Black mold was discovered inside the Cambria County Courthouse annex basement, after employees reported a bad smell.
They first noticed the smell a few weeks ago. That’s when county officials had researchers investigate, who confirmed that mold, including black mold, was there.
County officials said a leak in the roof and heavy rain are to blame.
“Water coming through the wall in the basement and causing some dampness.That’s been all over everywhere this year because we’ve had so much more rain than normal,” said William Gleason Barbin, the Cambria County solicitor.
Thursday, the commissioners approved a contract with AdvantaClean of DuBois-Punxsutawney to fix the mold problem for just over $20,000.
Crews have already repaired the leak and work to get rid of the mold should begin next week.
“The question is how quickly will all that dry out, but in the meantime everything will be disinfected. The walls will be treated,” Barbin said.
County detectives work in the basement where the mold was found, so they’ve been relocated. Work will only happen during the evenings and weekends so that employees from the upstairs tax assessment office won’t be impacted.
“We don’t want to affect the operations of the assessment office,” Barbin said. “But, we need to clear it out, we need to disinfect the area so there is no harm to employees.”
Barbin added that county officials haven’t noticed an issue with mold in the past. They also don’t believe the mold has spread to the main courthouse building.
They plan to prevent mold growth in the future by adding de-humidifiers and fixing the air ventilation in the basement
The work should take about a month to complete, but Barbin said they’re not sure what they’ll find once they start treating and removing the mold.