Humid Summer Creates Mold Threat

moldThe Threat of Mold

When temperatures skyrocket during the summer months, the price of your cooling bill may be your biggest concern. But don’t forget to factor in the threat of mold. High humidity combined with high temperatures creates a breeding ground for mold and mildew. They can grow extremely fast in ideal conditions and cause more than unsightly stains. Mold and mildew can create serious health risks and structural damage.

Conditions for Mold Growth

Mold grows in dark, warm and humid places. Large commercial buildings can be subject to undetected mold growth that has the potential to contaminate air, water and food sources.

  • Mold poses a threat when it has access to a food source and to water or a humid environment. As mold grows, it feeds off of the material it is attached to, and releases mold spores into the air.
  • Warm, humid conditions that allow mold to thrive are more likely to happen in the summer, when humid air and seasonally warm temperatures are prevalent.
  • The Centers for Disease Control reports that those who are sensitive to mold may experience adverse side effects, including nasal congestion, throat discomfort, breathing difficulty, or skin and eye irritation. In some cases, more serious effects, such as lung infections, have been reported.
  • Proper ventilation is a must for preventing and controlling the growth of mold. Additionally, regular and thorough cleaning of potential problem areas can keep mold at bay. Pay particularly close attention to bathrooms, kitchen and laundry facilities that are susceptible to moisture buildup. Washing and scrubbing areas with an all-purpose cleaner, and allowing them to dry with fans or other ventilation will help stop mold before it starts.
  • Unchecked mold growth can do more than damage a building. It can also create health risks for workers, cleaning staff and building residents.

 Cleaning to Remove and Prevent Mold

Mold grows on organic materials that it can feed off of. It doesn’t commonly grow on metal, stone or tile surfaces. If those surfaces are covered in grease, dirt, grime or other substances that mold can feed on, it may grow on those surfaces.

During the hot and humid summer months, building managers and cleaning staff management should work together to limit cleaning tasks that create moisture on the hottest days. Shampooing carpets and mopping floors should be done regularly, but may require the use of a dehumidifier or limited to days or hours with cooler temperatures.

Additional Information about Mold

Mold commonly grows on:

  • Wood
  • Carpet
  • Food
  • Paper
  • Insulation materials
  • Wallpaper
  • Some paint
  • Plasterboard
  • Fabrics and textiles
  • Leather
  • Furniture components

“Image Credit: flickr.com