Recently, I was at an association event for property managers. I was asked numerous questions regarding mold: does spraying with bleach eliminate it; do we run into black mold; is it still a problem in a dry California?
Mold is everywhere
Mold is a consistent issue, even in beautiful California. Modern properties are well sealed for your protection; however, that sealed environment can cause a musty, damp area for mold to grow while you’re on vacation or any time there’s a leak.
The first thing to do about mold
The first thing property managers can do is check for visible mold. Mold can appear cottony, granular, or leathery and range in color from white to gray, brown, black, yellow, or even green. You also can check for scent as mold has a noticeable odor.
Find the water
Before mold is removed, the manager or tenant will want to verify the source of the moisture. Once the source is fixed through your local plumber, then you will want to remove the visible mold.
Health effects of mold
Another concern most tenants have is any health effects mold exposure can cause. This is dependent upon the amount of mold and the individual’s sensitivity to it. Long exposures can cause coughing as well as nasal and throat conditions. People with a weak immunity system can also develop serious respiratory infections.
What about bleach?
The general public has come to believe spraying bleach water on mold will kill the spores and prevent it from spreading. Although bleach can aid in mold on non-porous surfaces (i.e., tile), it does not aid on porous surfaces (i.e., wooden beams). Because of this, OSHA and EPA recommendations and guidelines do not include bleach water, but a full remediation of the area. Only a full remediation allows mold to be killed at its roots.
Don’t forget the ducts!
Many times managers will want to clean the air ducts that effect this location to ensure a full cleaning of the breathable air. Between a safe removal of the visible mold and clear air ducts, your tenants will happy residents once again.