How to Recognize Mold Growth


There are various factors that can contribute to the growth of mold in commercial facilities, but most of the time, the main contributor to this dilemma is HVAC systems. Many HVAC equipment, such as piping and drain pans, can be responsible for mold growth and also act as a way for dispersing mold spores throughout the entire building.

Engineering and Maintenance Managers who know and understand the methods of preventing mold growth in HVAC systems can develop methods to easily prevent this problem.

Recognizing the Situation
Mold requires water, a food source, and the right temperature range to grow, and most of the time, they become a problem when they become visible and magnified in some parts of the establishment. Indoor environments have a lot of food sources that include carpeting, drywall, fabrics, paper, wood and building furnishings. Also, indoor environments are created to maintain relative temperatures that are favorable for mold growth.

Trying to get rid of the mold by using biocides, cleaners, and fungicides may kill the mold but it will not completely end the problem. When non-viable mold spores in indoor environments were left, especially in the HVAC system, it can affect indoor air quality (IAQ). This is one reason why building owners or managers must come up with precautionary plans to avoid mold growth in their HVAC equipment.

Lack of Federal Regulations
There are no federal regulations that address mold remediation, but there are efforts to create federal mold regulations and some states are now in the process of enacting a legislation that manages the licensing of mold remediation professionals. Texas and Florida are the two states that presently implement mold regulations.

Because of not having mandated rules, some associations and agencies have released guidelines on how to prevent, look into, and repair mold indoors.

Professional Assistance

Understanding proper design, maintenance, and operation of HVAC equipment are essential for improving IAQ. In order to achieve this goal, managers can create plans to avoid and target mold growth related to their systems. Some factors that worsen mold growth in a system include poor maintenance of the system, improper installation, decreased system performance, and filter inefficiency.

Managers should also contact trained and expert professionals to handle or help them prevent mold grown in their establishments. They must see to it that the professionals that they will hire not only have the knowledge and skills to do the job but also have the correct behavior to handle such complicated tasks.