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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Stop Mold Growth in Your Business HVAC System

5/27/2016 (Permalink)

Mold on walls

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Mold is the common named for a group of fungi that thrive in damp, warm and humid conditions. In an indoor environment, these fungi can grow at a rapid pace and produce health problems that range in seriousness from relatively minor to severe. Unfortunately, in commercial buildings, poorly maintained HVAC systems can easily act as a catalyst for mold growth. Here’s what you need to know to prevent mold growth in your business’ HVAC setup.

What Does Mold Do?

Mold reproduces by releasing tiny particles called spores into the air. In the sealed environment found in most commercial buildings, these spores can easily accumulate.

How Does Mold Get Into Your HVAC System?

Mold thrives on moisture. Regrettably, the typical commercial HVAC system contains a number of sections and components where moisture can accumulate, especially in the form of water condensation. Particular areas of concern include the system’s ducting network, drain pans, blowers, air handlers, cooling coils and any equipment designed to humidify or dehumidify your building’s interior. Any cooling towers installed on your building can also act as mold breeding grounds. Mold contamination in many of these components can be hard to detect, and even harder to wipe out.

How Can You Stop Mold Growth?

The best cure for mold growth is prevention. The process truly begins with the design of your building and the installation of an HVAC system that minimizes the risks of excessive moisture accumulation. However, after installation, you must inspect your system regularly and keep it well-maintained at all times so mold can’t gain an initial foothold.

Once mold starts to grow (typically within 48 hours of its introduction into a suitable breeding environment), the only way to reliably stop its spread is a process called mold cleanup and remediation. Steps in this process include removing all damp filters and duct insulation material, using a disinfectant specifically designed for use in HVAC systems, applying a mold inhibitor (also specifically designed for HVAC use) and using a commercial-grade HEPA vacuum on all mold-exposed surfaces.

As a rule, only a professional with proper training can reliably perform the inspection and maintenance procedures needed to keep a commercial HVAC system mold-free. Similarly, only trained individuals can reliably carry out a commercial mold cleanup and remediation job while avoiding making mistakes that add to the problem. For more information on HVAC topics such as mold prevention, cleanup and remediation for your business, contact us and keep following the pages of this blog.

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