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Mold and Moisture

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  1. Mold and Moisture Leif Albertson University of Alaska Fairbanks Bethel, Alaska

  2. Moisture • Living in damp conditions can be bad for you • Cough, wheeze, asthma… • Bacteria • Viruses • Mites • And, MOLD

  3. Mold is bad for you…maybe…. “Exposure to damp and moldy environments may cause a variety of health effects, or none at all.” www.CDC.gov/mold A surprisingly contentious topic

  4. Mold and Moisture • What is mold? • Fungi kingdom • Mushrooms • Yeast • Mildew

  5. What is Mold? • Mold spores • Found indoors and outdoors • More than 1,000 kinds of in U.S. Homes • Cannot be eliminated from indoor environments • Up to millions of spores can be released from small areas • A culture of one mold can • Release 10,000 spores/min from area of 1 square centimeter • Mold is ubiquitous

  6. More on Mold… Not great evidence mold is bad for all people Those sensitive to mold should avoid it People have been living with mold a long, long time

  7. More on Mold… • Mold problems are moisture problems • Oxygen, cellulose, moisture, heat…. • Mold is ubiquitous in rural Alaska • Thermal stratification • ToyoStoves

  8. Mold is bad for buildings… Bethel firehouse rotting over employees' heads MOISTURE TRAPPED: Replacing structure may cost up to $7 million By KYLE HOPKINSkhopkins@adn.com Published: July 17th, 2009 09:13 PM Bethel fire station so rotted with water damage, firefighters banned from staying the night….

  9. Dealing with Mold • Fix moisture first • Prevention is easiest • Keep it dry • After a flood • 48 hours • Fans, heat, mop, etc. • Drywall…take it down • Carpets…pull it up

  10. Mold Cleanup • Level of clean-up depends on size of mold area < 10 sq ft • PPE (minimum) • N-95 respirator, gloves, goggles • Containment: None required • Between 10 sq ft and 100 sq ft • PPE limited or full (use “professional judgment”) • Respirator (N-95, half-face, full-face) • Gloves, goggles, foot covering • Disposable overalls/disposable full body clothing

  11. Mold Cleanup (cont.) • Containment: Limited • Polyethylene sheeting ceiling to floor around affected area, slit entry, covering flap • Maintain area under negative pressure with HEPA filtered fan unit. • Block supply and return air vents within containment area

  12. Mold Review Questionswww.epa.gov/mold/moldcourse • Most important factor influencing mold growth is • A. temperature • B. light • C. moisture or water • D. organic matter

  13. Questions…. • Molds have potential to cause health effects such as allergic reactions • True • False

  14. Questions…. • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) worn to limit mold exposure. Minimum PPE for mold remediation includes • A. helmet and gloves • B. safety glasses and protective shoes • C. N-95 respirator, gloves, goggles

  15. Questions… • Water-damaged furnishings and building components should be dried within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth • True • False

  16. Last one…. • Mold cannot be eliminated from indoor environments. Some mold spores will be found floating through the air and in dust; however, they will not grow if moisture is not present • True • False

  17. Quyana Leif Albertson Bethel, Alaska lflea@uaf.edu (907)543-4553 Questions?