Prevent Mold Growth!
6 ways to prevent mold growth in commercial buildings
Mold grows and spreads swiftly in the presence of moisture and heat. Many building materials provide suitable nutrients that encourage mold to grow. Wet cellulose materials, including paper and paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, wood, and wood products, offer a perfect environment for the growth of some molds. Other materials such as dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation materials, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery, also support mold growth.
If left undetected and unchecked, mold can produce allergens and irritants that can potentially cause several health effects.
SERVPRO of West Fort Bend County's mold removal experts shares the numerous measures business owners can take to prevent mold growth in their commercial buildings:
- Regular inspection
Often, spores multiply long before anyone notices. This is usually the case in areas that are not obvious or are hidden from view, such as underneath sinks and around window frames. Therefore, it is advisable to have a regular mold inspection protocol, especially in building areas or geographical locations where the moisture level is bound to be high. Mold must never be approached without gloves or masks.
- Timely repair
Any repairs, major or minor, must be made at the earliest because the longer the issues are neglected, the larger the problem becomes. Water leakage of any sort, especially plumbing leaks, must be addressed immediately by a professional water and mold remediation company before it grows into a full-blown water and mold damage disaster.
- Minimize moisture
Mold thrives on moisture. Signs of condensation and wet spots around the building foundation, roofs, windows, or ceilings are red flags that must be addressed swiftly to prevent water and structural damage. The following steps could be taken to combat excessive moisture:
- Insulation: Poor insulation can cause moisture build-up indoors, raising the cooling and heating costs. Proper insulation can reduce heat transfer that causes moisture buildup, preventing the air from outside from getting inside and vice versa.
- Ventilation: It is crucial to keep the air flowing throughout a building to avoid moisture. Adequate ventilation and change of filters help increase the airflow and keep moisture at bay.
- Dehumidification: Indoor humidity should be below 60% relative humidity or 30-50%, if possible. Dehumidifiers are ideal for this purpose.
- Unobstructed drip pans: Keep any heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) drip pans clean, sloped, and flowing properly as they can provide an ideal environment for mold to thrive.
- Service the HVAC unit
The HVAC system must always be clean and well-maintained. Replacing air filters regularly, applying an HVAC mold inhibitor, using a disinfectant before applying mold inhibitor, keeping the ducts dry, and checking for air intakes should be a part of an HVAC strategy to combat mold growth.
A complicated HVAC system may, however, require professional assistance.
- Dry foundation
The grade around the building should slope away from the foundation so there is no water pooling. The grade may deteriorate over time and should be checked periodically. The drainage should also be checked for any debris and clogs to ensure proper flow.
- Flat roof drainage
A flat commercial roof generally has poor drainage due to design issues. Well-maintained rain gutters, scuppers, and inner drains can help with the proper drainage and keep mold at bay.
Mold can be controlled through regular commercial building maintenance and inspections combined with the proper design, installation, and maintenance of commercial HVAC systems.
For commercial cleaning services and mold removal, commercial property owners can reach out to a professional team such as SERVPRO of West Fort Bend County.
- SERVPRO uses state-of-the-art equipment to bring the damaged property back to its original state. SERVPRO of West Fort Bend County is always updating its fleet and equipment so clients in West Fort Bend County, or anywhere else can quickly access the services.
- With over 1,700 US and Canadian Franchise locations, SERVPRO is strategically positioned to respond faster to an emergency of any magnitude.
- The SERVPRO staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. They receive initial in-house training and constant skill up-gradation at the corporate training facility and also acquire the regular IICRC-industry certification.