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East Pennsboro Area Schools mold cleanup challenges

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EAST PENNSBORO TOWNSHIP, CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Pa. -- The East Pennsboro Area District hasn't announced just how much it will cost to remove mold from the affected schools.

Experts say getting rid of mold in a large building like a school or even your home can be an extensive process.

FOX43 spoke with someone who's not involved with the East Pennsboro project, but who was able to explain how serious it is, and what can be done to prevent it.

The start of a new school year at East Pennsboro Area schools, and the discovery of mold made for a potentially unhealthy combination.

Advance Air Quality Services owner Dan Luckenbaugh said, "If you happen to be susceptible to those types of mold spores, in there and you're breathing them, or coming in contact with them, it can definitely have an allergenic reaction in people. Then obviously, they'd have health problems."

The district found mold growing in the areas of insulation around the air conditioning pipes in several schools.

"We've had a very hot summer this year, and if they haven't really been controlling the humidity, in there through air conditioning or dehumidifier, something which I'm not sure if that's the case, but that can definitely bring the problem about," Luckenbaugh said.

Luckenbaugh said getting rid of the problem is an extensive process that involves cleaning everything throughout.

"You're wiping everything down, HEPA vacuuming everything, and making sure everything is totally dry. Then, a lot of people will put a protective coating on top, an anti-microbial protective coating to try and prohibit mold from coming back in the future," Luckenbaugh said.

There are steps business and homeowners may take to try and prevent mold from appearing inside building or home.

"A lot of people, they'll just run their fan all the time, even if the air conditioning is not cooling the air, just the air movement will help to keep the air dry and the relative humidity down, whether it's in the summer or the winter," Luckenbaugh said.

Until East Pennsboro Area High School gets a clean bill of health, it's students will take classes at the reopened middle school.

"So it can be fixed, you know, I'm sure they have professionals on it and make sure it's taken care of. Obviously, I know parents are probably very concerned.  I'm sure they're not going to let them back in before it's safe for the kids to be back in," Luckenbaugh said.