Are you a business building owner in Queensland? Is your business building safe from mould? As a building owner or employer, you are responsible for a safe and healthy workplace for your occupants or employers, including making your commercial building safe from mould.
What is Mould?
Mould can be found everywhere. It is part of the natural environment. They are commonly found outdoors. Mould grows virtually on any material, as long as there is moisture or water, oxygen, and organic substance. It reproduces by creating tiny spores that is not visible to the naked eye. Mould spores float through outdoor and indoor air.
What should be avoided is indoor mould. If there is indoor mould, problems may arise such as structural damage to the building and harmful health effects to its occupants. Adverse health effects to building occupants include hay-fever type symptoms like red eyes and runny nose. Exposure to mould can also lead to skin, nose, and throat irritation in some individuals.
Mould Prevention Tips for Commercial Buildings
Like mould prevention in your home, the key to preventing the growth of mould in buildings is moisture control. Visual inspection should be regularly conducted to check whether there is water leak or spills occurring indoors. An immediate response, ideally within 24 to 48 hours, and thorough clean-up, structural drying, and removal of contaminated materials will prevent mould growth. Here are some useful mould prevention tips for building owners.
- Check for any plumbing leaks in the building. If there is any leak, fix it immediately.
- Check for wet areas. Cut off the source of moisture immediately.
- Prevent moisture from condensation by increasing surface temperature or reducing moisture level in the air. You can increase surface temperature by insulating or increasing air flow. You can reduce the moisture level in the air by fixing any leak in the building and increasing ventilation in case there is cold and dry air outside. You can also use dehumidifiers if the outdoor air is warm and humid.
- Inspect and maintain HVAC regularly, including filter changes. Make sure that the drip pans are clean, flowing properly, and clear from any obstruction.
- Vent any moisture-producing appliance like washing machine outside the building where possible.
- Vent kitchens and bathrooms in accordance with local code.
- Provide drainage around the building and slope the ground away from the foundations of the building. Again, you must comply with the local code.
- Make sure that the areas where leaks have occurred before won’t have the same problem anymore by taking preventing action.
In any event that there is mould growth, professional commercial mould remediation and clean-up must be performed. Remediation is needed to correct moisture problem and to remove any mould-contaminated material to prevent human exposure and further structural damage.