When you think about mold, you probably think about the fuzzy gunk that grows on your bread in the summer or on the salsa container from who-knows-when that’s in the back of the fridge. Or maybe you picture the grout in the basement bathroom that doesn’t get cleaned enough. Mold is not just an issue in homes, however. It can be a huge issue in commercial buildings – one that can ultimately cost businesses a lot of money. Mold can be highly dangerous, leading to illness and respiratory distress, so figuring out how to deal with it (if you have it) and prevent it from returning is key in your workplace.
Why Is It A Problem?
There are many different types of mold in the world and not all of them are bad. In fact, some are regularly used in food and medicine (picture blue cheese and penicillin). Many types of mold, however, can cause health issues, especially in people who are prone to respiratory sickness or who have allergies. Some mold, specifically black mold, can be dangerous to all people, even those who do not have an underlying respiratory illness. If any of your workers have underlying asthma or allergies, any mold can decrease their comfort and productivity, and if your building has black mold, the mycotoxins released could make everyone sick.
Where Is It A Problem?
Mold growth can be a problem almost anywhere there are favorable growing conditions – essentially anywhere there is a surface mold can grow on and moisture to feed it. Mold can grow on most interior surface materials, from wood to drywall to fabrics and carpeting. When temperatures outside are cold but your HVAC system is keeping the air inside the building warm (though not particularly dry), conditions are favorable for more mold growth. In other words, the more humid the inside air is, the more easily the mold will flourish.
How Can You Prevent It?
The bottom line is that preventing mold is a must in commercial buildings and much of that comes down to building maintenance, including a clean and maintained HVAC unit since it is the HVAC system that controls the growing conditions and can be responsible for transporting spores and allowing mold to spread. Regular building maintenance should include routinely inspecting for moisture, mildew, and water damage and immediately repairing any you find. Your HVAC coils and drip pans should be cleaned regularly, as should other HVAC system components like ducts and blowers. Daily and weekly housekeeping tasks should not leave any moisture sitting on surfaces. Finally, check the air intake locations for your HVAC and make sure there are no potential mold sources (like standing water or dumpsters) near them.
Crockett Facilities Can Help!
Crockett Facilities Services, Inc. (CFSI) is committed to helping building owners, property managers, engineers, and facility professionals lower their operating expenses through HVAC preventive maintenance. We can develop a cost-effective, customized preventive maintenance plan for your commercial building that will provide you with peace of mind, improved comfort, and energy savings. Click Here to Request a Quote
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