Mold in buildings, including removal and remediation, has become a topic of increasing concern in recent years. Not only does indoor mold look and smell bad, it destroys the surfaces it grows on and can make people feel ill. For these reasons, it is important to address and remediate mold problems in a building as soon as they are detected.
How Dangerous is Mold in Buildings?
According to the CDC, the most common symptoms of indoor mold exposure are stuffy nose, wheezing, and red or itchy eyes, or skin. Individuals with allergies to certain molds or who have asthma may experience more serious reactions, such as fever, shortness of breath or flu-like symptoms. Symptoms usually go away when exposure to mold has been eliminated. While some molds produce toxins, reports of toxic mold causing more severe illness are rare, and no causal link between mold exposure and these conditions has been proven. All mold is considered a health risk Therefore it is important to remove mold from a building as soon as it is discovered and avoid use of rooms affected with mold as much as possible, if not completely.
How Destructive is Mold in a Building?
Molds can be found almost anywhere and reproduce by making tiny spores, that continually travel through indoor and outdoor air. When mold spores land on a damp spot, they may begin growing and consuming whatever they are growing on to survive. The U.S. EPA reports that mold spreads and gradually destroys the surface it grows on. Sheetrock, paper, and wood products are especially prone to mold damage and may have to be completely replaced by a qualified mold remediation company.
Who Should be Concerned about Mold in Your Building?
A mold problem is not just a concern for homeowners, tenants, office workers, and parents of school-age children. Mold removal and remediation are concerns for property managers, building owners, and commercial cleaning services who specialize in removing mold from schools, apartment buildings, offices, retail stores, and car dealerships. Caution should be used to prevent mold and mold spores from being dispersed throughout the air where they can be inhaled by building occupants.
Who Can Remove Mold from a Building?
The EPA offers the following guidelines for mold removal. If the moldy area is less than about 10 square feet, you may be able to handle the job yourself. Follow the Mold Cleanup Tips and Techniques. However:
- If mold growth covers more than 10 square feet consult EPA guide Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings. This document is applicable to other building types including apartments and retail spaces.
- If you choose to hire a commercial cleaning company that specializes in mold cleanup, be sure to check references and ask the contractor to follow the recommendations in EPA guide Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings as well as the guidelines of the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), or other guidelines from professional or government organizations.
- If you suspect that the HVAC system is contaminated with mold do not run the HVAC system, as it could spread mold throughout the building. Before taking further action, consult the EPA guide Should You Have the Air Ducts in Your Home Cleaned?
- If the mold damage was caused by sewage or contaminated water, call in a professional who has experience cleaning and cleaning buildings contaminated by water.
If you suspect a mold problem in your commercial building or school, please call or contact CBM using the form below for a free evaluation and estimate. Depending on your needs, we can clean and disinfect the affected area and coordinate with your reconstruction contractor to make your building safe again.