By Daniel Jeffries
Mold found in businesses can become far more than just a temporary annoyance. The risks of mold damage spread far beyond the need for remediation if managed inappropriately. The perception that your California restaurant or spa contains mold discourages customers and can put you at odds with local authorities. Although no direct link connecting mold growth with health problems as yet exists, some susceptible individuals report an allergic-like reaction to mold and the substances it emits.
Mold growth is the manifestation of one or more spores gaining traction through the absorption of moisture and multiplying into colonies. The colonies are multitudes of tiny fungi, living organisms that use organic materials as food and thrive in a range of temperatures, including the comfort zone for humans. No light is necessary for growth, and minute amounts of organic matter such as soap scum, dead skin cells, and grease are enough to encourage growth even on seemingly impervious surfaces like tile and metal.
Even arid regions like those found in California can support mold growth in commercial buildings. All it takes to begin the mold life cycle are small amounts of water or even interior humidities of more than 60 percent to fuel an outbreak. Spills and flooding events not thoroughly dried out within 24 to 48 hours are common causes of subsequent mold damage.
A mistake business owners sometimes make when faced with mold is to attempt to eradicate it in-house. Mold infestations are not just another form of dirt or debris. A good scrub or application of topical cleaning products can actually spread and worsen the mold problem in your California business.
Using diluted bleach solutions to manage mold is a typical reaction even for experienced commercial cleaning services. Unfortunately, that response is ineffective, notably when the mold has worked its way deep within a porous surface. Initially, the bleach might lighten the mold’s staining, but it rarely penetrates to kill the entire organism. In fact, the high water content of even undiluted bleach tends to feed the mold the California business is attempting to eliminate.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed a step by step process to abate mold issues efficiently. Trained and certified mold remediation technicians employ this methodology, offering businesses the most successful outcomes. First mold growth is located and contained. Keeping the spores and other mold debris from drifting through the commercial building is crucial to prevent new colonies from developing. Physical barriers or advanced technology such as negative pressure air scrubbers properly installed and utilized by skilled workers limit mold movement during remediation.
Then the technicians remove, bag, and discard all the mold, including any porous building materials or contents infested. Personal protective equipment keeps the remediation crews from harm, and the restoration company’s knowledge of California laws, regulations, and rules concerning hazardous waste ensures the legality of the process.
Finally, the remediators identify and arrange for the elimination of sources of water or moisture. Unless this step occurs, mold becomes a constant in a business.
If mold growth and damage is interfering with the successful operation of your California business, find a reliable mold remediation partner. Look for EPA process-based training and demonstrable experience before contracting.
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