Mold thrives on moisture and often contributes to water damage from spills or leaks in a building. As mold grows, it throws off spores that attach to other surfaces, increasing the infestation.
Mold causes both structural damage and health problems if left to run rampant in damp conditions. The mold digests and destroys building materials such as wood, while its spores can cause allergic reactions or lung problems for people who inhale them.
Maintenance workers can dry out some dampened items such as carpets, drywall and concrete surfaces to prevent mold growth. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends the removal and replacement of less durable materials such as insulation, ceiling tiles and non-valuable paper documents. In the case of furniture or draperies, the manufacturers may offer instructions on proper cleaning and care.
Certain situations may require the intervention of a professional mold remediation or water damage expert, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Valuable or delicate items exposed to water, for instance, need delicate handling to restore them to the best possible condition. Moldy ventilator ducts generally require handling by mold control experts.