As many of us make our way back into brick-and-mortar businesses and offices, mold may be a real concern. Companies are reopening and resuming normal operations but what are the conditions of the building after being locked down for months or more? Despite mold being a natural part of the environment, no one wants to spend the workday in a moldy office.
Look for Signs of Mold
Mold infestations are not new or uncommon, especially in the tropical climate of South Florida. It’s not impossible for mold to be present in your office or somewhere in the building. You or your co-workers may have smelled it or seen it. There may be a leaky pipe, high humidity or moisture from a previous flood incident.
Some employees may be experiencing symptoms related to mold exposure or sick building syndrome. Physical symptoms include eye, nose, and throat irritation; respiratory issues; skin irritation, and even nausea, dizziness, and fatigue. Alert your manager or HR department to what employees are complaining about so it can be resolved.
Can Mold at Work Affect My Health?
Mold exposure can worsen allergy symptoms and can cause irritation in the nose, throat, or mouth. You may also experience sneezing, runny nose, and red, watery eyes. This fungus can inflame asthma-related symptoms like coughing and wheezing. If you already have asthma, it can worsen the condition.
Should I Report Mold Growth To My Employer?
Yes, as soon as you notice mold in your workplace, you should notify the owner or manager. Let them know exactly where you spotted mold or smelled moldy air. It’s best to be proactive in these situations as mold can affect the health of the employees and damage the interior or structure of the building.
Can I Clean Up the Office Mold Myself?
You can wipe down the moldy surfaces but that will not resolve the cause of the mold. The cause needs to be identified and the mold needs to be safely removed and repaired by a professional mold remediation company. Prior to contacting a mold company, you can take a look around for problems such as leaky pipes, ceilings, windows or doors.
The building may have excessive humidity and condensation if the building was built incorrectly or the air-conditioning isn’t working the way it should. Bathrooms, break rooms, and anywhere else there is plumbing should be checked. No matter where you find wet areas or damp materials, they should be addressed as soon as possible.
Hire a Professional Mold Removal & Remediation Company
As an employee, it’s important to let the supervisors know that there is mold in the workplace and it can become a serious health issue for employees. Currently, the EPA and OSHA do not have rules about workplace mold but there are many studies available online to show the health risks of mold.
As a business owner, hiring an experienced and reliable mold company to properly remove and restore the moldy, wet areas is crucial. Choosing to use experts to clean up the mold damage will improve the environment your employees spend their day in and minimize risks to their health. If this issue falls under the responsibility of the landlord, it’s important that you insist on professional restoration, not DIY mold cleaning.