More than ever, mold prevention is a paramount concern for contractors for three very good reasons:
- Exposure to mold can be unhealthy for building residents and occupants — and to your own work crew.
- Mold can irreversibly damage construction materials, the building’s contents and even its structural integrity
- Litigation over mold problems is becoming far more frequent and far more costly to builders
To avoid the headaches and expense of mold infestation, builders should follow best practices to prevent mold from getting a foothold in their project. More importantly, they need to possess the knowledge and means to remediate any mold problems that do develop.
Mold Prevention Tips
Whether mold problems are actually on the rise in new construction or the heightened awareness of mold has led to more complaints, builders need to protect their customers and businesses by employing mold preventive practices during construction. Here are a few tips provided by professionals to keep mold out of your projects:
Don’t import mold problems: Conduct a visual inspection for mold on the building materials brought into the structure, and clean or treat any suspected mold growth. Pressure treated lumber, which often arrives damp at the job site, has been cited as a mold source when used inside.
For drywall and wood paneling, install at least 1/2″ above the floor to prevent any liquid on the floor from soaking in and wicking up.
Caulk between the floor trim and floor to prevent the small spills on the floor from entering the wall cavity, especially in high-moisture environments such as bathrooms, kitchens and basements.
Spray the underside of floor cabinets in bathrooms and kitchens with an antimicrobial spray or lacquer before installation to reduce the penetration of moisture into them in damp or wet conditions.
Consider using extruded foam insulation over crawl spaces and in below-grade spaces because it holds less moisture than fiberglass insulation.
Avoid carpeting in below-grade spaces and damp, moisture-rich environments because carpeting provides the perfect conditions for mold growth and is difficult to remediate, if not impossible.
Mold represents an especially complex challenge for commercial and residential properties, in that:
- Exposure to mold can be unhealthy for building residents and occupants — and to your own maintenance staffs.
- Mold problems can grow quickly — without quick remediation, small patches in one unit can jeopardize the environment of the entire building.
- Your organization must rely on the vigilance of each tenant to identify mold problems within their space.
To avoid the headaches, expense and lost income that can result from mold infestation, property managers should follow best practices to prevent mold from getting a foothold in their buildings, engage their tenants, and possess the knowledge and means to remediate any mold problems that do develop.
Managing Communications For Mold Remediation.
A proactive approach to mold remediation is critical to preventing future problems. Communicating openly with the people who live and work in your building is also important.
Whether you encounter mold infestations in residential apartment buildings, office buildings, manufacturing facilities or commercial spaces, it’s a good idea to keep the tenants fully apprised of the problem, the action you’re pursuing to remediate it, and when and where remediation will take place.
New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene suggests that when large-scale remediation is performed, the building owner, management, and/or employer should notify occupants in the building. In most cases, vacating people from spaces adjacent to the work area is not necessary but is recommended in the presence of infants less than 12 months old, persons having undergone recent surgery, immune suppressed people, or people with chronic inflammatory lung diseases.
Group meetings, held before and after remediation, with full disclosure of plans and results, can be an effective communication mechanism. Building occupants should be provided with a copy of all inspection reports upon request.
Properly dispose of the contaminated materials according to your local, State, and Federal regulations.
The mission of Professional Mold Solutions is to become a valuable partner to remediation experts by becoming the go-to source for:
- Industry knowledge — through interactive forums for the exchange of the ideas, practices and news that impact professional remediation.
- Business intelligence — as a resource for tips on everything from marketing services to writing contracts to improving bottom-line profitability.
- Professional-grade mold remediation products — Appropriate EPA-registered fungicides, cleaners, testing, personal protection, equipment and more.
By both sharing expertise with professionals and learning from them, we believe the entire industry will be better equipped to serve the public.
Online Resources For Mold Remediation Professionals
Below you’ll find useful links for you and your customers to learn about every aspect of mold remediation — from accepted best practices and educational resources to FEMA reimbursement for mold remediation costs.
If you know of a helpful web site not listed here, please forward the link to us. After review, accepted sites will be added to this section.
- National Association of Mold Professionals
- Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification
- National Association of Mold Remediators and Inspectors
- Centers For Disease Control And Prevention
- US Environmental Protection Agency
- Occupational Health & Safety Administration
- Federal Emergency Management Agency