Multifamily Florida - Spring 2013 - (Page 17)
Moisture, and the mold
born from it, can cause
havoc and make life
miserable for facility
managers. Here are
some tips for getting
and staying dry.
by Scott McCurdy
When it comes to structural integrity, mold is like a wet
blanket. It is generally useless and always unwanted.
“Over time, mold will break down whatever medium it grows
on,” says Matt Brewer, director of field operations for Coastal
Reconstruction Group. “Very quickly, it will begin to rot through
wood, drywall, and any number of standard building materials.
Once this starts, it eventually leads to catastrophic structural
Not to mention that mold can adversely affect your health,
Brewer adds. It can exacerbate many respiratory problems and other
health issues such as allergies, asthma, sinus congestion, coughing
and skin rashes, especially among the young and elderly.
So how do you deal with this insidious building and lung
invader? In order to fight it, you must first understand how and
where it grows.
Living organisms that thrive in damp places, molds stain
or discolor surfaces and smell musty. There are hundreds of
thousands of different types of mold, and they can grow almost
anywhere: on walls, ceilings, carpets, or furniture. Humidity or
wetness — caused by water leaks, spills from bathtubs or showers,
or condensation — can cause molds to grow.
By ensuring that a structure is as moisture-proof as possible,
you can avoid many of the headaches associated with the damage
caused by microbial growth.
Follow these tips to prevent the infestation:
• Regularly inspect building interiors and exteriors for leaks
• Fix serious water problems immediately. Wet basements,
roof leaks, and leaking pipes or faucets represent perfect
• Always use ventilation fans in bathrooms and kitchens.
• Keep humidity below 40 percent by using an air conditioner
• Make sure water from sprinklers and hoses is not in direct
contact with the foundation.
• Pressure-wash building exteriors at least twice annually.
• Avoid using carpeting in kitchens, bathrooms and
• Dry floor mats and other absorbent objects regularly.
The most diligent of facility managers cannot prevent the
growth of all molds, but successfully recognizing that you might
have a moisture problem can go a long way in eliminating these
culprits before they cause serious damage. One of the telltale
ways of detecting mold growth is by its smell, which is typically
a musty, stagnant odor that is both strong and unpleasant.
Another obvious sign is the appearance of black specks
around plumbing fixtures, water-stained and swollen walls, and
flooring. “It’s safe to say that if you have any type of leak in your
MultifamilyFLORIDA l SPRING 2013 l 17
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Multifamily Florida - Spring 2013
Legislative Update: And So It Begins
Renovations and Maintenance: Managing the Many Moving Parts
Hey Mold ... Dry Up!
Five Crucial Conversations for Flawless Execution
Open for Business!
Plan Ahead ... Weather, or Not
To Tow ... or Not to Tow?
Index to Advertisers/Adv.com
Multifamily Florida - Spring 2013