Mold in Your Office HVAC System
Managing Mold Begins With Understanding How It Grows and Is Spread
Several factors can contribute to mold growth and mold damage in commercial and institutional facilities, but one of the most common culprits is the HVAC equipment. The HVAC system, including the drain pans and piping, can be sources for the growth of mold and a mode of transportation for dispersing the spores of mold throughout a building.
Engineering and maintenance managers who understand the ways in which HVAC systems can contribute to issues of mold and mold damage stand a better chance of coming up with strategies to stop these kinds of problems.
Understanding the Problem
Indoor molds are usually thought to be a problem once they can be seen or are amplified. Mold needs water, the right temperature range, and a food source so that it can grow.
Environments indoors hold a host of sources of food, including carpeting, drywall, paper, cardboard, fabrics, building furnishings and wood. Plus, conditions inside are made to keep relative temperatures which are conducive to the growth of mold.
The best way to control mold is to reduce, control or eliminate the moisture inside. Active fungal growth can cause occupants irritation and discomfort, and can cause serious health effects.
A lot of managers try to kill the mold with biocides, fungicides, and cleaners. This process might kill off the mold but will not remove the problems. Non-viable mold spores which are left behind inside, especially in your HVAC system, could end up compromising the air quality indoors. It is paramount, therefore, to have professionals, such as our experts at SERVPRO, come in and draw up a mold remediation plan for you.
As a business owner or manger, you should also understand some steps to take and avoid when responding to mold in your system. Part of managing your HVAC system includes mold growth prevention, responding to reports of mold promptly and evaluating situations which will need our professional assistance.
A Closer Look at HVAC Systems
The right installation, design, and maintenance of your HVAC system are needed to control mold indoors.
HVAC systems have a large impact on condensation, which is a source of moisture which mold can use to grow. The system will also help mold spores to travel between areas of the building. Poor operation, design and maintenance of this system will provide moisture as well for mold to grow, and the system can give a transportation mode that is viable for mold spores through your building.
Components which are the key to check during an assessment of your HVAC system include:
- Drain pans and coils
- Dehumidification and humidification equipment
- Outdoor air dampers
- Air filters
- Return-air plenum
- Air intakes
- Cooling towers
If you ever believe you have a mold problem in your HVAC system and are experiencing mold damage in Madison, contact us at SERVPRO of Madison/Goodlettsville by calling (615) 868-5324 so that we can handle the problem for you right away.