The concern for mold growth comes from potential health issues it can cause, especially when the mold growth is severe, and the extensive amount of damage mold can cause to a building’s structure. Mold spores are everywhere and can grow on just about any surface, so the most important aspect of mold prevention is controlling the environment to reduce the likelihood of mold growth.
The primary methods of prevention are controlling the building’s moisture—what’s in the air, what pools outside after rainfall, leaks in the building, and even around indoor water sources like fountains, sinks, and toilets. This often means keeping up with repairs, maintenance, and appropriate cleaning of all high-risk areas.
By focusing on mold prevention, you can:
- Save money on mold remediation costs
- Reduce reconstruction costs and costs of replacing school property
- Minimize damage to the structure of the building and furnishings
- Reduce health risk concerns to student, staff, and visitors
- Minimize risk of having to shut the school down or temporarily displace students and staff (which can disrupt their learning)
Managing Moisture To Prevent Mold Growth
It is nearly impossible to completely eliminate all mold spores from any building or environment. Mold spores are ever present in our lives—we just can’t see them because they are microscopic. While mold can grow on nearly any surface (drywall, tiles, carpet, wood, vinyl, leather, plastic, etc.), it absolutely depends on moisture as a means to create the visible mold infection we recognize it as.
In schools, mold growth and moisture control must be handled carefully due to the number of children and staff who are present. In addition, there are numerous sources of moisture that can cause a mold outbreak; more so in older schools. Building and construction practices have come a long way since the 70s, 80s, 90s. Structures built during this time often have ventilation issues, cooling issues, or sealing issues that result in moisture intrusion and, eventually, mold growth.
Moisture problems also commonly occur from the following and these areas should be routinely inspected to identify mold before it becomes a major problem.
- Roof, window, and doorway leaks caused by missing shingles, age, and broken seals.
- Clogged gutters or downspouts that are not well maintained, leading to pooling around the edges of the building.
- Delayed maintenance of HVAC, plumbing, or roofing problems.
To minimize moisture, even in older buildings, schools can implement the following practices:
- Placing moisture absorbing products in storage areas and maintenance rooms where humidity is often high.
- Keeping up with HVAC maintenance and changing air filters regularly.
- Adjusting the temperature they keep the school at to manage the humidity levels indoors.
- Prompt clean up of water spills and immediate addressing of leaking pipes.
- Repair to gutters and seals around doors and windows.
- Routine maintenance and inspection of plumbing, especially to leaky pipes or faucets.
Trust in a Professional Mold Remediation Company
Should your school, no matter what part of it, have a serious mold problem, contact a professional mold remediation problem. Janitorial staff may be able to attempt to safely clean the area of mold and wash the affected area with bleach to minimize the risk of the mold returning, but they are not equipped with the tools to identify the true extent of the mold issue. In many cases, if you are just now seeing a mold problem, it has actually been there for quite awhile and there may be more extensive mold growth and damage in areas that are hard to see like behind the walls or under the tile.
When it comes to the safety and health of your students and staff, contact Fortis Remediation to resolve the mold concern in your school.