When something in the break room refrigerator sprouts a fuzzy growth, it gets tossed in the trash so that it doesn’t make anyone sick ill. However, mold growing under bathroom sinks, inside walls and inside air ducts can have a very negative impact on everyone’s health in the workplace.
If you’re a building manager, are you responsible for the effects of toxic mold on tenants? If you own your business and rent your offices, can you sue your landlord for mold-related illness?
These hard questions are settled in and out of courts across the country every year. As a building manager or business owner, you need to understand your options and know when to call in professional mold remediation services.
7 Actionable Strategies for Dealing With Mold in the Workplace
You don’t ever want to hear a tenant or employee ask, “Is mold in the office making me sick?” Airborne spores can bring on sneezing fits, irritate eyes and throats and even lead to serious illness. These seven strategies can help minimize the risks of a dangerous mold outbreak in your building.
1. Stay on the Lookout
Routinely inspect places that tend to stay damp around bathroom plumbing, break room sinks and water fountains. Mold in the workplace can hide behind walls and inside crawl spaces, so investigate any areas that develop a musty smell.
2. Get Employees and Tenants Involved
Stay in front of problems before someone asks,”Is black mold at work making me sick?” If you’re the building manager, talk to your tenants, and share mold-detection strategies. If you run the office, get employees involved. Empower them to help keep the workplace safe and healthy.
3. Identify the Source
When you find mold growing under a sink or you suspect it’s taking hold behind a wall, quickly determine the source of moisture. Most leaks are easy to fix, but don’t take on a repair unless you’re sure you can handle it. Calling in a professional plumber can save time and money.
4. Be Careful With DIY Cleaning
You can clean up small mold outbreaks with careful DIY techniques, but always make sure you protect yourself. Exposure to mold at work becomes even more of a problem when you’re handling contaminated materials. Don’t ever try to clean up mold yourself if:
• Mold-covered materials are porous and hard to clean.
• Affected areas are larger than 3 square feet.
• You or anyone in the office has allergies or respiratory problems, which can be exacerbated by mold.
5. Consult With the Building Owner
Serious mold outbreaks have to be taken care of by a certified cleaning and restoration contractor. Talk with your building’s owner, and explain the need for bringing in professionals. You want to protect employee health and avoid expensive litigation or workers’ compensation claims.
6. Keep Everyone In the Loop
Let your employees or building tenants know about plans for mold removal. Everyone is always more comfortable when they know what to expect, so give them an overview of the process. If an employee asks for time off because of the cleanup, err on the side of caution, and schedule around him or her.
7. Call in Certified Mold Removal Specialists
Contact a Chicago cleaning and restoration company that offers mold testing, removal and remediation. A reputable contractor performs an on-site assessment and explains in detail what needs to be done. By leaving the work to trained technicians, you know your mold problem is solved safely and effectively by industry certified specialists.
Take Care of Employees and Tenants
While litigation over an unhealthy work environment can be a concern, addressing mold problems pays off in reduced employee sick days and better office morale. It demonstrates your sincere concern about workplace health.
Follow simple mold-prevention practices, respond quickly to water damage problems, and know when to call in certified mold removal specialists. Whether you’re hiring new employees or leasing to new tenants, a healthy building is one of your biggest business assets.
Keep Your Workplace Safe
Everyone wants to work in a safe environment. We want to do all we can to help you keep your workplace healthy. Let us know how we’re doing through our Comments Section. We value your input and appreciate your suggestions.
If you have any questions about mold removal in commercial buildings, give us a call. We provide certified mold remediation for Chicago properties of all types, and we cover the suburbs too. You can trust ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba to help you take the best possible care of your workplace.