Healthy Office Environment? Commercial Mold Causes and Tips

Healthy Office Environment? Commercial Mold Causes and Tips

The majority of us spend the better part of our day in commercial properties: Office buildings, schools, and work spaces that are structured for efficiency and basic utility. We are quick to invest in the health of our homes, but our daily work and school atmospheres are equally as important - Especially when air quality and mold are concerned.

Given we spend 90% of our day indoors, it's no surprise that the EPA has written extensive prevention/removal guidelines on Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings.

So how is mold growth and remediation different in commercial buildings?

Below are some common causes, residential vs. commercial mold removal process differences, and why expertise counts when dealing with professional mold remediation and removal:

Common Mold Causes in Commercial Properties:

1. Improperly Maintained Insulation/Ventilation, or Structural HVAC conditions: An overwhelming amount of mold growth is originally caused by small problems that are left over time - Undetected leaks, incorrect ventilation, and damaged insulation are just a few:

˃ Our Tip: Have your building's heating and cooling systems serviced and the ductwork evaluated 2x annually: Once during the heating season and again during the cooling season. Conducting commercial duct cleaning rids your HVAC system of dust, bacteria, and mold accumulation. Plus, it saves money on energy costs!

2. Pipe Leaks: When joint seals crack or changes in water pressure create pipe leaks and the ideal conditions for mold are present (damp, dark environment), it only takes 24 hours for mold growth to begin.

˃ Our Tip: Look for condensation or wet spots on ceilings, floorboards, cabinetry and windows; STOP and FIX the source ASAP. Dry out, and reduce the humidity level in the air.

3. Roof Maintenance: Improper ventilation can lead to a common problem called ice damming, or ice build-up underneath shingles, where ice causes expansion and lifts the shingles. This allows moisture to gain entry, stick around, and become mold's growth gateway.

˃ Our Tip: Seasonal property inspections by maintenance managers and/or certified mold inspectors can reveal hidden potential moisture problems.

Residential vs. Commercial mold removal process differences:

1. Time is Money: Limited productivity or business closure due to mold contamination can be costly to both your reputation and bank account - Remediation must be properly and efficiently achieved; while professional discrepancy is key.

2. Complexity: Commercial mold removal projects involve complicated HVAC/air purification systems, high-power data rooms, and/or intricately designed technical equipment.

Why Expertise Counts: It is critical that you choose a trained commercial mold specialist that is properly certified.

Look for:

˃ IAQA/OSHA/NADCA and IICRC certifications along with ongoing education;

˃ Expertise with a broad project base and commercial property clients

˃ Proven professionalism, quality guarantee, and time/budget efficiency.

Need more info? Find out How Healthy your Office Air is, plus ways to improve the indoor office environment by visiting our Healthy Home and Business Tips blog.