Mold is neither plant nor animal, but rather a fungus that grows in dark, damp corners and presents significant health hazards to the surrounding environment—which is why it’s critical that a professional mold removal company remediate a mold situation.
When mold spores find moisture and begin to grow unnoticed, they can present health problems when higher concentrations of spores are inhaled. Here we’ll go over what you should know about keeping mold out of your business.
What Conditions Are Best For Mold Growth?
Outside mold prefers shaded area. Ultraviolet sunlight deters the growth of mold.
Inside mold growth occurs where there is moisture. It can occur in ceilings, floors, insulation, wood, drywall, clothes, carpet and more. Some causes of excessive moisture are condensation, humidity, cooking, washing, or water from a flood, leak or spill.
Mold also grows in environments with a warm temperature. Growth can begin in less than 48 hours of excessive moisture. Mold works as a decomposer, consuming the dead materials on which it grows, and it can appear to be black, blue or green in color.
Is All Mold Bad?
Given the right conditions, mold will create spores to reproduce – similar to how plants produce seeds. Molds release these small spores into the air where they spread to create new colonies. The spores are small enough that people can inhale them. Settling deep within the lungs, the development of respiratory problems or asthma is a possibility. Mold also produces allergens that can cause an allergic reaction when touched or inhaled. While some molds present serious health hazards, not all molds are bad. And not everyone that comes into contact with mold will be affected; some people are more sensitive to mold than others. Because there are so many variables, it’s best to keep mold out of your business.
How to Prevent Mold Growth in the Workplace
The best way to prevent mold is to control moisture.
- Fix water leaks. Any known water leaks should be fixed quickly. Have a contractor inspect for unknown leaks.
- Limit condensation. Keep room temperatures warm and/or well insulated.
- Reduce humidity. Open windows, install exhaust fans or use a dehumidifier.
- Clean wet/damp areas. Any wet or damp area, materials or affected equipment should be cleaned within 48 hours to prevent mold growth.
To educate your employees on mold, download this handout.
Hiring a professional mold removal contractor is the best way to manage mold. An individual may consider cleaning/removing mold themselves in an area less than 10 square feet. While doing so, the appropriate personal protective equipment (goggles, gloves, respirator) should be worn. For mold removal in larger areas, a professional contractor with previous experience should be hired.
Find full details on professional mold removal from the United States Environmental Protection Agency at www2.epa.gov/mold.
Interested in learning more? Read real-life examples detailing how we’ve helped small business owners overcome unique industry challenges or contact your local Society agent.