Eveningsnews.com, CBS-TV News
How To Prevent Office Mold
Jan 23, 2007
(NewsUSA) - There's a certain
bandit in town who visits offices but only steals the walls: mold.
Every office that has ceiling leaks or other
wet areas is susceptible to mold growth. The resulting damage from mold can
be severe, especially if the walls are made of wood or paper materials.
The food sources for mold growth in offices are
plentiful: furniture, wallpaper, organic fibers, carpet backings and dust.
If these organic food sources are exposed to high levels of moisture and
light, mold can grow.
If the office walls are made of concrete masonry
materials, they may be less susceptible to mold growth,and even when mold does
affect masonry materials, cleaning them is fast and easy.
But if your office's walls are made from
common drywall or other consumable materials, mold could become a serious
problem. In this case, the National Concrete Masonry Association suggests
some precautionary steps that can help keep mold off your company's roster:
* Look for visible signs of mold or moisture.
The first step to preventing or eliminating mold from your office is finding
the places where it can live. Look for brown or yellow stains that often
result from leaky pipes.
* Regularly maintain roofs and walls. Replace
caulking and repaint as needed to reduce the possibility of moisture
* Be aware of humidity levels. Keep the
maximum humidity level in your office at 40 percent during summer and
spring, and below 60 percent during the fall and winter. You can measure
humidity levels with a hygrometer, a device that's stocked in most major
* Keep your office sealed. To help control
humidity levels, seal outlets, sill plates and all other through-wall
penetrations to minimize uncontrolled air infiltration.
* Know how to clean your office's
construction materials. Although mold-infested drywall materials may require
replacement, if your office develops mold growth on concrete masonry
materials such as brick or cement, it can be cleaned with simple tools. For
more information about cleaning concrete masonry, visit www.ncma.org/online/mold.html.