Mold prevention has garnered a lot of attention recently from facility managers and property owners alike, and with good reason. Mold can spread rapidly and become a serious facility health issue when left unchecked. In addition to using commercial floor mats to control moisture, readers are invited to use this guide to prevent mold and ensure a safe and healthy work environment.
Health Risks of Mold. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are 4 common types of mold that may cause health problems when breathed regularly indoors: Cladosporium, Penicillium, Alternaria, and Aspergillus. The risks of these molds differ by individual.
For some, molds may cause only minor reactions like nasal stuffiness and skin irritation. Others are not so lucky. Some individuals have mold allergy and are prone to serious reactions. Individuals with chronic lung disease may also develop mold infections in their lungs.
Recommended Reading: Visit the CDC online to read Basic Facts About Mold.
How to Prevent Mold
Commercial facilities cannot entirely prevent the formation of mold. However, certain steps can be taken to prevent mold from becoming a serious facility health issue. Mold prevention is an ongoing endeavor that must be addressed by facility managers. Along with adhering to the following tips, it is recommended that managers empower cleaning and maintenance staffs to monitor and clean for mold regularly. This guide may be used as a starting point:
- List specific areas that are prone to mold.
- Stay proactive and vigilant in keeping high risk areas dry.
- Keep the entire facility well ventilated. Take measures to ensure high risk areas receive extra air flow/ circulation, if possible.
- Invest in commercial matting to keep floors clean and dry (see Commercial Matting and Mold Prevention below).
Commercial Matting and Mold Prevention
In addition to monitoring humidity and ventilation, management must also take measures to prevent moisture from entering and circulating throughout the facility. This begins with forward-thinking arrangements of commercial floor mats, carpet tiles, and recessed grill systems. With a bit of research and planning, the following products can be used in conjunction with one another to provide optimal moisture control and mold prevention.
Starting from the outside and working inward, the most effective commercial matting and flooring products include:
Exterior areas: Rubber scraper mats provide exceptional debris and moisture control. These weatherproof mats feature a unique surface texture (deep nubs or prongs) that “squeegee” debris and moisture from shoes. Placing these mats outside the entryway can significantly reduce the amount of moisture that progresses through the vestibule and into the lobby.
Vestibules and indoor lobby areas: Next, recessed mats, carpet tiles, or grills are available to provide coverage from end-to-end of the vestibule. Facilities that do not have a vestibule may claim the same benefits from recessed mats, carpets, and grills. In general, the length of the matting system should extend far enough to accommodate at least 4 full steps to provide enough time for the under soles of the shoes to be thoroughly wiped. Additional length is preferred for high traffic areas.
Restrooms: Inside the facility, restrooms are high-risk areas for mold because they are prone to water accumulation on floors, around sinks, and along the baseboard. Sink and bath mats are available to control water in these areas.
Locker rooms: Not all facilities have locker rooms, but those that do must stay proactive in preventing mold formation in changing areas, restroom stalls, saunas, and other areas where mold might form. Rubber runner mats are exceptional products for mold prevention, and they are available with perforated drainage holes to effectively channel water below the walking surface.
Kitchens: Like restrooms, kitchens are high-risk areas for mold formation because floors are prone to liquid spills and water accumulation. Anti-fatigue rubber mats and runners are best for mold prevention in kitchens, and some models feature antimicrobial surface treatments to meet extra sanitation requirements.
Mold Prevention Consultation
For more than 30 years, Eagle Mat and Floor Products has helped national businesses meet health and safety needs with expert product consultation and custom commercial matting installations. To learn more about the products available to prevent mold in your facility, contact Eagle Mat Client Services at 877-333-1018.
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