What is mold?

Mold is made up of microscopic fungi that are part of the natural cycle of organic matter decomposition. Individually, they are invisible to the naked eye, but they generally form large colonies that have a particular appearance and smell. For example, on walls, mold colonies usually look like blackish streaks or rings that give off a distinctive earthy smell. 

Mold thrives in conditions that promote spore growth:

  • High humidity
  • Presence of nutrients (organic matter)
  • An ambient temperature between 10 and 40 °C

The health risks of mold

When mold only covers a small area and is dealt with quickly, it is not really considered a hazardous material. However, when mold is widespread in a building, it releases spores into the air. Breathing in these particles can cause a variety of symptoms and health problems:

  • Irritation of the eyes, nose, throat and respiratory tract
  • Runny nose, congestion
  • Difficulty breathing (e.g., wheezing)
  • Cough
  • Increase in frequency and severity of asthma attacks
  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Headaches

Note that the adverse effects of mold exposure vary from person to person. Everyone reacts differently depending on their level of exposure and their general health.

People who suffer from allergies, asthma or chronic respiratory diseases are more likely to experience health problems as a result of exposure to mold. Mold is also more likely to affect young children, the elderly and immunocompromised individuals.

How does decontamination counteract mold growth?

Now that you are aware of the health risks of mold, you may be wondering how to get rid of it or prevent it from appearing in the first place.

The answer is that most companies have their facilities rigorously maintained by an industrial cleaning or decontamination service. 

Mold removal

When traces of mold begin to appear on surfaces, it’s important to act quickly to prevent the problem from worsening enough to cause health problems. There are a variety of decontamination techniques that can be used.

Companies who specialize in mold decontamination will be able to suggest options for decontaminating the affected areas based on the severity, extent and type of mold in question. 

Building components that are too moldy to be cleaned (especially those made with porous materials such as insulation, drywall and ceiling tiles) must be removed and replaced with new ones. Moldy material must be handled and disposed of similarly to asbestos waste in order to limit the number of harmful particles released into the air. 

Mold prevention

Of course, the best way to avoid the dangers of mold is to prevent it from appearing in the first place.

The first step for companies is to ensure that their facilities do not provide an environment conducive to mold growth.Buildings must be adequately ventilated in order to reduce humidity levels. This is particularly important for sites where food is cooked or tanks or vats are located.

Companies should also get an industrial cleaning service to clean up leaks and spills in the event of an emergency. This will greatly reduce the risk of materials remaining soaked in liquid and getting moldy. For the same reasons, any crack causing water infiltration should be sealed as soon as it is detected.

Finally, it’s important to make sure that no organic waste or residue remains on the equipment or in hard-to-reach areas. Industrial cleaning operators have the training and equipment needed to ensure that every inch of the building is sanitized. 

Keep your workplace clean with EBI Enviro Urgence

No company is entirely safe from the dangers of mold. Rely on our team to provide your employees with a clean and healthy work environment! 

At EBI Enviro Urgence, we offer customized maintenance programs for industrial and commercial facilities. With our specialized training and equipment, we can reduce or eliminate the risk of all kinds of contamination.

Contact us to find out more about our services.