Ask The Experts: How To Stop Mold In Its Tracks!
Mold spores can spread throughout a structure in several ways. An HVAC system may distribute spores or occupants that may physically transmit spores from a contaminated area to parts of a building that are not yet contaminated. There are several ways to limit the spread of spores before and during mold cleanup at a building.
It may be possible to limit the spread of spores by shutting off the HVAC system. A building owner or manager should consider several factors:
- Where the mold is growing
- The effects of turning off the system
- When mold cleanup will take place
Mold may be growing within the HVAC system, or ventilation may spread spores from contaminated areas to areas that are not yet contaminated. If a mold problem has developed during the warmer months, turning off air conditioning can actually intensify the problem by increasing heat and moisture levels. An indoor environmental specialist or remediation expert can recommend effective mitigation measures.
Mold spores can also spread through openings in a structure. These openings range in size and function:
- Air supplies
- Pipe chases
Building owners and managers can try to cover these openings and restrict access to contaminated areas prior to remediation. It is important to seal off the contaminated portion of a structure and limit airflow and movement between this area and the rest of a structure.
Mold remediation services use two types of containment for moderate or more severe contamination. Limited containment calls for a single layer of polyethylene sheeting. Full containment involves double layers of sheeting, an airlock, and a decontamination chamber.
A building owner or manager can turn off an HVAC system and cover openings to limit mold contamination. Remediation specialists may rely on containment to stop mold from spreading during mold cleanup.