From leaky roofs to cracked pavement, the possibility of deterioration is always there. Most of these issues are easy to spot and you can tell when your building’s heating and air conditioning breaks down. But, there is one major property issue that happens behind the scenes. It’s mold and it can surface anywhere. Often it is spreading long before you notice it, if you notice it at all. Don’t worry. We will give you information on how to detect and combat this sneaky villain.
Detecting Mold in Commercial Walls
Before you can beat mold, you need to understand it. The first thing to know about mold is that it is everywhere. Mold is a type of fungus consisting of small organisms found almost everywhere. Mold can be different colors including black, white, orange, green, or purple. For the most part, small amounts of mold spores are usually harmless but when they land on a damp spot in your building, they can start to grow. When mold is growing on a surface, spores can be released into the air where they can easily be inhaled. This is when it becomes a hazard. Mold thrives in damp and warm areas, which makes commercial buildings highly susceptible to growth. A commercial building typically keeps a consistent internal temperature, so when it is cold outside and warm inside, condensation can become a breeding ground for mold. On top of this, the spores can survive the cycles of freezing and drying. Now you know the basics so you can see just how easily spores can multiply and thrive in a commercial setting. But what exactly is the problem with mold and can it really affect your building that much?
The Problem with Mold
Mold can be used to develop many beneficial things such as penicillin, cheese, and even salami. However, there are equally as many problems that occur from mold growth. And it is these problems that you need to be aware of as a property owner or manager. One of the biggest issues that can occur from mold spores is health-related. As a facility manager, the health and safety of your building’s inhabitants are the main priority. Mold growth affects the health of workers when airborne spores get inhaled. These spores can cause allergic reactions, asthmatic symptoms as well as life-threatening issues. Mold spores can also release toxic chemicals known as mycotoxin.
Mold can also eat away materials. It thrives on organic material such as wood, paper, and fabric. This means that the interior walls, carpet, flooring, and even the ceilings can erode and eventually give way. This creates even bigger problems for you as the facility manager.
The biggest problem with mold and mold spores is that they are almost invisible to the naked eye, until the growth accumulates, and by then you already have a problem. So, how can you protect yourself from these potentially serious issues?
Finding and Getting Rid of Mold
Finding and eradicating mold is not an easy task. Your first step needs to be a thorough examination of your building and property. As said above, commercial buildings tend to keep temperatures at a constant year-round and this creates the perfect environment for spores to thrive and grow. A top-to-bottom examination of your building will help you find problem areas. Next, you need to take the necessary steps to fix and repair any damage from those problem areas. That could mean fixing a leak or removing water damaged areas. After this, you need to work to decrease moisture. That could mean installing a dehumidifier system or running smaller “dehu” units in a centralized area to keep mold spread at a minimum.
Preventing growth is your next goal and this is done through proper cleaning of HVAC systems and air intakes. Air being pulled in could be contaminated with spores and then spread when the system is being used. Finally, it is time to call an expert to locate and eradicate the mold. Bringing in proper personnel to inspect and check for mold spores is the best way to rid yourself of problems. Experts can help you detect what your eyes may not be trained to see and can help you create a maintenance plan to remove the possibility of growth.
We are here. We understand that improving facility performance is a huge task. Our focus has always been geared to help our clients and their buildings. We consult, design, and help manage everything about your commercial roofing and property. We are here to help you understand your assets and to help you eradicate problems, like mold growth, before they even occur. Call us today!