Concern about indoor exposure to mold has been increasing as the public becomes aware that exposure to mold can cause a variety of health problems and symptoms, including allergic reactions. This document presents guidelines for the remediation/cleanup of mold and moisture problems in facilities in New York including measures designed to protect the health of building occupants and remediators.
Mold can be found almost anywhere; it can grow on virtually any organic substance, as long as moisture and oxygen are present. There is mold that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, foods, and insulation. When excessive moisture accumulates in buildings or on building materials, mold growth will often occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or unaddressed. It is impossible to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment. However, mold growth can be controlled indoors by controlling moisture indoors.
Since mold requires water to grow, it is important to prevent moisture problems in buildings. Moisture problems can have many causes, including uncontrolled humidity. Some moisture problems in buildings have been linked to changes in building construction practices during the 1970s, 80s, and 90s. Some of these changes have resulted in buildings that are tightly sealed, but may lack adequate ventilation, potentially leading to moisture buildup. Building materials, such as drywall, may not allow moisture to escape easily. Moisture problems may include roof leaks, landscaping or gutters that direct water into or under the building, and unvented combustion appliances. Delayed maintenance or insufficient maintenance are also associated with moisture problems in schools and large buildings. Moisture problems in portable classrooms and other temporary structures have frequently been associated with mold problems.
Our Remediation Plan
Assess the size of the mold or moisture problem and the type of damaged materials before planning the remediation work. The decision to relocate occupants should consider the size and type of the area affected by mold growth, the type and extent of health effects reported by the occupants, the potential health risks that could be associated with debris, and the amount of disruption likely to be caused by remediation activities. If possible, remediation activities should be scheduled during off-hours when building occupants are less likely to be affected.
Our Remediation Process:
- Fix the water or humidity problem. Complete and carry out repair plan if appropriate. Revise and carry out maintenance plan if necessary. Revise remediation plan as necessary, if more damage is discovered during remediation.
- Continue to communicate with building occupants, as appropriate to the situation. Be sure to address all concerns.
- Completely clean up mold and dry water-damaged areas. Select appropriate cleaning and drying methods for damaged/ contaminated materials. Carefully contain and remove moldy building materials. Use appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Arrange for outside professional support if necessary.