Preventing Mold in the Office
Mold growth is common, especially in Florida. Why? Mold spores are everywhere, and they grow when they hit a moist surface with organic material. Do you know how much organic material is in your office? Carpets, sheetrock, wallpaper, fabrics, paper, cardboard, ceiling tiles, fiberglass insulation, wood, glue, and dirt are all organic. It’s no wonder, then, that many office buildings are plagued with mold. How can you keep it out of yours?
First, if it’s so common, is mold really a big deal? In a word, yes. Mold can cause health effects and decrease worker productivity. It can also cause damage to your property, if left to grow unchecked. The best way to handle mold is to prevent it from gaining a foothold in your building. There are several measures you can take to lessen the occurrence of mold growth.
- Fix any obvious sources of moisture. Roof and plumbing leaks can encourage mold growth, so repair those promptly and dry the area around them. You may need a specialist to help you get the water damage under control.
- Eliminate condensation. While air conditioners can be helpful in filtering out mold spores and reducing mold growth, they can also be a source of condensation if you’re not careful. Condensation happens when humid air hits a cool surface, so if you let outdoor air inside, it will condense on air conditioner surfaces. Keep doors closed, and don’t open windows when the air conditioner is running. If the AC ducts run through an attic or basement, try to keep the air moving so that mold isn’t able to grow.
- Leave the heat on if you’re closing the building for an extended period. People typically remember to drain the pipes to prevent them from freezing while the building is closed. It’s not as common to think about preventing mold growth while your office is not in use.
- Control the building’s relative humidity. The most direct way to make conditions less favorable for mold propagation in a commercial building is to reduce the room’s humidity. Keep the relative humidity below 50 percent, but avoid reducing it under 20 percent, because that can cause the drying up of respiratory passages, leading to severe discomfort.
- If you suspect a problem, have the building tested for mold. An air quality company or an Industrial Hygienist can come and do air sampling to determine the presence and species of mold in your building. Our SERVPRO franchises work with these professionals on a weekly basis and can recommend an Industrial Hygienist or Mold Inspector that not only has advanced degrees in Chemistry and Microbiology but is also a Florida State Licensed General Contractor.
If you do discover mold in your Northeast Florida office building, call SERVPRO of Jacksonville Beach/Ponte Vedra for help with mold remediation. Our highly-trained restoration technicians have the experience and equipment to restore your Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, Jacksonville Beach, or Ponte Vedra property and get everything back to normal. A trusted leader in the mold remediation industry, we’ve served our community for more than 40 years. Call (904) 246-6118 or contact us through our website.