Humans have been dealing with mold for a long, long time. 600 million years, give or take.
It even gets a mention in the Bible, with the book of Leviticus referring to “defiling mold.”
That’s a good way to put it. Mold can be both unsightly and toxic, which is why mold inspection and testing is so important for commercial building owners.
What makes mold so dangerous?
Your employees, customers, tenants and visitors who have asthma or weakened immune systems are more likely to have mold sensitivity, which leads to nasal congestion and difficulty breathing, skin irritation and itchy, watery eyes.
Black mold contamination can lead to more serious issues, such as upper respiratory problems, chest inflammation and even chronic lung disease.
Symptoms of these conditions may be mild at first but live or work with them long enough and more severe symptoms will begin to manifest.
How can I control mold in my building?
If you want to control mold, you’ll need to control moisture. You can do that by:
- Fixing leaks as soon as possible
- Paying attention to wet spots and condensation and cleaning and drying them within 48 hours
- Increasing surface temperature in the building through insulation or increased air circulation
- Reducing moisture by increasing ventilation or dehumidifying
- Making sure your HVAC drip pans are flowing properly
- Venting moisture-generating appliances to the outside
- Performing routine HVAC inspections and maintenance
When should I consider mold inspection and testing?
Even if you haven’t spotted mold, there are some situations where you may want to consider having mold inspection and testing performed:
- You can’t see mold, but you can smell it.
- You’ve had water leaks or other plumbing issues and suspect that mold might be growing inside your walls.
- You’ve had mold remediation performed and want to have testing performed to ensure the issue has been resolved.
- You have tenants, employees or customers dealing with health issues that are tough to diagnose. Mold testing and inspection can help confirm a doctor’s suspicions that mold is causing people to get sick.
What if I’ve spotted mold?
Despite your best efforts, you may not be able to prevent mold from forming. From here, your job becomes fixing the problem. Here are some steps you can take.
- Wear protective gear around mold. Do not touch it with your bare hands and always wear a respirator or mask when breathing around mold.
- Check the area where you’ve found mold for damage to building materials or structural damage.
- Shut down your HVAC system, as this will help spread mold spores through the building.
- Hire a mold remediation team to help restore the building to safety.
Your mold remediation plan should include steps to fix the water or moisture problem, otherwise, you may have to deal with mold again in the future.
The health and safety of the building’s occupants and the remediators is paramount. You should also tell occupants when mold issues are discovered. According to the EPA, you may need to relocate occupants, especially in cases of widespread contamination.
Do you suspect there’s mold growing in your building? Don’t wait for it to become a major problem. The team at Air Care & Restoration can provide professional mold inspection and testing services.
From testing to mold remediation to containment and protection, we offer a full suite of services designed to help you breathe better. Contact us today to find out more about how we can keep your employees, customers and tenants healthy.