Mold and fungi are microorganisms that can be found everywhere. Although you might only be familiar with moldy food it can grow at your office, too. We often find mold growth in drywall, fabric, wallpaper, ceiling tiles, and more. If your building gets flooded often, you should do all you can to prevent mold. Discussed below are the dangers of mold and how you can protect yourself and your office from it.
Why Is Mold Bad for You?
Mold and fungi have spores that float through the air that every individual in the vicinity can breathe in. The extensive growth of mold in the building can contribute to foul odors and to your employee’s allergic reactions. Furthermore, some people can react negatively to mold and worsen their existing health conditions. Consequently, most mold has mycotoxins that can induce respiratory problems. Often, individuals suffering from mold allergies experience eye irritation, incessant coughing, fatigue, headaches, and heightened asthma attacks. It is up to you, the employer, to keep your staff safe from these problems.
What You Can Do If You Think You Have a Mold Problem
Mold problems are nothing to scoff about. Once you suspect your building has a mold problem, divert all attention to mitigate the problem. Since mold thrives on moisture, you should eliminate all possible sources of moisture. However, finding the moisture’s origin can be quite tricky. Moisture can come from stagnant water from floods or spills, uncontrolled humidity, roof leaks, and unstable landscaping. If you can clean the mold yourself, you should remove all mold that you can see. Remember, all visible mold signifies a more significant underlying threat. Scattered traces of mold may mean that your building’s inner structure is riddled with it. Grim as this news may sound, there are ways to prevent mold problems. Here are our recommended ways to prevent mold growth in your workspace:
Control Mold Problems and Remediate Affected Areas
Given that moisture causes mold problems, you should first locate all possible routes to fix the central issue. Furthermore, mold can affect all materials that are porous in nature. You should throw away affected building components such as ceiling tiles or drywalls and office resources such as books, carpets, and furnishing since mold could be deep within the pores. On the other hand, you can clean non-porous materials for future use.
Once you have routed the source, start with sealing any ventilation with plastic sheeting. After closing all vents, clean all affected areas with soap and detergent. Before cleaning, all employees should use respiratory protection, wear gloves and safety glasses, and receive proper training for mold removal. If you don’t have any necessary training and equipment, consider hiring mold removal services to clean the workplace thoroughly.
How You Can Block Mold Growth in Workspaces
The vital aspect in preventing mold growth is through moisture control. This is especially important to control for industries that handle water or any moisture-inducing product. Whenever a spill occurs, employees in charge should clean and dry all affected areas. If a piece of equipment is doused in water, it’s recommended to remove or relocate to a more suitable location to prevent mold growth.
We also advise regular visual inspection of your workplace. The routine inspection includes the office, ventilation system, and drainage systems. Furthermore, it’s recommended to eliminate all unnecessary sources of high humidity, moisture, and spills. You can also use dehumidifiers to keep the moisture level in check and maintain the room temperature.
Another preventive measure you can do is keep moisture-generating equipment, such as dryers, outside of the office. Consequently, it is best if you perform regular cleaning of your building’s drainage system. And if you can, reroute all drainage pipes to slope away from the foundation.
Mold Prevention in the Building’s Ventilation
You should check the building’s ventilation system regularly and check if all filters are dry and clean. Take note that you should maintain all vents periodically to ensure moisture buildup. Vents close to moisture-inducing equipment require more attention and should be scrubbed thoroughly to mitigate microbial growth. Cleaning the ventilation system ensures that all employees are free from breathing in harmful bacteria and chemicals.
Install Air Purifiers
Investing in an air purifier can prevent mold buildups. Consider installing air purifiers in every room and use HEPA filtration to seize mold spores. Since air purifiers are relatively cheap, it’s considered the easiest way to prevent fungal growth in your building’s walls and ceilings.
What You Can Do as An Employee
As an employee, you don’t need a written memo to stop working when you encounter a mold problem. As discussed earlier, mold is dangerous to your health. As such, if you see or smell any cases of mold in your workplace, immediately report to your supervisor so the problem can be checked and solved. If your employer doesn’t take any actions regarding the mold, you can directly file a complaint to your state’s occupational safety and health office.