Protecting Your Commercial Building from Mold Infestation

If you own a business or commercial property, it is an investment that you want to protect. Damage to a building can be costly; not only is it expensive to repair, it can interrupt business activities and stop incoming revenue. Mold is a quiet culprit that can cause serious damage to buildings and can be an expensive problem to solve. The best option is to prevent mold infestation by monitoring and controlling humidity in your commercial building.

Mold growth can be detrimental to any business. Store rooms, basements and closed areas are more likely to be affected by mold due to poor ventilation. Mold growth on surfaces can destroy supplies, especially porous materials like paper, cloth and cardboard. If the mold infestation is severe, it can enter walls and spread throughout the building. Mold removal can require a complete evacuation of the building, with specialized equipment needed to remove all mold spores, costing thousands upon thousands of dollars.

Preventing Mold Growth

Many times, mold growth is caused by poor air quality and ventilation. To protect your business and investment, you should monitor your air humidity and have routine inspections on your HVAC system. Your HVAC service can test the humidity in your building and ensure adequate ventilation is helping limit mold growth. If humidity is high, dehumidification options can help manage moisture levels to reduce mold growth.

If you have noticed musty smells in areas of your commercial building, it is time to schedule a HVAC inspection and air quality analysis. It is much less expensive to prevent mold growth than deal with a full-blown mold infestation in your commercial building.

Posted on behalf of:
ClimateSmith, LLC
1925 Lena Carter Road
Buford, GA 30519
(770) 475-9528

Does Your Home Smell Musty?

When you walk into certain rooms, do they smell musty? It is hard to describe a musty smell, but you know it what it is when it enters your nose. Damp basements, bathrooms and closed rooms can harbor mildew and mold, creating that unique, musty smell. But more concerning than the odor is what is causing it and the other damage it can do to your home and health.

Dangers of Mold and Mildew

Mold and mildew are fungal growths that usually require moisture to thrive. There are thousands of different types of mold spores that grow on a variety of surfaces. The mold on your old bread is different than the pink mold in your shower. Some are fairly harmless, while others can be dangerous to your health.

Some of the aggressive black molds can have the highest risk if they take hold in your home. Not only can they destroy the surfaces where they grow, they can have spores that become air borne. Many types of mold spores can irritate the tissues in the respiratory system, especially in those with allergies or weakened immune systems. In some cases, they can be deadly or cause serious health problems.

Clearing Your Home of Mold

If you smell musty odors, you should consider monitoring your home’s humidity levels. Even if you do not see black mold or mildew, it can be growing in areas that are not visible. In most cases, you want to keep humidity levels below 60% to prevent mold growth and protect your home and health.

If you have high humidity levels in your home causing a musty odor and mold problems, contact your local HVAC service. They can go over dehumidifying options to stop mold and mildew growth in your home.

Posted on behalf of:
ClimateSmith, LLC
1925 Lena Carter Road
Buford, GA 30519
(770) 475-9528

Finding the Right Moisture Balance for Air Quality

Home air quality is not just about filtering out allergens, dust and mold. Moisture has a big impact on the quality of air you breathe, whether it is too dry or too humid. Regulating your moisture balance in your air can be tricky; some homes may be too dry part of the year and too humid during other months. To get the right balance, you need to manage moisture and keep it at an appropriate level.

The right humidity level for homes tends to be right around 50%, within the 40-60% range. However, if you go above or below these levels, you may notice issues. Here are some of the problems that can occur when the humidity is too high or too low:

  • Too high. When humidity stays above 60%, your home could begin to have mold problems. You may notice musty smells, see mold on walls/windows/ceilings and notice water stains. Mold can be hazardous, especially for those with immune or respiratory issues, and cause expensive damage to your home.
  • Too low. When the air becomes to dry, which can happen when using air conditioning constantly, it can become uncomfortable. It can dry out nasal passages and cause other health issues.

To manage humidity, you can add a humidifier or dehumidifier to your HVAC system, or use portable models. Portable models are fine for individual rooms (like a basement that has mold issues) but are not efficient for whole-home air quality. Your local HVAC service provider can add either a humidifier, dehumidifier or both to your HVAC system to help you keep a perfect level of moisture in your home for health and comfort year-round.

Posted on behalf of:
ClimateSmith, LLC
3870 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. Suite 340-129
Duluth, GA 30096
(770) 475-9555

Mold in the HVAC: What to Do?

Mold in the HVAC system is a common complaint, and one that is easy to understand. Why? Because mold is present in all buildings and all it needs to proliferate is moisture and food. You can’t eradicate mold completely, but there are some steps you can take to minimize chances that it won’t get completely out of hand. 

Preventive measures include checking the HVAC system for proper condensate drainage and that drip pans and condensate lines are not plugged. See that blowers, air-handlers and plenums are free of moisture. Your HVAC contractor should take of these items during your routine residential HVAC maintenance service call. 

Moisture can build up in areas you can’t see and mold doesn’t take long (as little as 48 hours) to start flourishing. So, despite your best efforts you can still end up with a mold problem. If that happens here are some measures to take to bring the situation back under control. First, the HVAC system needs to be turned off and anyone working on the cleanup should be wearing at least an N-95 respirator. 

  • Replace porous materials – This includes any insulation or filters that have gotten wet. Bag wet materials in 6 mil. or thicker plastic and discard. Remove any standing water with a wet-vac.
  • Clean non-porous surfaces – Use detergent and water to to clean vents, ducts and registers.
  • Vacuum – Even dead mold spores, can make people sick, so that material must be removed after cleaning. Vacuuming with hepa filtration is the best method. 

You can do these jobs yourself if the system is small and everything you need to clean is easy to get to, but you may need to call in professional assistance. More and more HVAC companies are hiring or training personnel to handle what can be a complex problem. Control the mold; don’t allow the mold to control you.