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Written By: Henry P. Shotwell, Ph.D., CIH
April 5, 2020
A Hot, Wet Summer
This year has been an especially warm winter and spring. The prospects for severe storms are high!
During the hurricane season, hot humid air envelops most of North America. Beginning in the spring and lasting until the first frost of autumn, the air is typically well above 60% relative humidity, which is ideal for promoting the growth of mold. The official hurricane season runs from June to October, and even though they may not qualify as hurricanes, many storms before June and after October have enough rain and wind to cause structural damage and allow for the growth of mold. Even if your home or business isn’t damaged, prolonged periods of high humidity will promote the growth of mold on many surfaces.
The Black Mold Myth
First off, let’s dispel a common myth about the so-called “Toxic Black Mold” Stachybotrys. Stachy is no better and no worse than any other mold. It was mistakenly thought to be involved in an unusual lung condition years ago but the myth lives on even though all implications, including those of the government, have been retracted. Secondly, there is no such thing as “toxic mold.” It’s a meaningless term, although all molds, as well as all other living creatures, produce waste products that can produce adverse health effects under the right (or possibly wrong) conditions. (Did you know that the mold Penicillium produces a “toxin” called Penicillin?) Finally, whether a mold is black, green white, brown, pink or any other color, has absolutely no bearing on a given mold’s ability to create damage. In fact, most mold colonies change their colors as they grow and mature.
Wash Mold with Soap and Water
Unless there has been severe water damage, almost all mold growth situations can be handled by simply washing the surface with mild detergent and rinsing with household bleach then finally plain water. If there has been wind and rainstorm damage, the extent of the problem may require the services of an experienced, certified remediation firm. Often the problem to be remediated is not the mold growth, its water damage. A ruptured pipe or other sources of continuous water flow inside the structure must be found and repaired, followed by thorough drying before removing any mold that has started to grow. Remember that mold can grow in a few days so action to stop the water/moisture and a speedy clean-up is essential.
Stop Water and Dehumidify
If mold growth in your home or other building is not due to storm damage or a leaking pipe, humid air is probably the cause. Keeping doors and windows closed and using a dehumidifier will go a long way toward keeping the mold from coming back. Remember that an air conditioner also acts as a dehumidifier. Try to keep the relative humidity to 60% or less.
Contact Atlantic Environmental today using our contact form or call us at 973-366-4660 to discuss your unique needs and obtain a complimentary, no-obligation quotation for mold services tailored to your company’s requirements. Our complete team of experts comprise of Certified Industrial Hygienists (CIH), Certified Safety Professionals (CSP) along with having many other licenses and certifications within the indoor air quality industry.
Our primary service areas for Mold Sampling/Testing and Consulting are New Jersey NJ, New York NY, (New York City), Pennsylvania PA, Connecticut CT, Delaware DE, Massachusetts, (Boston) MA, Rhode Island RI, Washington DC, Wisconsin WI, Maryland MD, Michigan MI, Illinois (Chicago) IL, Virginia VA, Indiana IN, Georgia (Atlanta) GA, Alabama AL, North Carolina NC, South Carolina SC, Tennessee TN, Texas (Dallas, Ft Worth) TX, Oklahoma OK, DC, Arkansas AR, Florida FL. We can service most other areas of the U.S. but with some added travel charges.