Holy Mold-y, What do I do?
Mold. It happens to the best (and worst) of us.
We’ve been getting a lot of questions about mold and requests for mold remediation and prevention lately. By we, we really mean Frank Pinto, a client-based facility manager. Thank you Frank for the blog inspo! So here we are, ready to answer 3 of the most common mold questions.
This post is a very brief but resourceful guide to start to understand mold and how to get rid of it. There’s prevention tips and tricks to help you stop mold from growing (or at least slow it down). We also included a few tips on how to clean small areas of mold, but generally we recommend hiring a professional remediation contractor for large projects.
Let’s get started!
What is mold?
The CDC defines mold as “a fungal growth that forms and spreads on various kinds of damp or decaying organic matter.” The spores are everywhere, indoor and outdoor, and no space is 100% free of mold. Which is why it’s vital for facility managers to minimize growth and exposure of mold in buildings. We won’t get in to the health risks of mold, but if you’re curious read more here.
On the topic of mold, we want to share our thoughts on three common mold questions. We hope this is helpful to facility managers, building owners, and building occupants.
3 Common Mold Questions
- Where does mold come from?
- How do you prevent mold?
- How do you remove mold?
First things first, where does mold come from?
Mold grows where there is moisture and space to grow on. The spores are present everywhere. Given conditions with excessive moisture, new mold colonies will grow and spread.
Decaying or wet building materials are prime real estate for mold spores to grow. That hidden leak in the wall is the fuel. Those food crumbs in the break room are the food.
But don’t crawl out of your skin just yet…
How do you prevent mold?
Improve your indoor air quality by regularly maintaining your HVAC system and keeping humidity at an appropriate level (relatively low).
Inspect your building for plumbing leaks or moisture damage and make any necessary repairs. Controlling the dampness within the building is absolutely the key to preventing mold.
Train your building occupants to report any visible mold, leaks, or unusual areas of excessive moisture.
More from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/indoorenv/mold.html
How do you remove mold?
This is another common mold question with a fairly simple answer. If you’re going to remove or prevent mold yourself, please wear the proper protective gear so you don’t breath it in or get it on your body and spread it around other areas you touch. That means wear a respirator or mask, goggles, and gloves at the very least. Use one cup of bleach mixed with one gallon of water to scrub away surface mold on non-porous surfaces like in the bathroom.
You might want to hire a professional, which we highly recommend, and they will use professional cleaning chemicals. They will treat all areas (hidden or obvious) and use all the appropriate equipment and cleaning products.
Here’s some additional resources from around the web:
Environmental Protection Agency Tips
Thank you to one of our own resident Facility Manager’s Frank Pinto for inspiring this blog post on mold!