The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 24, Number 1

The Mold Workshop at AIC 2000

by Ellen McCrady

The AIC Health and Safety Committee sponsored a daylong workshop on mold remediation June 13 at its annual meeting. It was called "Practical Aspects of Mold Remediation for Cultural Property," and the instructors were W. Elliott Horner and Philip Morey, both of whom in Philadelphia, where the convention was held. Both hold doctorates and are acknowledged experts on mold and remediation. ("Remediation," by the way, means removal of contaminated materials from a building. Even walls, ceilings, floors, roofs, and structural supports have to be replaced if they have been invaded by mold. Nonporous objects with smooth surfaces can just be cleaned off.)

The small room was full of people who were eager and enthusiastic about the subject. You could tell that some of them had been waiting for years for a chance to question experts about mold. There were so many questions and comments from the participants that the speakers were unable to finish their planned presentation.

The booklet that each of us received contained

The emphasis was on procedures that intelligent laymen and non-engineers could follow.

Phil Morey's advice and factual statements are memorable, probably because his job is to advise people on what to do about their moldy buildings, but they don't always listen to him. Example: He wrote seven reports for a museum in New York City that had rampant Stachybotrys in the basement where staff were working, but the board never implemented them.

Here are some examples of his style. I always envision them framed and hanging on a wall, each in its own frame:

  1. Build your new building right! Never build it wrong.
  2. Hidden mold is nearly always worse than visible mold.
  3. A biocide is essential if you have a sewage backflow. Sampling in this case is irrelevant.
  4. If your cellulose fireproof insulation ever gets wet, you'll have mold.

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