...naturally in tropical climates or artificially through HVAC systems — accelerating the growth of these opportunistic fungi in organic materials like wood, carpeting, drywall, ceiling tiles, cardboard, and decaying vegetative material.
If mold is clearly present on surfaces, like walls and ceilings, more —possibly much more —usually does lurk in other unseen areas. Mold spreads via spores — microscopic seeds transported through the air — infiltrating vents, seams, pores and crevices in a structure. Outward signs of mold are indications that a more thorough assessment is required. Air ducts and filters must be thoroughly investigated, and walls must be opened to inspect interior components like framing and insulation. Mechanical, electrical and plumbing fixtures must also be carefully examined.
Along with compromising the integrity of a building and its contents, mold growth is also well known for presenting potentially serious health risks, especially to those who suffer from asthma or other respiratory ailments.
If mold proliferation is the result of a presidentially declared disaster qualifying for FEMA funds, certain costs associated with proper remediation and repair may be eligible for reimbursement under the FEMA Public Assistance (PA) Program. Funding can be provided to support either emergency remediation measures or permanent repairs.
Once excessive mold is observed in a disaster-damaged building, costs associated with mold sampling—before and after remediation—may also be eligible for FEMA funding. If clear evidence of mold exists, sampling may not be necessary to confirm contamination. (However, per FEMA policy, if sampling does not substantiate a mold threat, the costs associated with the testing are not reimbursable.)
If mold contamination is substantiated, the following remediation activities can be funded as an emergency protective measure to reduce the risks associated with mold and mildew exposure: