Mold is pretty much a problem everywhere, so understanding the reason WHY MOLD HAPPENS is the most important part of the mold problem solution. The reason schools and offices building develop mold is partially due to the complex nature of large buildings. Various roof designs may eventually develop leaks. Connective walls, holes for water, air, electricity, and drains may allow water to travel to low-lying areas. Leaking pipe, or sweating pipes, can also provide enough moisture to promote mold growth.
Also, during periods of vacancy, the air conditioning may go off for a variety of reasons. When there are periods of 80% or more humidity, these unattended areas can become a festering incubator for mold.
Mold is insidious. Once it has any opportunity, this living (fungus) organism does what any organism would do. It multiplies and tries to expand as far as it can go. All it needs is some minimal water source, some organic matter for food, and preferred conditions.
Mold does not like sunlight, particularly the UV rays. It will go dormant if the humidity is too low, but will quickly return when humidity rises. So, dark damp areas with some paper, wood, or organic matter is all it takes.
Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any organic substance, as long as moisture and oxygen are present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, foods, and insulation. When excessive moisture accumulates in buildings or on building materials, mold growth will often occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or unaddressed. It is impossible to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment. However, mold growth can be controlled indoors by controlling moisture indoors.
Molds reproduce by making spores that usually cannot be seen without magnification. Mold spores waft through the indoor and outdoor air continually. When mold spores land on a damp spot indoors, they may begin growing and digesting whatever they are growing on in order to survive. Molds gradually destroy the things they grow on.
And, as every expert will tell you, “Mold never gets better on its own. It always gets worse … and more expensive to remove.” So, the proactive approach is always preferred and most effective. In fact, building managers should request an extensive mold inspection once a year to make sure any problem issues are addressed before the problem starts. That low-cost investment could save tens of thousands of dollars later on.
In the day and age of electronic monitoring, it might be a good idea to install some monitoring devices that track ambient conditions and send alerts if limits are exceeded. This may include water sensors in low-lying areas.
Flooding is one of those “Immediate Response” issues that deals with more than water damage. Mold will start in 48-96 hours. So, the earliest efforts will be to stop the water source, drain and dry the area, and to apply mold prevention processes.
Such post-flood mold prevention would be things like an ozone application, treating the are is an antimicrobial surface treatment, or other products that are both environmentally-safe but mold inhibiting.
Seek a local professional mold inspection service to conduct a mold inspection. They have the knowledge, tools, testing resources you will need. Mold problems may be surgical, but they can also go from a small problem to a big deal. Any mold problem that exceeds ten square feet must be considered a mold hazard and a potential health risk.