Most people are aware of “black mold” and the health problems it can cause. If you own a business, your employees and customers can all be adversely affected by mold and mold exposure. Commercial buildings, offices and warehouses are not immune from mold contamination.
Mold spores in sufficient quantities present a health hazard. Toxic mold syndrome, sometimes called sick building syndrome, can make people sick. Sick building syndrome in the workplace is a legal liability to employers and a drain on employee productivity. Although mold cannot actually be seen, felt or smelled, the building itself causes mold exposure symptoms.
The problem is not just limited to commercial buildings. About twenty percent of the 80,000 public schools in the US have a failure rating for indoor air quality.
To grow and thrive, mold spores need just four things – water, air, the right temperature, and food. Ceiling and wall leaks, structural damage, poor ventilation and improperly installed insulation all create conditions that can foster mold. Testing will determine if a problem exists.
Only licensed and certified mold removal companies should remove mold. The first step in commercial mold removal is to identify the source of the water or moisture. Once the source is identified and repaired, then the follow steps must be taken to properly remove the mold:
– Completely remove all traces of mold and dry out any water-damaged areas. Mold can hide behind drywall, wallpaper, above ceiling tiles, under carpets and pads, etc. If the source of the moisture is not taken care of, infestation can reoccur.
– Contain and remove any contaminated materials. Contaminated and moldy materials should be placed in sealed bags before they are removed from the premises. This keeps the mold spores from potentially spreading throughout the building.
– Protect and seal off the contaminated area. Anything that can stir up mold or mold spores should only be done while using protective gear. Work areas should also be sealed off with plastic to prevent further contamination.
– Other professional support may be necessary if there is structural damage or immediate health risks.
Due to limited budgets, structural problems are sometimes ignored or patched over. Not delaying regular building maintenance is critical to preventing mold problems before they start. Regular heating and air conditioning maintenance is also important to keep conditions from becoming conductive to mold growth.
Many times occupants are relocated while the work is being done. It is best to conduct the mold remediation project when the building is not occupied in order to limit disruption during working hours.