October 7, 2015

In the midst of wet weather, make sure you’re checking your property for mold.

Mold isn’t just an issue for homeowners during inclement weather; it can affect retail locations as well. And the potential health hazards of mold — such as asthma, allergic reactions and other respiratory issues — can impact a greater number of people at home-improvement stores than in homes.

Keep employees and customers safe by checking your store for mold and getting rid of any growth. Be sure to check every surface, as mold can grow on virtually any material.

Follow these tips from SMI, a store maintenance company, in the event of an issue:

1. Remove any affected porous materials.

Once you’ve discovered mold in your store, get rid of any infected porous building items and place them in a garbage bag for disposal. This includes insulation, drywall, carpet, cement board, plaster, ceiling tiles and paper products.

2. Disinfect affected nonporous items.

Glass, hard plastic, concrete, metal and solid wood can be scrubbed with detergent solutions to remove the mold. Application of a disinfectant can catch any mold that may have been missed. Make sure anyone cleaning uses proper protective gear.

3. Circulate clean air.

Air conditioners, dehumidifiers and industrial fans can help rid the store of stale air and moisture, which can allow mold to fester. Air scrubbers may be needed for more serious cases to filter out contaminants.

The Environmental Protection Agency recommends the following preventive practices to help decrease opportunities for mold growth:

  1. Clean and dry off any damp or wet materials within 24 to 48 hours.
  2. Add insulation to prevent condensation on cold surfaces.
  3. Reduce indoor air humidity to 30 to 60 percent by using air conditioners, dehumidifiers, bathroom vents and exhaust fans.
  4. Watch for and fix any water problems at the source.

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