Mold and Indoor Air Quality in Schools
Common Moisture Sources Found in Schools
Moisture problems in school buildings can be caused by a variety of conditions, including roof and plumbing leaks, condensation and excess humidity. Some moisture problems in schools have been linked to changes in building construction practices during the past twenty to thirty years. These changes have resulted in more tightly sealed buildings that may not allow moisture to escape easily. Moisture problems in schools are also associated with delayed or insufficient maintenance, due to budget and other constraints. Temporary structures in schools, such as trailers and portable classrooms, have frequently been associated with moisture and mold problems.
Suggestions for Reducing Mold Growth in Schools
Reduce Indoor Humidity
- Vent showers and other moisture-generating sources to the outside.
- Control humidity levels and dampness by using air conditioners and dehumidifiers.
- Provide adequate ventilation to maintain indoor humidity levels between 30-60%.
- Use exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing and cleaning in food service areas.
Inspect the Building for Signs of Mold, Moisture, Leaks or Spills
- Check for mold-like 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 and/or Mold, or When Leaks or Spills Occur
- Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours of occurrence to prevent mold growth.
- Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.
- Absorbent materials that contain mold, such as ceiling tiles, may need to be replaced.
- Check mechanical rooms and roof for unsanitary conditions, leaks or spills.
- Contact SERVPRO of Bear/New Castle at (302) 392-6000.
Prevent Moisture Condensation
- Add insulation to reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e. windows, piping, exterior walls, or floors).
Floor and Carpet Cleaning
- 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.
- Do not install carpeting in areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem (i.e. near drinking fountains, classroom sinks or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation).
Commercial Mold Remediation
Mold infestations can be caused by minor water intrusions like a slow roof leak or loose plumbing fitting. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. If you suspect your school has a mold problem, call SERVPRO of Bear/New Castle, DE, who will respond quickly and work fast to manage the situation.
Commercial Mold Remediation Presents Unique Challenges
Mold can spread quickly through a property if left untreated. SERVPRO of Bear/New Castle, DE can respond quickly, working to first contain the contamination to help prevent its spread to other parts of the building. Next, we will begin the remediation process, working safely and effectively to manage the situation. We have the training, experience, and equipment to contain the mold infestation and remediate it to its preloss condition.