Mold In Schools and What To Do
Based on the EPA guidelines for mold remediation in schools and commercial buildings
Mold is a serious topic whenever it arises, but it is most concerning when the health of our children is at risk. Every year there are countless news stories about health problems for students and staff that are believed to be caused by mold growth. These accusations may be completely valid or mere speculation, but they always lead to a long discussion and unforeseen expenses.
Improper maintenance and infrequent inspections allow conducive conditions for mold growth to go unnoticed and let the problem worsen. Oftentimes, mold issues are hidden behind walls and in air ducts which is why it is so important to take preemptive actions. Ideally, these situations should be prevented and avoided so they never build up momentum and steal the focus away from education. Follow these steps to keep your learning environment healthy and mold free:
- Fix leaky plumbing and leaks in the building envelope as soon as possible.
- Watch for condensation and wet spots. Fix source(s) of moisture problem(s) as soon as possible.
- Prevent moisture due to condensation by increasing surface temperature or reducing the humidity. To increase surface temperature, insulate or increase air circulation. To reduce the moisture level in the air, repair leaks, increase ventilation (if outside air is cold and dry), or dehumidify (if outdoor air is warm and humid).
- Keep heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) drip pans clean, flowing properly, and unobstructed.
- Vent moisture-generating appliances, such as dryers, to the outside where possible.
- Maintain low indoor humidity, below 60% relative humidity (RH), ideally 30-50%, if possible.
- Perform regular building/HVAC inspections and maintenance as scheduled.
- Clean and dry wet or damp spots within 48 hours.
- Don’t let foundations stay wet. Provide drainage and slope the ground away from the foundation.
For schools that have a confirmed and known mold problem, refer to the EPA’s guidelines for Mold Remediation in Schools for direction and guidance. During the removal process, we highly recommend taking preemptive measures against future growth. Such actions ensure lasting results in regards to the current issue and provide assurance that new problems will not arise down the road. This investment saves money, protects budgets, and comforts parents with the knowledge that the school is taking extra precautions for the health and safety of their kids.
If you are interested in having Endurance BioBarrier Mold Prevention applied in your classroom, school, or entire district please fill out the Contact Us form. We value our education system and are pleased to do our part in protecting it!