Mold can grow wherever there is excessive moisture. School buildings can develop mold due to high indoor humidity, areas of condensation, a roof leak or plumbing problems. Building construction practices in recent years have resulted in more tightly sealed buildings that may not allow excess moisture to escape easily. Temporary structures in schools, such as trailers and portable classrooms, have frequently been associated with excessive moisture and mold.
If you are concerned that your child’s school may have mold, a mold remediation expert can help. A mold remediation expert like Tri State Restorations will thoroughly inspect the school building for signs of moisture and mold and will identify the source so that appropriate steps can be taken to rectify the problem.
Suggestions for Reducing Mold Growth in Schools
- Reduce indoor humidity by:
- Venting gym showers and other moisture-generating sources to the outside.
- Providing adequate ventilation to maintain indoor humidity levels between 30-60%.
- Controlling humidity levels and dampness by using air conditioners and de-humidifiers.
- Using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing and cleaning in food service areas.
- Inspect the building for signs of mold, moisture, leaks or spills:
- Check for moldy odors.
- Look for water stains or discoloration on the ceiling, walls, floors and window sills.
- Look around and under sinks for standing water, water stains or mold.
- Inspect bathrooms for standing water, water stains or mold.
- Do not let water stand in air conditioning or refrigerator drip pans.
- Respond promptly when you see signs of moisture or mold, or when leaks or spills occur:
- Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
- Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.
- Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent and dry completely.
- Absorbent materials that are moldy, such as ceiling tiles, may need to be replaced.
- Check the mechanical room and roof for unsanitary conditions, leaks or spills.
- Prevent moisture condensation:
- Add insulation to reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors.)
- Clean floor and carpets:
- Remove spots and stains immediately, using the flooring manufacturer’s recommended techniques.
- Use care to prevent excess moisture or cleaning residue accumulation and ensure that cleaned areas are dried quickly.
- In areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting (i.e., by drinking fountains, by classroom sinks or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation.)
With proper attention to humidity and moisture and prompt action in case of water damage, your child’s school can remain free of mold.