"We have tried everything, and I mean everything, to get ahead of the mold issue in this property," Harold, a Boston building manager, said. "It's a rental unit, and we screen the tenants very carefully to be sure they're responsible people - not the type to leave the faucets running or to let the housekeeping go - but we keep having a recurring mold problem. And of course people don't want to stay where there's mold - it's bad for their health and well being. So we have a lot more turnover than I want to see. How can we get this problem fixed?"
Mold requires three things to grow properly: warmth, something to feed on, and moisture. Everybody's warm in Boston in the summer, and mold spores can feed on many common building materials, including wood and wall board. The controllable issue is moisture: identifying how a building becomes damp enough to facilitate mold growth often means taking a look at the roof.
"I brought in a mold abatement specialist, someone who promised me they could get this property to be mold free. They looked all over the property, and then got their flashlights and went up into the attic. The guy wasn't up there five minutes when he said to me, "You're going to need to get in touch with a roofing contractor."
Harold went to see what the mold abatement specialist was looking at. "I could see daylight shining through part of my roof. And anywhere the light gets in, water can get in to. It was definitely contributing to the mold issue big time. The roof itself was covered with mold on the inside, and so were many of the rafters."
The roof on Harold's property was over 40 years old, which is longer than the type of shingles he had were ever meant to last. "I talked to a Boston roofing contractor about getting a new roof that would keep the moisture out and last a very long time. I didn't want to spend a ton of money, but I'm a businessman - I know that some expenses are unavoidable. I'd rather pay to have it done right than be dealing with this issue again ten years from now."
Once the roof was replaced, and the mold abatement specialist did their thing, Harold held his breath. "It's been eighteen months now, and I haven't heard anything about mold from anyone. So if you have been trying to figure out where your mold issue got started, look up! Your roof may be your problem!"