As per the statistics by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), one in five Americans visit a school each day for one reason or the other and the majority are children. The triggers of asthma in children are many including dander from animals and pests.
Mold growth, however, has been highlighted as the one major cause that’s easy to overlook and devastating at the same time when it comes to triggering asthma concerns in children.
Considering the fact that children spend 90% of their time indoors which constitutes house and school, it is important to look at mold growth regulation in both these areas when considering your child’s health.
While parents can take all the precautions for mold growth regulations at home, at schools their children might be still exposed. As a licensed mold remediation company, there are some guidelines that we stick to when it comes to removing mold from educational institutions.
Initial and regular inspections
The initial inspection is where we look for the signs of mold growth and moisture and leaks. The evaluation outlines the following:
- Size of mold problem
- The type of mold under consideration
- The list of mold-infested materials
- The trigger for mold growth (water or moisture problem)
The initial inspection also gives way to the following decisions:
- Mold remediation plan
- Personal Protective Equipment selection
- Containment equipment selection
- Remediation team selection
- Containment zone designation
Once committed regular inspections and consistent intervals are carried out and the plan is re-evaluated if hidden mold is found.
Water damaged material and actions
We maintain a checklist of the potential properties used in schools and classrooms and corresponding actions in cases these properties are mold-infested or waterlogged.
Books and paper: We prefer discarding water-damaged books and paper. Any important documents are photocopied and the originals are discarded. For recovering critical documents, we employ freeze-drying techniques.
Carpets & upholstered furniture: We prioritize these properties and strive to dry them within 24-48 hours. Water is extracted using a powerful extraction vacuum and the humidity levels are regulated using dehumidifiers.
Porous and nonporous hard surfaces: both porous and nonporous hard flooring including ceramic tiles, plastic, and metal surfaces are vacuumed and cleaned with a solution of mild detergent before allowing drying.
Wallboard: wallboard surfaces, especially the common drywall and gypsum board are inspected for the level of contamination. These properties are dried for reuse after concerns like swelling or bubbling have been ruled post-inspection. Any materials that seem to be too damaged to be recovered are replaced.
Wood surfaces: a combination of dehumidifiers, gentle heat, and industry-grade fans are used for immediate drying. Finished wood surfaces may be cleaned using a solution of clean water and mild detergent before allowed to dry.
Window drapes: immediate desensitizing by laundering as per standard instructions
On most occasions we remove, discard, and replace the following properties in school that are waterlogged and vulnerable to mold damage:
- Ceiling tiles
- Cellulose insulation
- Fiberglass insulation
We make changes to the mold remediation plan based on the type of water damage including clean water, greywater, and black water damage. The PPE and any electronic equipment used also vary with respect to the above. For instance, we do not use fan prior to finalizing the type of water damage that we are dealing with.
Mold remediation in schools is something that needs to be considered seriously. It is recommended to foresee all the possibilities and take all the precautions well in advance.