> Tech Tips: Mold and Mildew

Issues concerning mold and mildew are gaining increased attention from both residential and commercial property owners as well as the public at large. In virtually all situations if there is a mold issue, there is an excessive moisture issue. In order to prevent, control, or remediate mold and mildew, one must first identify, evaluate, and eliminate the source of excessive moisture.

Prior to removing an existing flooring or installing a new floor or repairing an existing laminate floor, if there are visible indications of mold or mildew or the presence of a strong musty odor in the area where flooring is to be removed or installed, the source of the problem should be identified and corrected.

To deal with mold and mildew issues, you should refer to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines that address mold and mildew. Depending on the mold and mildew condition present, those remediation options range from clean-up measures using gloves and biocide to hiring a professional mold and mildew remediation contractor to address the condition. Laminate flooring, because it is relatively non-porous, allow any mold and mildew on the flooring surface to be easily cleaned. Remediation measures may require structural repairs such as replacing underlayment and/or subfloor contaminated with mold or mildew as a result of prolonged exposure to moisture.

The EPA mold guidelines are contained in two publications "A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture and Your Home" (EPA 402-K-02-003) and "Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings " (EPA 402-K-01-001). Appendix B of the "Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings" publication describes potential health effects form exposure to mold, such as allergic and asthma reactions and irritation to eyes, skin, nose and throat. These publications can be located on EPA's website at www.epa.gov/iaq/molds/.