Mold growth within a public space can be a danger to the structural foundation of a building and the health of those working within it. Mold can lead to a variety of potentially harmful health effects and symptoms, so it’s essential to understand how to prevent mold and what to do if a mold outbreak occurs. Here are a few tips to keep your school or commercial building healthy and mold-free. 

How Mold Forms in Schools and Commercial Buildings

If you want to prevent mold, it’s crucial to understand how mold growth occurs. Mold is most commonly associated with water damage within the walls of a building. The damage can be anything from burst pipes or faulty supply lines to a particularly heavy rain storm. There can be a variety of causes for mold growth, and they can occur in most parts of a building, not just damp attics and factor many don’t consider comes from moisture problems within a building. High humidity or water in high-moisture areas like break rooms, rest rooms, or cafeterias can lead to mold growth through leaks or even just the increased moisture in the air.

The Importance of Mold Remediation in Public Spaces

Mold remediation in schools and commercial buildings can be just as necessary as in the home, if not more. In any school or commercial building, hundreds of people can be moving throughout the building at any given time. Indoor mold exposure can cause a variety of health effects, from triggering allergic reactions in the sensitive to causing breathing issues like asthma. Indoor exposure to mold has even been linked to memory loss and lethargy in some, with symptoms being especially severe in immuno-compromised people.

How to Prevent Mold Growth

You or your custodial staff can take various simple steps to prevent mold growth within a school or commercial building. Property owners should do regular and thorough maintenance to ensure all water pipes within the structure are functioning correctly. High moisture areas of the building should be monitored for any discoloration within the walls or ceilings, with discoloration being a telltale sign of water damage.

Building managers should also keep humidity levels consistent to reduce mold-causing moisture in the air. Air ventilation ducts should also be regularly cleaned and serviced to ensure that there is no mold growth in the system and so the ventilation systems circulate clean, healthy air within your school or commercial building.

Assessing the Size of a Mold Outbreak

If you find mold growing in your building, one of the most important things you can do to help is assess the mold outbreak’s size. Size can play a significant factor in the severity of your mold problem, and different types of safety protocols may be necessary depending on the size of the outbreak. Outbreaks smaller than 10 square feet can typically be dealt with using respirators, gloves, and goggles and disposing of affected items like books. Furniture can typically be treated and de-moisturized to prevent disposal.

More significant outbreaks will often require more extensive cleaning and treatment to deal with the mold problem. The United States Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, recommends limited to complete protective equipment for clean-ups larger than 10 feet. Depending on your experience, you or your staff should consider hiring a professional cleaning service when dealing with large mold outbreaks.

How to Deal with a Mold Outbreak

The EPA’s guide to mold remediation has outlined processes for dealing with mold growth on various surfaces you may find throughout your building. Smaller, non-valuable items like books, ceiling tiles, and cellulose or fiberglass insulation can be disposed of when affected by mold. Surfaces like carpeting and upholstered furniture must be de-moisturized and dried within 48 hours of the water damage. Depending on the severity of the injury, some surfaces, like hardwood floors and wallboard, may need to be replaced due to water damage.

Cleaning a mold outbreak should be trusted to professionals who have experience, equipment, and protective gear necessary to do the job safely, thoroughly, and effectively. Many species of mold can be toxic to humans, so anyone with a building exposed to mold should take precautions to ensure the safety of the cleaning staff and other workers at your school or commercial building.


AdvantaClean: The Mold Remediation Experts

If you are dealing with mold growth in your building, let the professionals at AdvantaClean help! With over 20 years of experience in the mold remediation field, we have the tools and the knowledge to take care of the situation. We also offer additional services from air duct cleaning and water damage restoration to hurricane, storm, and flood damage clean-up. Contact AdvantaClean today for a healthier business.

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