Can you imagine having to cancel the second day of the school year because of mold? A school in Iowa recently bit the bullet and sent students home for two days due to mold found in several classrooms. September is Mold Awareness Month and The Responsible Solutions to Mold Coalition (RSMC) recommends taking a proactive stance against water intrusions, which ultimately lead to mold growth.
The RSMC urges owners and managers to build dry, and stay dry. Regular inspections and preventative maintenance are key actions against mold. Incorporate these tips into your facility monitoring:
- Assess the level of cooling in infrequently used areas, such as storage. Overcooling can lead to excess condensation.
- Clear drains, scuppers, gutters, and downspouts of any debris.
- Check for improper or damaged flashing around parapets and roof penetrations. Poor flashing can cause water intrusion.
- Vacuum or blow dry wall cavities before drywall is installed to ensure no debris is left behind that will encourage mold growth.
- Maintain HVAC drainage pans and look for blockages.
- In attic spaces, look for sheathing discoloration, the presence of ice, or rusty hardware, which are all signs of water intrusion.
- Review the performance of mold-resistant products. Continual exposure to water will cause them to fail.
Mike Poellinger, chairman of the RSMC, also encourages owners and managers to be selective about green products in their facilities. While being eco-friendly can be achieved in many ways, none of them should compromise your building’s ability to manage and repel moisture.
To learn more about mold prevention and tips, click here.
To learn about mold in Iowa schools, click here.