Don’t let mold make a move on your building - SSCI Environmental
Like the rest of us, mold loves Houston. The warm, humid climate makes our city as natural a home for molds as it is for the energy industry.
At normal levels, mold is harmless. There are lots of types of molds that grow outdoors as well as indoors like inside your home and office building. The problem comes when moisture problems inside those structures cause mold to grow beyond normal levels.
“Normal levels” is a subjective term – even the government has yet to place regulations on what constitutes as natural levels or unhealthy levels.
If mold levels grow beyond minimum levels, the indoor air may become laden with mold spores at concentrations that are hundreds to thousands of times greater than outside. Contact with those high levels of mold spores, especially particular types such as Stachybotrys, can cause infection, allergies or toxic responses. Those little fungi can even cause structural damage to buildings.
How to prevent mold from growing
But no worries, there’s good news! You can proactively prevent mold from appearing – never mind becoming a problem. Here’s how:
- Take a look around. Routinely inspect your property for mold. Where there is moisture, there could be mold. Be sure to give a deep inspection to the following areas:
- Window seals
- Water fountains
- Ice machines
- Around plumbing or water heaters
- If you find mold, kill it. Small, moldy areas can be cleaned with bleach and water. Larger areas may require professional mold remediation.
- Reduce the moisture.
- Keep humidity levels below 60%, preferably 30-50%, by using an air conditioner or dehumidifier.
- Do not carpet “moisture prone” rooms such as bathrooms, laundry rooms and kitchens.
- Fix leaks immediately in plumbing, roofs, windows and other similar areas.
- Install ventilation fans in restrooms/bathrooms.
- Vent dryers to the outside of the building.
- Take care of any water damage within 48 hours. The quicker water-damaged materials are dried out, the less severe the property damage. Remember, even small spills can foster mold growth.
- Keep your foundation as dry as possible by sloping drainage away from the foundation.
- Have heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems routinely inspected and maintained. Change the filters monthly. Consider using a high-efficiency filter and have the system professionally inspected annually. Ensure the inspection includes the air ducts, vents, drip pan, condenser, etc.
- Mold inhibitors. Use cleaning products and paints that contain mold inhibitors.
- Clean. Dust furniture, vacuum floors and clean kitchens and bathrooms weekly.
If you utilize these tips, you can out maneuver mold!
Large mold-removal jobs might require a contractor to take care of the problem. That’s where SSCI comes in. Or we can help you create and implement strategies to prevent mold from forming or growing. Just give us a call, 1-800-324-7724.