The Jackson House is a historic home on Main Street in Adairsville, built in the 1840s, recently renovated and now used as a public rental venue.
After a recent private event, the customers renting the facility mentioned to administrators that they saw some mold growth on the ceiling. Within a couple of days, when a member of the development authority went to check on the issue, mold had nearly covered the ceiling of most of the building.
“I went and took a look at it and it looked pretty significant,” said Adairsville Development Authority Chairman Tom Calhoun. “The air was tested the next day and it was serious enough not to have people in there.”
Testing was completed by All Stucco & Mold Inspections and found the air unhealthy for prolonged exposure or sensitive groups, including those with asthma. Acting quickly to remedy the problem before the next rental reservation in September, the development authority voted Friday to approve a contract from No Mold Atlanta for about $5,000. No Mold Atlanta will clean the visible mold and check for additional issues, which may be found in the crawl space or other unseen areas. Additional work will be necessary to remove any mold found elsewhere and to repaint where the mold has stained walls and ceilings.
With the heat and humidity of Georgia summers, mold can grow in any home. J.D. Ortega, owner of No Mold Atlanta, advises homeowners to take measures against such situations before the mold can grow out of control requiring extensive remediation efforts.
“This kind of situation happens when you have extreme humidity over an extended period of time. Mold growth can occur in any house or any place when humidity reaches 55 percent for more than three days, because the mold is already in your house — it’s already in the building — it’s just waiting for humidity and a food source to grow,” Ortega said. “Houses are full of food sources — SHEETROCK, wood, furniture — all of those things are food sources for mold.
“Once the mold starts to take off and grow, it will begin to grow exponentially. ... The more it grows, the faster it spreads. The way to avoid this type of situation is to make sure you keep your humidity under control in your house. The way you do that is run your air conditioner consistently and/or you run a dehumidifier in the house.”
Summer vacations are a common time for mold to become a problem. Ortega warns that homes kept at a higher temperature during the summer are more prone to extended periods of higher humidity.
Convential wisdom often leads to the use of bleach to clean mold, a method Ortega says will only hide the true issue and can actually make the problem worse.
“A lot of people think bleach will get rid of mold and bleach will not get rid of mold,” Ortega said. “The reason why bleach typically won’t work, is because bleach has a lot of water in its component. A lot of times, the chlorine in the bleach will get rid of the color of the mold, but it will not get rid of the mold and, in essence, the water that is in the bleach can actually feed the mold and cause it to grow even more — especially on a porous surface, such as SHEETROCK or wood.”
For more information about mold, visit www.cdc.gov/mold/faqs.htm or www.nomoldatlanta.com.