Mold can be a serious problem after a violent storm such as Hurricane Irene, which just hit the United States. And sure enough, September is Mold Awareness Month, designed for homeowners and facility managers to evaluate the possibility of mold growth in their properties under normal or emergency situations.
Developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Mold Awareness Month is especially significant for carpet cleaning technicians because we know mold can develop not only after emergencies, but when carpets take too long to dry after cleaning.
Mold is a microscopic organism that serves a helpful purpose in nature. It helps in the decomposition of leaves, wood, and plant debris. However, indoors mold can cause eye irritation, congestion, and respiratory problems.
“It can also be very costly to eradicate,” says Mickey McKee, vice president of sales and marketing for U.S. Products and HydraMaster. “It is estimated that water and mold damage cost insurers more than $2.5 billion annually, much of which can be prevented.”
According to McKee, ways to prevent mold from developing in a home or facility include the following:
• Fix water leaks as soon as they are detected.
• Keep hard surface floors, counters, and upholstery dry.
• Take steps to prevent condensation from developing around windows, walls, pipes, and floors.
• Use dehumidifiers and air conditioners especially in hot, humid climates.
• After carpet cleaning, place air movers around the room to help carpets dry faster.