New York, NY, November 14th, 2016 -- In almost any home or building that has suffered water damage or elevated humidity levels, mold contamination can occur that can directly impact the indoor air quality (IAQ). Over the past two decades, the public and healthcare providers have become much more aware of exposure risks to elevated levels of mold in homes, schools, and work environments.
In addition to health issues associated with exposure to elevated levels of mold, its presence indoors can also result in property damage, expensive repairs, and even lower property values. Numerous government agencies have published information and mold prevention tips to educate the public about indoor mold issues. This includes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and their Ten Things You Should Know about Mold. The EPA list includes:
1. Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposures include allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory complaints.
2. There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.
3. If mold is a problem in your home or school, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.
4. Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.
5. Reduce indoor humidity (to 30-60%) to decrease mold growth by venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources to the outside; using air conditioners and de-humidifiers; increasing ventilation, and using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing, and cleaning.
6. Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
7. Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely. Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles, that are moldy, may need to be replaced.
8. Prevent condensation: Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces by adding insulation.
9. In areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting (i.e., by drinking fountains, by classroom sinks, or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation).
10. Mold can be found almost anywhere; it can grow on virtually any substance, provided moisture is present.
“The EPA’s list provides some basic tips and is a good start for the public in understanding indoor mold contamination and ways to prevent its presence,” said Michael Berrevoets, President, VOETS, LLC. “Unfortunately, water damage issues resulting in mold growth also often occur in places people don’t see, such as in wall and ceiling cavities, attics, basements, and behind cabinets and furniture to name just a few.”
Photo Source: Judd J. Balmer, Esq., Ltd.