How to Effectively Deal with Mold in the Office

Chair Molds

Molds can develop anywhere. But, it’s a sad day when mold starts showing up in the commercial kitchen of the restaurant that you operate, or in the comfort room or storage area in your workplace.

The risk of mold growth is possible almost everywhere, just as there is the presence of moisture, water or oxygen. Add in an organic material like wood or paper to the equation and molds can develop as fast as 24 to 48 hours, reproducing as microscopic spores.

Unfortunately, it’s not until 18 to 21 days before these fungi become visible to the naked eye. By that time, the spores have already colonized a large area of your space. 

Why you should be concerned with molds

The thing about molds is that they spread way too fast than you can anticipate. Once a mold starts to gain a firm footing on any area of your commercial kitchen or office building, it can immediately penetrate the air with thousands of spores spreading like wildfire. What’s worse is that other areas of the building or space can be affected in just a span of an hour. Now, imagine how much surface area it can affect after two weeks. 

Mold spores, while typically not a problem on their own, can become a serious cause for concern when they land on a damp spot and start growing. They eat on typically anything that they can latch on, from wood, paper, carpet, and food. Sometimes, these molds even partake on the dust and dirt that gather up on other areas of the building. 

When these molds are left to their own devices, they can cause epic damage to your building materials, furnishings, and other decors. After a certain period, such damage can affect the structure of the building, rendering it weak. When this happens, wooden floors and walls can become a safety hazard to the tenants. Replacement of these structures is the only solution.

Furthermore, apart from safety risks, molds in the workplace can also jeopardize the health of the people inside the building. The existence of molds at work can become a cause for respiratory illnesses like asthma attacks, and skin and mucous infections. 

Symptoms of molds in the workplace may include allergic reactions, and runny nose, and red eyes which are conclusive of hay fever types.

With prolonged exposure to molds, tenants can develop more adverse health concerns.

How to prevent molds


Moisture control is at the heart of mold prevention. Any leak or spills should be acted on immediately, since molds can develop in as fast as 24 hours.

The mold prevention process includes: 

  • Getting leaks and leaking pipes repaired as quickly as possible. Plumbing fixtures must be checked regularly to prevent leaking. 
  • Locating wet spots and other moisture sources and inspecting them to ensure that no condensation takes place
  • Increasing surface temperature or bringing down the moisture levels. 

Temperature plays a role in preventing moisture. You can increase air circulation to bring up the surface temperature. Similarly, you can reduce moisture levels by increasing ventilation or dehumidifying. Indoor humidity should be around 25% to 60%. 

  • Making sure that your HVAC pans are clean and have proper flow
  • Fixing poor insulation setup so moisture does not seep inside the space
  • Ensuring that there is enough and proper drainage in the building circumference, in line with the city’s urban planning regulations
  • Providing vent areas for the kitchen space, bathrooms, as well as moisture-producing appliances
  • Setting up a regular inspection and maintenance routine

Furthermore, simple cleaning activities like having to descale the office kettle as well as keeping food properly stored in the refrigerator can significantly help in preventing mold growth in the workplace or in the commercial space.

How to de-escalate mold problems

Now, if mold presence has already taken place and prevention is no longer an option, this is how you can effectively deal with the mold growth. 

  • Bring in the professionals.

One way to tell if there is mold in the workplace is when tenants start getting runny noses and red eyes unexpectedly and simultaneously for no clear reason.

Once you start having a hunch about mold development in the building, it is best to talk to the experts and have them locate the root of the problem. Dealing with a mold problem is vital and requires a rigorous cleaning process to ensure that it will not reoccur. Make sure that you seek the assistance of a professional cleaning services company to do the cleanup so that everything is taken care of appropriately.

In choosing a professional cleaning company, make sure to consider their experience in handling mold remediation. 

  • Create a remediation plan.

Along with the cleanup process, it is important to work with a remediation plan so that mold growth will not take place again. The remediation plan touches bases on identifying the circumstances and conditions that cause mold growth and correcting these circumstances to come up with an effective solution.

In crafting a remediation plan, the top priority is delegated to the health and safety of the building tenants and the remediators themselves. The remediators must minimize or avoid exposure to mold as much as possible. Use of personal protective equipment (PPE) must be imposed at all times, during the remediation process.

Extreme caution must also be exercised in handling the moldy materials. Remediators must be careful not to disperse the spores in the air that people can inhale.

If a significant portion of the space or building has been contaminated by mold, options for relocation must be considered by the administration.

If some tenants are experiencing health issues, consulting with a medical expert must be done. 

Mold problems are indeed a serious concern for everyone. Being proactive about dealing with this situation is highly required. Turning a blind eye to this concern just because it still hasn’t happened may be the worst thing you can do. With mold problems, preventing it as much as possible will save you a ton of time, effort, and money.