Managing Mold: Considerations For Commercial Property Owners
So you’ve identified a mold growth challenge somewhere in your commercial structure. Beyond remediating the immediate mold growth, what should you, as a business owner, be doing next?
Obviously, your number one concern with mold is to protect the health and safety of the people working, visiting or living in your building. You definitely should have a moisture and mold remediation plan and it should contain the steps needed to eliminate the moisture source, identify all the protective equipment you should have on hand and the steps you will follow to contain and remove any moldy building materials.
How Big a Problem Do You Have?
This might be the first question to pin down. The more mold, the more you’ll need engineering controls. This term describes the system of special plastic-walled containments and negative air-flow that you’ll need to erect in order to prevent mold spores from moving out of the contained area and into the structure’s open airways.
What If You Can’t See It?
If the mold is visible, visual assessment is very important to identify the extend of the contamination. But it isn’t always visible. In those cases, fiber-optic borescopes can be useful to measure the problem in spaces like wall cavities. Also, moisture meters, infrared thermography and temperature/ humidity meters are important tools.
Also, don’t forget that people who use the building regularly can be important information sources. They can tell you about past leaks, and they might also have information such as where has mold ever been painted over.
Sampling for Mold
If mold is visible, actual lab tests are not necessary to identify the problem. They are important though if medical personnel are trying to diagnose a specific infection and treatment protocol. Lab tests may also be required for legal or insurance purposes. The testing lab brought into the situation will have a specific protocol that they’ll follow.
There are a few things to consider in the remediation stage. These include:
- How large the affected area is.
What kind of materials need remediation. Basically, if you’ve got mold growing on porous materials – books, wallboard, upholstered furniture etc., you’re not going to be able to salvage anything. These things should be bagged and discarded. Your remediation company will take care of this. This is because mold is a living organism and by now it has grown entangled within the fibers. There’s no way to completely eradicate them.
The news is better if the mold growth is on non-porous materials such as metals and plastics. In these cases, biocides (special chemicals used to kill and remove mold growth) are used to do the heavy lifting.
- A further consideration is the population in the building.
If the people using the building are sensitive or if they are children, they should be considered in the exact protocol that’s brought to bear on the remediation process. Children in day care centers or senior citizens in nursing homes should also be considered sensitive populations.
Mold remediation is something that should only be done by highly trained, certified professionals. For over eleven years, SERVPRO of Yorba Linda/ Brea has been helping home owners and commercial property owners eliminate mold growth challenges. Our knowledge, consistent results, concern for our clients and integrity over the long run have made us the #1 SERVPRO franchise in California. You can learn more about what our past clients have said about our work by visiting our testimonials page, here: http://www.SERVPROyorbalindabrea.com/testimonials
If you need immediate assistance, please contact us at 714-701-0207. We’ll send one of our professional technicians out to meet with you the same day, often within an hour of receiving your call.
We’ll make you feel “Like it never even happened.”