Mold 101 in Harrisburg
Does your business smell a little musty when you walk through the door in the morning? It could be a tip that mold has begun growing. Mold growth can be responsible for damage to your building’s structure, the decay of essential records and your employees’ allergy symptoms. More than 1,000 types of mold thrive in the U.S. Their spores drift on air looking for wood, paper, carpeting or other materials where they can find nourishment. Although you can’t stop mold spores from floating through the air, you can protect your business from mold growth with a few easy steps.
Reduce the Humidity
Mold needs moisture to grow, so the key to preventing mold growth lies in eliminating water sources. Repair roof leaks, leaking pipes and cracks in walls or windows to prevent setting up an environment where mold can flourish. Maintain your HVAC system regularly to prevent excess humidity and get ductwork vacuumed annually to prevent dust-loving mold spores from setting up shop in the ventilation system. If relative humidity in your building is above 65 percent, mold will flourish. Use an industrial dehumidifier to reduce it.
Store Records Properly
Boxes of archived records are magnets for mold spores. Store cardboard boxes up off the floor to prevent them from getting wet in the event of a plumbing leak or flood. Placing boxes on shelves lets air circulate around them, but beware of storing them on the uppermost shelves where they’re susceptible to moisture from roof leaks. Silica gel packets taped under each box’s lid will help absorb extra moisture that might otherwise encourage mold growth. If you’re storing your files in a basement, closet or other enclosed space, monitor the relative humidity and use a portable dehumidifier if it rises above 65 percent. Finally, consider storing important records at a professional document storage facility where climate-controlled rooms deter mildew and other molds.
Time is of the essence when your office is exposed to flooding, water leaks or other excessive moisture. Everything that has been exposed to moisture must be thoroughly dried within 48 hours to prevent mold growth. If you suspect mold growth in your HVAC system or near air intakes, don’t run the system. You’ll just further the spread of mold spores.
Be a Detective
Be alert for musty odors, moisture stains and unexplainable allergy symptoms that might signal an active mold colony. If you find mold in a file box or other movable object, seal it inside a plastic trash bag or wrap it in plastic sheeting to avoid spreading the spores to other objects. Place the object outside or move it to an isolated area where you can clean it with a vacuum equipped with a HEPA filter. This will prevent spores from being dispersed into the air with the exhaust. Consult a professional like SERVPRO of Hershey to help determine and remedy the cause of the moisture in your building.
if you think you may have a mold issue - call SERVPRO of Hershey at 717-561-1404