Prevent Mold in the Office With These Tips
Mold is a common problem in air systems. Commonly thought of as a residential AC problem, it’s possible your office has mold too. In reality, mold can grow anywhere that’s damp, humid, and unhygienic – particularly in vents. Mold is an especially challenging problem to remove as it’s a fungus and much harder to kill than bugs. Luckily, there are steps you can take to prevent mold from growing in the first place.
Dangers of Mold
Any level and species of mold can cause health problems for you or your employees – especially those with asthma. Breathing in mold spores can cause lung inflammation which, after an extended period of exposure, can cause permanent lung damage.
Anyone can develop an allergic reaction to mold in the air. Those with a preexisting allergic condition may find their symptoms get worse with mold exposure. Some people report pneumonia-like symptoms after mold exposure, and mold is linked to building-related sicknesses as well.
Prevent Mold Growth
The best way to fix a mold problem is to prevent it from starting. Regular inspections for water damage and humidity can help prevent problems. The most common causes of mold are leaking water and high humidity. If your building has leaks after rainstorms, you need to clean the damp areas immediately.
The CDC recommends drying damp indoor building materials within 48 hours. If you or an employee discovers mold anywhere in the office, clean that area and replace any equipment as the mold may otherwise continue to grow. A properly functioning HVAC system can keep the air dry and cool as well, which inhibits mold spore growth and can contain the spread of mold. You can also prevent condensation by insulating surfaces that produce moisture often – or increase the flow of warm air.
Take employee concerns seriously – if you, an employee, or a maintenance worker discover mold growth, do not wait to take action, as it can spread quickly and cause health problems.