Toxic mold exposure can be a serious issue. While the Centers for Disease Control says there is no official correlation between mold and health, it has been observed that active mold growth can precipitate or worsen persistent health problems, primarily asthma, and allergies. Allergic mold reaction signs include coughing, sneezing, itching, irritation or redness of the eyes, and difficulty or discomfort breathing. Mold-in-retail-19.jpgThere are cases when this mostly harmless mold exposure becomes very serious, and people experience “toxic mold exposure.” Toxic mold exposure mainly affects the respiratory system and lungs, but there are other parts of the body that it can damage, as well. When experiencing toxic mold exposure, people with severe allergies may even develop a fever. 

Toxic mold exposure can also cause some cases of skin irritation and rash, though it’s not very common. This rash causes swelling, inflammation, and skin irritation that may spread to the throat in severe yet uncommon cases. Toxic mold exposure can be particularly problematic for infants and young children, whose immune systems are not yet fully developed. 

Can Mold Impact My Building or Business?

Everybody knows that mold and mildew aren’t good for a building. Yet many people don’t realize that mold infestations can become a significant health hazard. So much so that, when it comes to commercial and retail buildings, places with severe enough mold infestations may be condemned. 

Eradicating every last mold spore is next to impossible, but OSHA uses specific rules and guidelines to dictate what mold levels are acceptable and what becomes problematic. You can never eliminate mold completely, but it is crucial that you take every possible step to minimize the number of mold spores in your building. Homes and buildings have been closed permanently because the mold infestation was deemed beyond repair

What Steps Can I Take to Prevent Mold?

There are three main problems in commercial buildings that nurture an environment perfect for mold to grow in. Each of these can be dealt with differently, but you must handle it as soon as possible to the best extent that you can. Preventing a mold infestation is a lot easier than getting rid of one once you have it. 

  1. Dehumidify the Air

The first and arguably most important thing you should do is eliminate excess moisture from the air. It may seem insignificant until you see how often you have to empty the dehumidifier. Gallons of water lurk in the air, especially in humid environments or places like basements. Mold will grow anywhere that a surface has accumulated even a little bit of moisture, but it can also drink from humidity in the air. Simple dehumidifiers and proper ventilation can be a big help in your war against pesky mold spores. 

  1. Find Leaks – and Fix Them

Businesses often struggle with the next issue, which is identifying and remediating water leaks. A small drip from the pipes or a leaky faucet may not seem like a big deal, but it quickly adds up to a big puddle. This puddle (and resultant humidity) creates the perfect breeding ground for countless varieties of mold, not to mention mildew. 

  1. Kill the Clutter

The last issue is more common than many business workers and managers like to admit… Clutter! You may be wondering how disorganization could cause mold, but it’s a lot less complex than it sounds. The chaos itself is not the direct cause of mold, but it can make it a lot easier to miss. Excessive clutter gives mold a place to hide, buying it time to multiply before you know it’s there. Not to mention that messy cupboards and storage areas can trap moisture, attract puddles, and restrict airflow. So tidy up, knowing that you’re doing so much more than just making it look better!

Luckily, with periodic inspections, you can identify mold-inducing leaks with no problem. Set aside some time (usually less than an hour) to inspect your building at least once a month. You’ll want to look for things like discoloration, pooling or dripping water, moist surfaces, or visible mold. 

How do I get Rid of Mold Once I Have it?

Despite what we’d love to think, mold is very rarely something you can get rid of on your own. Even bleach can’t kill it, and once it worms its way into a porous surface, it’s tough to remove. That’s why taking the proper steps to prevent mold and mildew before they start growing is the most cost-effective thing you can do. Mold-in-retail-19-P.jpgIf you find evidence of mold growth or damage, call in a team of professionals specializing in mold remediation and removal. At AdvantaClean, we have the resources and know-how to fix the problem quickly so that your business can get back to running as usual in no time. Contact us today – we’d be happy to chat with you!

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