want to take any chances and knew others wouldn’t want to either.

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