How To Respond To Mold In Your School

Posted on: 15 June 2015

Mold abatement is especially important in schools because children are highly vulnerable to the harmful effects of mold. Damp and moldy buildings are triggers for asthma attacks. Children will need to be checked for the symptoms of mold more often than adults to protect them. But, more importantly, the mold problem must be dealt with itself.

Dry Moisture Quickly

When building materials and furnishings have become moist, you will need to dry them as quickly as possible in order to limit the growth of mold. Use portable fans so you can remove as much moisture from the wet area as possible. Pull up wall-to-wall carpeting to expose the underside so that the circulating air can eliminate the moisture.

Don't Use a Heater to Remove Moisture

A common mistake is to close up the room and use a heater with the hope that this will help the moisture evaporate. Another common mistake is to simply paint over mold so that it is not visible. It is not only the appearance of the mold that is problematic but also the health effects it can have and the fact that the mold continues to spread. Therefore, painting over the mold accomplishes nothing.

Remove Materials Exposed to Moisture

You will likely need to remove materials that have been exposed to excessive moisture. This includes wall-to-wall carpeting, furniture, books and any other porous materials that can become saturated with water or infested with mold spores.

Prevent Mold from Returning

After you have eliminated the mold problem in your school, you will need to figure out how to prevent this problem from occurring in the future. This will require that you create a system in which water leaks can be identified and rapidly corrected. The mechanically ventilated rooms need to be run on continual ventilation rather than ventilating only on-demand.

The landscape sprinklers should be placed in locations where they do not hit the school building. If the school uses portable classrooms, these should not be placed in locations where water collects. If the school uses carpets in front of doorways, these areas should be covered with waterproof mats that prevent the carpet from getting wet.

Communicate with the Parents

When water, mold or a leak is detected, be sure to be honest with parents about the problem. Make sure that the community is informed about the steps that are being taken to correct the mold problem. This information is best disseminated through the school website, since many parents will check for such information there. If classes need to be suspended to make time for serious mold remediation, parents will need to be informed well in advance so they can arrange for childcare if necessary.