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What Every Property Management Professional Needs to Know About Mold and Its Potential Hazards

As the general public becomes increasingly aware of mold and its potential health hazards, property managers are quickly realizing that they must keep their communities free from this dangerous fungus. Mold spores are typically found in damp areas where there is little ventilation. Mold spores are spread through the air and can become a health hazard when an individual breathes contaminated air. Multi-family buildings can be a hotbed for mold growth with miles of water pipes behind walls and drainage systems close to buildings. Since it only takes a few days for mold to form and consequently grow, it is crucial that areas where mold can form are discovered and eradicated quickly. The challenge for property managers is to locate these areas before there is extensive property damage or a resident becomes ill.

It is important to note that while some mold infestations can be spotted easily, many may not be visible. Mold can often be found behind walls and cabinetry, just to name a few places. As a general rule, if you smell a musty odor there is a good chance that mold already exists or can soon form. Conducting a visual inspection by removing a small section of drywall or cabinetry is a simple way to check for suspicious substances. If a suspicious substance is found during that search, it is best to call professional mold remediators that can identify whether or not mold is present, remove it if necessary and document the entire process, relieving the management company from any future liability.

Mold Remediation has become a necessity for property managers as mold awareness becomes more prevalent. Unfortunately, there is still much that is not known about the dangers of mold. With the potential health risks associated with the fungus as well as the liability management companies can face when mold is discovered, it is essential for the onsite staff to make sure any water related issues are handled immediately and any areas where water can collect are eliminated. Most important, if there is any question that mold has or may form, call in the professionals.

Written by Dani Bressler, Director of Business Development with contributions by Sharon Toepfer Burns, President of Toepfer Construction Co., Inc.