Wet summer creates mold problems in Chapel Hill
Posted September 11, 2013
Chapel Hill, N.C. — Mold has shut down Chapel Hill High School's library, and the school isn't the only place in town where the fungus is among us.
School officials discovered mold growing on the spines of leather-bound books last week, and they sealed off the library to students and staff this week as crews work to clean the area and its 25,000 books.
"To protect students and staff, we closed the library so it could be professionally cleaned," said Todd LoFrese, an assistant superintendent for Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools.
Mold removal will cost the school $15,000 to $20,000, LoFrese said, adding that the library should reopen next Monday.
This summer's wet weather is largely to blame for the mold problem, which also cropped up in various classrooms at the school, he said.
"We did experience flooding in this building, and the high humidity levels, I believe, definitely contributed to the problem," he said.
Mold removal companies said they have gotten twice as many calls for service this year than last year at this time.
"In every instance, rain is bringing all that rain and humidity down into the crawl space or the basement or any unventilated area of the home," Patrick Harter, of Restoration Experts of North Carolina. "If we give mold any reason to grow, it's going to."
Chapel Hill High is now running its air conditioning and heating systems at the same time to keep the air dry in the school, LoFrese said, and district officials are planning renovations to keep mold at bay in the future.