Most of us spend at least 40 hours per week at work. If you find yourself experiencing cold-like symptoms such as watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, headaches, or worsened allergies while there, it may be due to an undetected mold problem in the workplace.
Find out what you can do to combat mold at work.
Identify Frequency of Symptoms
While there is no way to completely avoid mold at home, outdoors or at work, you need to identify patterns and the times your symptoms peak.
If you notice that your cold or allergy-like symptoms go away on weekends or other days you’re away from work, you’ll be closer to identifying the problem.
Ask co-workers if they are also experiencing an increase in allergy-like symptoms while at work.
Also note if there are certain areas of the building where more people are experiencing symptoms than in other areas of the building.
Look for Signs of Mold
There are a couple of obvious signs of mold.
The first is a musty smell. If you notice musty smells in the workplace, mold is lurking around somewhere.
The second sign is visible mold growth on vents, walls or ceiling tiles. Mold comes in various colors ranging from black to brown to green among others. If you notice what looks like black dirt on a vent or wall, it’s very possible that it’s active, growing mold.
If you notice water stains on the ceiling tiles, it’s very possible there is active mold growing on the other side…the one you can’t see.
Since mold thrives in damp, dark places, condensation inside the HVAC system is an excellent place for airborne mold spores to land and grow into active mold.
If there’s been flooding or heavy rains and water has seeped into the basement of your building, it’s easy for airborne spores to get sucked up into the ventilation and spread throughout the entire HVAC system.
Unfortunately, mold can also grow in places you cannot see like under kitchen or bathroom cabinets if there’s an undetected leak.
Mold also thrives and destroys drywall and wood found behind finished walls making it very hard to detect.
Report Your Symptoms
If you see obvious signs of mold, it’s important to report your findings to your supervisor or maintenance.
From there, maintenance should either clean the mold and disinfect the area if it’s under 10 square feet.
For larger areas or the source of the mold is unknown, it’s time to call in a professional mold remediation company to complete a thorough inspection.
While mold affects people differently, active mold in the workplace is not safe for anyone and will only get worse if not properly removed.
To detect, eliminate and prevent mold in the workplace or other commercial buildings, call the professionals at RCS.