Mold is a type of fungi that exists inside or outside a building, often growing in damp and warm conditions like basements, bathrooms, and even kitchens. If you see signs of possible mold in your office or building, now is the time to get it taken care of. The sooner you get it cleaned up, the less of a job it is overall.
Start by conducting a simple self-examination of the common areas where mold shows up, looking for stains from extra moisture and discoloration of your wallpaper or flooring. Leaks from pipes or other plumbing issues may also be a clue that you could be in store for a mold problem.
It is possible that mold is very small and can be removed by a detergent, while more significant mold problems need professional help to properly get rid of it. Either way, for your safety and the safety of your employees, be sure to protect yourself from a mold infestation.
Common Causes of Mold
There are many causes of mold, though it usually results from excessive moisture that is left unattended. A lot of businesses also have mold issues with the air conditioning, heating, and ventilation systems of their building. Humid, warm and moisture-rich areas tend to have the highest risks for mold.
Dangers of Mold in the Workplace
While small amounts of mold are not all-that toxic in most cases, some people are overly sensitive to even the smallest bit. These individuals may never know just how sensitive they are to mold until they become ill. Some common symptoms of illness from mold include wheezing, skin irritation, eye irritation, and stuffiness of the nose.
There are also more serious conditions caused by mold, like shortness of breath, fever, and infection. According to the Center for Disease Control, floors or carpets with mold need to be replaced right away.
Mold Remediation and Clean-Up
Mold remediation and clean-up begins with the first stage of cleaning. It is important to get the surface as clean as possible. While bleach is a good agent for cleaning mold, it should not be mixed with other household cleaners, as it could cause toxic fumes.
Be sure to let in fresh air by opening windows and doors, and always protect your hands and eyes when working with bleach. If the area to be cleaned is more than 10 feet, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends calling a professional. After cleaning or having the mold removed, keep these areas as dry as possible with low humid levels.
It is also possible to prevent mold in your workplace. Never install carpets in high-moisture areas, such as bathrooms and basements. Once you find a leak, have it taken care of right away and remove wet materials so mold doesn’t grow on them. Have gutters and pipes cleaned professionally on a regular basis. Proper ventilation helps to keep the risk of mold down.
Aside from cleaning up and preventing mold, you should also protect your company with proper business insurance to help protect your business from common and probably risks.