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Dampness/Mold recovery

The longer term climate forecasters see our current weather pattern continuing into August so please stay vigilant on two related counts:  the potential outsized impact of GRDs and the threat of MOLD.  The ground in most places is so saturated that new rainfall has nowhere to go except our basements.  You may need to pump repeatedly.  And the ongoing presence of standing water or even just intense moisture on lower levels, along with the humidity, meansthat even if they did not get wet in the floods, the contents of the floors above are more susceptible to mold outbreaks.  Paper and many other organic materials are hygroscopic and will try to achieve equilibrium with the environment in which they are in by absorbing moisture until their moisture content is the same as the ambient air.  Humidity levels above 65% for 48 hours or so can be enough to lead to a mold outbreak.

This holds true for your residences as well as your place of business, studios, and municipal buildings.  Steps to take:

  • If possible, keep doing visual inspections of both basement and upper levels on a daily basis.
  • If raining or humid, keep the windows closed.
  • At minimum, have fan(s) moving the air around; air flow will dissuade mold from activating.  Note that if you already have mold blooming, fans might be a bad idea because they could help spread mold spores around, unless you also have…  
  • Dehumidifier(s) running
  • Air conditioner or HVAC going (if the building has one)
  • Ideally, have a datalogger or other temp/relative humidity monitor in place to capture readings 24/7 or at least log the max and min levels

If you find mold, there is a checklist on vacdarn.org, linked from the home page or directly here:  https://vacdarn.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/SoYouThinkYouHaveMold.pdf

Please reach out if you have any questions and thanks for reading!

Rachel

Rachel Onuf

Vermont Historical Records Program Director

Vermont State Archives & Records Administration