It has been a problem that man has battled since the dawn of time—controlling mold. It lurks in the corners and can cause major damage and nasty health issues. It doesn’t matter where you live - as long as moisture and oxygen are present, mold can grow indoors or outdoors on virtually any organic substance, including wood, paper, carpet, insulation and food.
What Causes Mold
When excessive moisture accumulates in buildings in the homeowners association or on building materials, mold growth will often occur, especially if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or unaddressed.
Once the mold is discovered, it’s important for homeowners to have an understanding of who is responsible for treating it – the Association or the owner. This can be found in the governing documents. If you don’t know where yours are, request a copy from the HOA Board or manager.
It is impossible to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment. However, mold growth can be controlled by keeping moisture in check. Moisture control is key—mold cannot grow without it.
If left untreated, mold gradually destroys the material on which it is growing. Because molds produce allergens, irritants and toxins, they have the potential to cause a variety of health problems and can exacerbate existing conditions, such as asthma or COPD.
If mold is a problem in your homeowners association, here’s what you can do:
- Clean up the mold and get rid of the excess water or moisture.
- If an area becomes water damaged, it is important to dry that space and any damaged items within 24 to 48 hours to prevent mold growth.
- Fix leaky plumbing, such as toilet wax rings, or other sources of water to prevent recurrence.
- Wash mold off hard surfaces with detergent and water and dry completely.
- Absorbent materials (such as ceiling tiles, carpet, carpet pads, and tack strips) that have become moldy may have to be replaced.
For more information on how to clean up residential mold problems and how to prevent mold growth, download the Environmental Protection Agency’s free publication, A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home.
If you notice mold in your home or anywhere around the homeowners association, don’t hesitate to let a Board member or the HOA manager know. Then the proper precautions can be taken to keep everyone in your community happy and healthy.