Back to school after summer vacation is one of the best times to find some mold growth in schools. If you have read my last article about Mold in Offices, you should know that moisture is the main problem via either leakage or condensation and the same preventative tips as used for offices will also work for schools. Why are schools different?

For the summer in most schools:
• The buildings are closed up.
• Rooms are closed up.
• Closets are locked.
• Air conditioning is shut down.
• There is little opening up of outside doors.
• Windows are closed.

This is a perfect environment for mold to grow if there was only some moisture.

Now here comes the moisture:

The custodian mops the floor in a room and closes and locks the door with the floor still wet OR

There is very humid weather OR

There is a leak.

There are some very cold nights with temperatures below the dew point.

Some simple tips to reduce the risk of growing mold:

• Do any kind of wet cleaning when it is not raining; open the windows in the room and/ or turn on fans. Do not close up until things are dry again.
• Keep frequently wet concrete floors as clean as possible since mold grows in dirt.
• In extreme humidity conditions it is worthwhile to make some temperature and dew point measurements in the building. You can do this with various gauges.
• Leaks and spillage of any kind must be cleaned up quickly. Mold can start growing in 48 hours. Wet vacuums, fans and heaters are used. For complex jobs call a professional.
• Closets on outside walls are at risk because of possible condensation. Keep a close eye on these or keep them open.
• Always avoid clutter especially paper and boxes and other mold food.

Ronald Arena
ChemScope, Inc.

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