The East Coast’s recent skyrocketing temperature could add an extra danger that lurks hidden and often undetected in commercial buildings, says disaster expert Dean Ragone, a principal with Somerdale, N.J.-based allRisk Property Damage Experts.

“The prevalence of mold as a result of the recent East Coast heat wave could pose a serious health risk to local residents and workers,” Ragone says.

Mold becomes particularly hazardous when it comes into contact with water and a food source. These conditions are significantly more likely to appear during hot weather and high humidity, according to Ragone. In July, many East Coast cities experienced temperatures in the mid-90s, with heat indexes reaching triple digits.

The Centers for Disease Control reports that those who are sensitive to mold may experience adverse side effects, including nasal congestion, throat discomfort, breathing difficulty, or skin and eye irritation. In some cases, more serious effects, such as lung infections, have been reported.

“It usually takes experts in mold remediation to solve the problem,” says Ragone. “It’s all about awareness and education. Facility professionals should use knowledge of weather conditions when they schedule water-generating activities. For example, they might want to reschedule shampooing carpets on particularly hot days with high humidity.”

“Molds gradually destroy the things they grow on,” the EPA warns. “You can prevent damage, save money and avoid potential health problems by controlling moisture and eliminating mold growth.”

A free “How to Deal with Mold” primer for commercial property owners is available by sending an email request to

“While the weather has turned slightly more moderate, summer doesn’t end until mid-September,” says Ragone. “We also shouldn’t forget that mold grows even in cooler weather in the right conditions.”