Mold Management in Buildings

Mold management for optimal indoor air quality is important to building and occupant health. Mold is everywhere. It’s a natural part of our environment and is useful in breaking down dead organic matter. Mold spores get carried through the air like seeds. They can attach to dust particles and travel on our clothing as we go from one building to the next. Similarly, spores also enter buildings through windows and vents and when they settle into the right conditions, mold colonies can form. Mold exposure may trigger allergy type symptoms in some individuals which include burning and watery eyes, sore throat, coughing, and skin rash.

In most cases, there’s no harm from these tiny mold spores, however, when the perfect conditions for mold growth exist immediate attention becomes necessary. It is possible to control mold in homes and office buildings. Building managers need to remain vigilant with effective mold management strategies in place to prevent issues from developing.

Understanding Mold

A combination of three things contribute to mold growth:

  • Moisture
  • Food
  • Temperature

Identifying and eliminating any one of the three factors prevents mold from contributing to Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) which affects the health of building occupants.

Moisture

To prevent mold colonies from developing, problems with moisture must be identified and eliminated. Moisture could result from a leaky roof, condensation on pipes, or conditions resulting from recent flooding or prolonged periods of heavy rain. A professional inspection and evaluation by an environmental diagnostic laboratory are necessary to test for the presence of molds and other allergens

Food

First of all, mold thrives in moist conditions, but it also needs the food source provided by materials found throughout buildings. Ceiling tiles, carpeting, carpet padding, drywall, paint, cardboard, wood, insulation, upholstery, and fabric—all of these materials feed mold colonies. Since these materials are common in buildings, specific moisture problems need to be eliminated through a process of inspection, identification, and remediation.

Temperature

Mold needs warm temperatures to develop and thrive. Temperatures between 77-86 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal for mold growth. Air conditioning helps keep temperatures below 77 and thorough, regular cleaning of HVAC vents and filters keeps systems performing at optimal levels.

Effective Mold Management Strategies

Regular mold inspections keep mold from developing and the removal of wet materials is essential. Dehumidifiers also remove moisture from the air and keep building materials dry.

Annual cleaning of HVAC systems, including air intakes, filter boxes, and diffusers, is critical to a successful mold management strategy. Carpeting and upholstery needs to be cleaned on a regular basis as well.

A professional IAQ focused duct cleaning service, certified by the NADCA (National Air Duct Cleaners Association), helps keep HVAC systems free of the dust which transports mold spores. Any service used should have certification as a Ventilation System Mold Remediator. This certification, issued by the NADCA, enjoys worldwide recognition and trust.

Engineered Solutions

Pure Air Controls assists building and property managers with their mold management strategies through our excellent environmental project management services. Our EDLab provides world renown mold qualification (ID) and quantification. We have VSMR certification from the NADCA as mold inspectors and remediators.

Contact Pure Air Control Services to improve your indoor air quality today. We are an IAQ and HVAC system focused company in operation since 1984. Our Building Sciences Services include a building health check to evaluate indoor environmental conditions. Our HVAC Hygiene Assessment identifies mold and allergens, contaminant risk, moisture, temperature and humidity levels resulting in a detailed report of remedial recommendations. Schedule a consultation today!

Please call 1-800-422-7873 or email us here.

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