One of the largest sources of indoor air pollution is mold. Unfortunately, there is absolutely no way to eliminate all the mold from a given area. However, there are ways to control mold. Mold needs a continuously damp surface in order to survive. Whether it is paper, wood, carpet, food, or even sheetrock, as long as it is damp mold can grow on it. So the key to controlling mold is moisture control.
Please note: In order to keep mold under control, it is important to dry any water damaged surface within 24 hours.
To inspect your workplace for mold, look for the following:
water stains or discolored ceiling tiles, walls, or floors
standing water: refrigerators and A/C drip pans are excellent breeding grounds for mold
stained or peeling wallpaper
- high humidity
- moldy odors
To clean problem areas:
- clean and dry any wet surface within 24 hours to prevent mold growth
- clean mold from surfaces with water and detergent and be sure to dry
- be aware that absorbent materials, such as ceiling tiles and sheetrock, may need to be replaced
To prevent mold:
- provide enough ventilation to keep humidity levels between 30 and 60%
- reduce the possibility of condensation on cold surfaces by installing insulation
- remove carpeting from areas with continuous moisture problems
- clean the HVAC system: check the ventilation filter; in buildings with mold problems filters should be changed regularly
For more on mold prevention and clean up, visit the Environmental Protection Agency's Introduction to Mold webpage.