mold remediation in commercial buildings

Mold Remediation in Commercial Buildings: Best Practices and Regulations

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

  • Mold is a fungus that grows in warm, moist environments and can spread through spores in the air.
  • Commercial buildings can be more susceptible to mold because of their size and the large number of areas where mold can develop.
  • Common sources of mold in commercial buildings can include areas of moisture like a leaking roof, a leaking HVAC system, or unvented appliances.
  • Professional remediation is the best way to ensure the safe removal of all the mold in a space, as professionals have the proper tools and experience.

Mold is a fungus that grows in moist areas, but its spores can move through the air, which can affect indoor air quality and cause this fungus to spread. Exposure to mold can cause health complications like respiratory issues and other concerns, so it’s important to address mold presence as soon as possible.

Mold can pose a risk for any property, but commercial properties can present additional challenges since they are larger and contain more areas where mold can hide. Fortunately, commercial mold remediation can help you keep your property free from mold and ensure the health of its occupants.

If you suspect mold on your property, then you should reach out to mold remediation experts for support in managing the problem. At Alpha Environmental, we are passionate about providing you with the resources you need to keep your property safe, from offering mold remediation services to educating you about prevention strategies.

Identifying Common Mold Problems in Commercial Settings

Addressing and mitigating mold problems can be more challenging in commercial settings simply because of the sheer size of commercial buildings. Therefore, being proactive can make an important difference.

When it comes to mold anywhere, you must identify the problem quickly so you can tackle it as soon as possible. Unfortunately, mold can be sneaky, so it can require some due diligence to spot the problem and address it.

Since mold grows under specific conditions, some areas are more prone to growth than others. Areas in a commercial property that may be conducive to mold include:

  • Roofing materials above ceiling tiles
  • Around appliances with drainage pans
  • Behind drywall
  • Around windows
  • Underneath carpet
  • Near landscaping or gutters around the building
  • Around unvented combustion appliances

You can also keep an eye out for mold by being aware of its warning signs. Signs of mold may include:

  • A musty or damp smell in the air
  • A smelly HVAC system
  • Moisture pooling in an area
  • Warped walls or materials
  • Discolored patches or spots on flooring or walls

Understanding Health Risks Associated with Mold

Mold exposure can present several health risks, especially for young children and older adults. Although sensitive individuals are more at-risk, anyone may experience discomfort from the presence of mold on a property.

Some potential health risks associated with mold include:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Headaches
  • Itchy or watery eyes
  • Respiratory issues or trouble breathing
  • Sneezing
  • Stuffy nose

With the above health risks, it’s important to address mold issues as soon as possible to avoid any discomfort. Identifying mold and remediating the problem will ensure healthy air quality and keep occupants of your building free from potential health concerns.

Implementing Effective Mold Remediation Strategies

Mold remediation is a detailed process, as it’s essential to thoroughly remove the mold, prevent the mold from spreading, and ensure the safety of the surrounding environment in the process.

Effective mold remediation requires multiple steps:

  • Identification – Special equipment and tools can make identifying mold easier. Professionals can conduct accurate mold testing that allows them to pinpoint whether mold exists in a building.
  • Containment – Once the problem area is identified, it’s essential to contain the area to prevent the spread of spores throughout the building. 
  • Removal – Professionals will thoroughly kill and clean up the mold and remove any materials containing mold. This process requires personal protective equipment as well as special tools and chemicals to clean up the mold.

When it comes to mold remediation, wiping down an area is simply not enough to completely eradicate the risk of mold spreading and affecting air quality. As a result, effective mold remediation is best left in the hands of professionals with the proper experience and equipment.

Moisture Problem Management and Prevention

The number one cause of mold is moisture. Therefore, you can prevent mold from forming in the first place by being proactive and minimizing the risk of moist environments.

To manage moisture in your commercial building, you should take some of the following steps:

  • Maintain proper ventilation
  • Monitor humidity levels in the building
  • Verify that windows are properly sealed 
  • Ensure proper drainage of appliances

Of course, proper cleaning is also important for preventing excessive moisture from building up. Therefore, routine maintenance and cleaning in commercial buildings will go a long way toward ensuring healthy air quality and preventing mold.

Navigating Commercial Regulations for Mold Remediation

Property owners are responsible for protecting tenants and guests, including ensuring safe air quality. The Environmental Protection Agency does not currently have federal regulations surrounding the presence of mold in the air in commercial buildings, but property owners should maintain a safe environment.

In a commercial property, the presence of mold may provide a health and safety hazard for employees occupying the building. Therefore, failure to address mold properly can be grounds for a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA) and subsequent legal action.

By being proactive about commercial mold remediation, you can stay in compliance with any local regulations and protect those in your building.

Proactive Measures for Mold Prevention in Commercial Buildings

The best mold remediation strategy is to prevent it from developing in the first place. Building owners and facility managers can prevent issues by doing the following:

  • Scheduling a mold inspection at the first signs of mold
  • Educating employees and occupants on prevention strategies
  • Integrating prevention into all facility management plans
  • Monitoring humidity levels in the building
  • Routinely checking the HVAC system function and drip pans
  • Venting areas of moisture, like kitchens and bathrooms
  • Ensuring adequate drainage around the building

Why You Should Hire Professional Mold Remediation Services for Your Commercial Property

If you discover mold on your commercial property, you do have the option of cleaning up the contamination on your own, but it is not recommended. Hiring professional mold remediation services ensures you can address the full scope of the issue for good.

Reasons to hire professional mold remediation services include:

  • The professionals have the tools, equipment, and experience necessary to tackle a mold remediation case while ensuring the safety of everyone involved.
  • Professionals follow a detailed process to not only remove mold from the property but also prevent it from spreading. They will know how to mitigate the risks by closing off the area and then use the proper tools and cleaners to completely eradicate the issue.
  • Because professionals have experience dealing with a wide variety of cases, they will know what steps, tools, and cleaners are necessary to handle different jobs.
  • Managing mold through a DIY approach may put your health at risk and prevent you from remediating the entire issue.

Although it sounds cheaper, DIY mold removal may have consequences down the road. If the problem is not addressed properly following best practices, it can spread and lead to more costly repairs, so hiring professional mold remediation services can save you time, money, and headaches.

Trust the Experts at Alpha Environmental

Mold remediation is a detailed process best left in the hands of professionals, as they will ensure every aspect of the job gets done to maintain safety and prevent future issues. Staying aware of the risk of mold can help prevent it from developing in the first place, but if you do have mold, you should turn to the experts for safe removal and remediation.

Here at Alpha Environmental, we have decades of experience offering mold removal services to both commercial and residential property owners in the Portland area. Contact us today to learn more about commercial mold remediation and get the support you need for mold testing and removal.

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