It may be fortunate that so many students are staying at home this year because many schools around the nation are old. They have aged infrastructure that lacks proper ventilation or becomes more susceptible to water damage each year. Many of these schools don’t have air conditioning either. Basically, you have a stagnant, damp, warm area in many school buildings. This makes the mold risk heightened in old schools.
The reason these schools continue to exist despite known mold problems is that there is no money available for an alternative. Many schools rely on bonds, and their amounts make voters shy away from needed improvements. Many schools are in such dire condition that they need replaced, but that doesn’t mean people have to suffer the ill effects of mold. It should not be accepted as fate.
In Connecticut, a Stamford school has seen both teachers and students suffer respiratory issues due to mold. According to the teacher’s union, many schools throughout the area report respiratory issues caused by environmental problems like mold at their schools. Since nothing has been done, teachers have unsuccessfully resorted to air purifiers, but this doesn’t correct the problem.
The EPA has clear guidelines about mold removal in schools and other commercial buildings. They admit that total mold prevention is impossible due to mold’s presence in so many places, and they focus on moisture removal as the best course of practice for mold prevention.
Some old buildings may trap moisture because of cracks in foundations or leaky roofs. In other buildings, the walls are sealed tightly but there isn’t adequate ventilation.
Preventing mold means preventing moisture. This means good building maintenance practices and fixing things such as water leaks as soon as possible. It also means removing any moisture after a leak has occurred. In some cases, dehumidifiers may be warranted. Mold has trouble growing when humidity is below 60%, and humidifiers should be set to 50% to ensure it cannot grow.
The problem with mold is that its spores are invisible, and they travel through the air. Therefore, if someone sees a mold infestation, it is likely much larger than it appears. If a school does have duct-work, it can easily spread through the air system. That is why it is so important to call professional mold removal specialists. These specialists understand how to remove mold completely, and more importantly, safely.
It is unfortunate that so many people must send their children to antiquated buildings that lack proper maintenance and mold control strategies. This is a very important issue that could result in serious outcomes.