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Your Place: Wet Summer’s Harvest of Mold and Mildew

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By Alan J. Heavens

moldy_wall(MCT)—Above-normal rainfall since early June has yielded a bumper crop of mold and mildew issues, homeowners and professionals tell me. But one of the worst reports comes from Richard A. Heath, worshipful master of the Palestine-Roxborough Masonic Temple in Philadelphia.

The building is seldom used in summer, and when Heath stopped by in late August, he saw mold on the back wall of the banquet hall.

“In the vestibule of our lodge room, this same back wall has photos of our past masters, and many of the mats and photos are covered with mold,” he wrote.

The outside of the wall is brick, and “I was thinking maybe repointing is necessary. Or could the problem be lack of ventilation in the building over the summer?” Heath asked.

Because Joe Ponessa, professor emeritus of housing, indoor environment, and health at Rutgers University, had not seen the building firsthand, he said his response was more of a generalization.

Bricks and most masonry are permeable to water, holding major amounts after a good soaking, Ponessa said.

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