Building Management Hawaii - June/July 2012 - (Page 19)

Mold Misunderstood A four-step remedy for furry growths of fungi. By Daren Kaneshiro Green mold climbs up a wall cavity. old happens. The question is, What are you going to do about it? Panic, perhaps? Run out of the building screaming, Mold! Or, simply ignore it in the hopes that it will just go away? OK, what you really need to do is damage control. 1. stop and think 2. evaluate the situation 3. protect immediate health and safety concerns 4. contact a professional Stop. Take a breath, and realize that mold damage is not a problem—rather, it is the symptom of a problem. The actual problem is moisture. Mold growth occurs when the conditions are right. Principally, this means moisture (humidity), low levels of light, and tropical temperatures. M Spotting mold growth in a building or structure will point you directly to an area of water or moisture damage. This helps eliminate the guesswork when it comes to locating a leak or area of water intrusion. Evaluate the situation. Is the area of growth large or small? According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a small area of mold growth is less than 10 square feet, the size of a standard bath towel. A large area is more than 100 square feet, the footprint of an average sized bedroom floor. Is the growth spotty throughout, or is it a solid mass? What material is it growing on— drywall, wood, clothing, carpet, etc.? The answers to these questions will lead you to the next step. Protect immediate health and safety concerns. Does the amount of mold and the location of the growth appear to be putting people at risk? Mold can trigger allergies, cause disease or inflict flu-like symptoms. Use your best judgment based on your evaluation of the situation. Again, using the EPA as a guide, if it’s a large area and in a living space such as a bedroom, you may have to make the decision to relocate inhabitants to ensure their safety. I believe it’s better to err on the side of caution. At the very least it will allow more time to BMH June-July 2012 Condensation and leaks from an air conditioning units causes mold and other damage. 19

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Building Management Hawaii - June/July 2012

Editor’s Note
When the Winds Blow
Why Waterproof? Keep your building watertight & upright.
Get Watertight Water is the greatest solvent in the world ... keep your building dry.
What Drains Your Building?
Asbestos Exposed How to safely recover from mold and flood damage.
Mold Misunderstood
Water Leaks—from Bad to Worse
The Power of Paint
Life of Paint
It’s Best to Test A paint test can detect lead, and be the trick in finding a paint that will stick.
Industry News
Movers & Shakers
Association Updates
Resource Guide: Waterproofing & Painting

Building Management Hawaii - June/July 2012