Mold In The Workplace: How To Handle It!
When you own a commercial property, you want to ensure that it’s as safe as possible for you, your staff and for any clients who come into the building. The best way to ensure safety is to invest in the right insurance policies. You will know that you have to have public liability insurance and other insurance ranges to take care of people, but have you considered your commercial property? Fire, flood, earthquake and all manner of natural disasters can really affect your business, but if you’re smart about your insurance purchases, you can ensure that you are covered much of the time. If there is one thing that can have a devastating impact on your business it’s flooding.
Whether flooding is because of a burst pipe or a natural storm, your business is going to be badly affected by the water rising in the property. Floods that start in the basement can have an impact on the structure of the building, causing damage that is expensive and interrupts your business hours. You will also find that a side effect of flooding is often mold. Mold can present some serious issues for your business. Not only does it have an impact on the health of your staff and any guests, it can lead to devastation for the structure of the building, too. Those who are dealing with allergies and asthma are particularly vulnerable to the effects of mold and if you have people getting sick as a result, they are not likely to be particularly productive for your day to day needs. Mold can also lead to business interruption as you will need to think about the time taken to clean your business from the mold on the walls and in the ceiling. If the mold is ingrained into the walls, you will have an even bigger job, as there may need to be replacement and replastering efforts made.
Did you know that if you can see mold, it’s not necessary for a company to come in and test for it? They can see the mold is there already, so there is no real need for them to take the time to test for something that they can already see. Mold can be a blessing in disguise if you haven’t considered your flood insurance or your commercial drainage options before. However, you don’t want to have mold in the business property if you can help it! If you suspect mold in your business premises but you haven’t seen any, we’ve got eight situations that warrant booking a mold test. Let’s take a look:
- You or your staff are sneezing and experiencing allergy symptoms. Whether it’s sneezing or other symptoms like stuffy heads, headaches, scratchy and itchy throat, runny nose and more, you need to get a mold test booked in. This is especially important if you’ve had some drainage issues and flooding lately.
- You think that you can see some mold in the building, but given your lack of expertise with mold, you’re not sure and you want confirmation. There’s nothing worse than mold being in the corners of the bathrooms or the basement. It’s unprofessional to see mold blackening the corners of the room, and if you are seeing mold, you have to assume that it’s in the walls, too.
- There is a weird, musty smell in your building but you can’t identify what is causing the smell. The cleaners are doing their usual excellent work, but you haven’t got rid of the smell and it’s getting worse. This can indicate mold in the home – even if you cannot see it.
- If you have recently had a flood or plumbing leak, you may not notice the beginnings of mold coming from the damp. Any leaks or drainage issues should be looked into ASAP, too, as this can lead to mold if it’s not caught early enough. If you have a professional come to check your drains, you need to ask them to check out the damp a wet spot has left behind, too.
- You can ask for mold testing to see whether a removal has been successful. This is a great way to check if any mold is left behind after you have paid for it to be removed. Air testing is going to be done by a professional and they can tell you if the levels of mold normalized.
- If you are buying your commercial property, a mold test is an essential and it’s a great reason to get your commercial place checked by a professional – just in case.
- Another good reason for getting a mold test is whether you need to prove that there is a problem. This is especially important if you are a tenant and your landlord is asking for evidence before they spend their money making changes.
- If you want to make sure that your staff are breathing in high-quality air, then a mold test is a must.
There are several things that you can do to handle mold in the workplace, and we’ve got some of those things for you below:
- Keep All Of Your Flood Insurance Documents Accessible
You need to avoid mold after a flood and you should call a professional water damage company to help you out. You should consider that the longer you are delayed, the longer it will take for your insurance company to come out and reimburse you some costs.
- Work On Any Leaks Right Away
If you see any leaks in your business, then the best thing that you can do is clean them up straight away. Mold can present an issue everywhere there is moisture, and you need to prevent that moisture from collecting in the first place! Calling a plumber to deal with your pipes and drainage regularly will mean catching any leaks that you could be unaware of. You want to make sure that you stop any water from getting into the surfaces around the building. This will prevent further damage.
- Work On Ventilation
Bathrooms and kitchens are notorious for being full of steam and moisture in the air. With the proper ventilation, you can ensure that moisture is out as fast as possible and avoid any mold and damp patches forming. Installing fans throughout these spaces as well as vents and open windows will help, and standing fans will blow the humid air away!
- Buy A Humidity Monitor
You don’t know how truly moist your property is without a humidity monitor. These monitors will tell you how much moisture is in the air and they’re not particularly expensive, which means that you can get answers without breaking the bank. Not only will they check the current moisture levels, they’ll tell you if there is a spike in the amount of moisture in the air.
- Stop Using Bleach
If you want to clean off any mold that you have spotted, you need to stop using bleach. The bleach may be a quick fix, but it only takes off visible mold and the idea is to eradicate the problem entirely. To do this, you need the professional to come in. Store-bought solutions just won’t do the job on stubborn mold, but the professional cleaning companies have everything that you need to get rid of the problem properly.
- Keep The Moldy Areas Empty
If one office in your building is dealing with mold, you need to cordon it off and have the affected area away from the rest of the property. This prevents the spreading of spores on shoes, jackets and even in the hair of your employees. Don’t wait too long to get help from your local cleaning company, though, as it can be a widespread issue and this is the “ground zero” for it. Close the doors and shut the vents to avoid spreading the issues, too.
- Get Rid Of Any Contaminated Property
If your desks and cupboards have become “infected” by mold, you need to get them taken away and scrapped as soon as possible. Even the smallest patch of mold can cause health and long-term issues for your property, so you need to get rid of it as quickly as possible!
- Listen To Your Employees
Are your staff complaining of a musty smell or difficulty with breathing? Their complaints have to be taken seriously – as seriously as the mold problem you have. Your employees health matters, and if you’re not listening to them, there could be some serious legal issues coming back to bite you as a result.
Mold in the commercial property you work in is a big problem. If you’re not looking after your staff and yoru building, you’re not going to notice it creeping up on you. Handling the mold as quickly as you can will help to stop the problem from spreading, but are you ready to get rid of it? Start today! If you notice leaks or damp anywhere in the building, you need to get on top of it as soon as you can.