Exposure to some types of mold can cause serious health issues. Though facility managers should always be on the lookout for potential sources of mold growth, rainy fall weather and peak hurricane season on the Atlantic coast make it an important time to ensure that a building can stand up to moisture intrusion that can lead to mold problems.
To raise awareness and encourage proactive strategies, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designates the month of September as National Indoor Mold Awareness Month. According to CertainTeed, a manufacturer of exterior and interior home products, there are several ways to prevent indoor mold from taking over your building.
- Fix Leaks. Facility managers should check for leaky roofs, foundations, faucets, and pipes on a regular basis, making sure they aren’t allowing extra moisture to accumulate in these areas. Leaks should be fixed as soon as they are found.
- Keep humidity under control. The ideal humidity for a building is between 30% and 50%. Relative humidity can be measured with an inexpensive moisture or humidity meter.
- Remove wet materials as soon as possible. If a building has experienced flooding or other water damage, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends removing all porous items, such as carpet, upholstery, drywall, and ceiling tiles within 48 hours. If an area larger than 10 square feet has been affected, the EPA recommends hiring a qualified mold remediation specialist to help with removal.
- Watch for ground water. Checking the exterior of buildings regularly will help avoid the accumulation of ground water, which can cause mold. If found, route water away using downspouts and re-grade to slope water away from the building.