Six Months After Hurricane Ian – Mold Still an Issue?

Six Months After Hurricane Ian – Mold Still an Issue

Business Performance Solutions (BPS) strives to educate the community about mold  

SARASOTA, FL – It has been six months since Hurricane Ian mowed down Southwest Florida, forcing residents and families to confront agonizing questions about their future.

In many of the homes and businesses left standing, the receding floodwaters left behind a destructive and deadly reminder of just how hard it is to recover from a storm’s floodwaters.

Although the water has receded, the water damage remains.

But it doesn’t take a hurricane to bring mold. South Florida’s spring and summer seasons, with their strong thunderstorms, can lead to serious damage. And mold can even set in after something as simple as a burst pipe or leaky roof — and constantly running your AC. Mold can grow by feeding on the dust that collects on the blower, the wet cooling coil, and on both sides of the ducts.

“In a hot and humid place like Florida, mold is an unwanted guest that thrives on surfaces like wallboard and wood with three things: moisture, warmth, and an organic source of food,” said Anthony Lenard, president of Building Performance Solutions (BPS).  “It festers 24 to 48 hours after water damage and continues to spread if it isn’t removed quickly. And it’s not only buildings that suffer. Mold is hazardous to human health.”

Mold is a product of natural environmental processes and, in small amounts, poses no threat. However, it can become a very real and very dangerous problem at high levels. In fact, for certain individuals who have a low tolerance to mold, even small concentrations can be extremely harmful.

“You may be releasing mold spores into the rest of the house,” Lenard, said. “That’s where not only the issue for additional growth comes in, but the potential for health impact.”

Testing for Mold can be tricky.  Many consumers do not know that you should not have the same people testing for mold – as the company that remediates it.  Lenard implores consumers to beware of “mold” remediation companies / “mold experts” that offer to both test and remediate mold problems or sell you high price air cleaners and other products; these sales tactics are considered a conflict of interest.

The best way to check to see if you have mold is to do PRV (post-remediation verification) testing for both homes and businesses. PRV testing involves taking samples in a contained area that was remediated for mold/fungal growth to ensure that the remediation was successful.

“If the test results show that the remediation was successful, we provide a clearance document. This is a legal document that states that the area has been returned to a normal fungal ecology,” said Lenard.

Unfortunately, Lenard has seen so many homeowners that had remediation completed before a test was done – leaving homeowners now with either health issues and/or out-of-pocket money to fix the mold issues. “Test – before you rebuild.  Otherwise, you are just sealing in the microbial mold.” Microbial growth grows on paper, cardboard, ceiling tiles, and wood. Microbial growth can also grow in dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery.

More information at www.buildingperformancesolution.com