Fort Benning, Ga. − Fort Benning leaders recently launched a community-wide counter-mold education campaign to help Soldiers, civilians and Army Families prevent, report and remediate mold on post facilities, including family housing and barracks.
According to the Defense Centers for Public Health, mold is a naturally occurring microscopic fungi that can grow on indoor and outdoor surfaces and lives in all environments, climates, and seasons.
Chief industrial hygienist Socorro D. Guy at Martin Army Community Hospital said mold growth may occur when excessive moisture accumulates in buildings or materials.
“We are all exposed to mold spores in the air that we breathe daily, both indoors and outdoors. Mold is a part of our natural environment and the most common forms of fungi found on earth,” she said. “Mold can grow on virtually any substance, with the right environment — like high humidity in facilities, leaking pipes — really anything that gives moisture to an area can set the right environment for mold growth.”
Charles Pudil, an operations manager contracted to support Benning’s Directorate of Public Works, said barracks and facilities occupants should take a proactive approach to prevent mold growth by removing moisture and promptly cleaning any signs of mold growth.
“Immediately submit a service order for any leaking plumbing, roofs, condensation, or flooding. Drying water spills quickly and keeping living and working areas dry will prevent mold growth,” said Pudil. “Leave doors and windows closed when air conditioners are in use. Daily cleaning in areas of high humidity, such as showers, sinks, and cooking areas will prevent mold and mildew from growing in showers, bathroom tiles, and around sinks.”
John Strange, Fort Benning’s chief of housing, said residents play a big part of controling household moisture and advises anyone who suspects a problem to contact the maintenance team.
“Facility occupants and professional facility maintenance teams both play critical roles in preventing mold growth and responding to mold,” said Strange.
Family housing residents who suspect mold should submit a service order to the 24/7 Maintenance Request Line at 706-685-3929. Soldiers with mold concerns in barracks should submit a work order by visiting www.armymaintenance.com/arma, or call the Directorate of Public Works work order request line at 706-545-2135.
Within family housing, mold is treated as an urgent work order with an expected response time of four hours. Barracks are also considered a priority work order and residents can expect a response within 24 hours. Housing residents may also contact the Fort Benning Housing Office hotline at (706) 626-2002.