Mold Problems in Air Conditioning,
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For mold inspection, mold remediation, and mold prevention for your real estate property anywhere in the world, please contact mold consultants Phillip Fry and Divine Montero by email or by phone 480-217-7173 USA Industrial Hygienist Training   Industrial Hygienist Directory  Mold Inspector Training Mold Inspector Directory
OSHA-Recommended Steps To Prevent Mold in Workplace Air Conditioning

Preventive Maintenance: Preventing mold growth in occupied areas

The key to mold prevention is moisture control.  The most important initial step in prevention is a visual inspection.  Regular checks of the building envelope and drainage systems should be made to assure that they are in working order. Identify and, to the extent possible, eliminate sources of dampness, high humidity, and moisture to prevent mold growth.  

Wet or damp spots and wet, non-moldy materials should be cleaned and dried as soon as possible (preferably within 24 to 48 hours of discovery). Moisture due to condensation may be prevented by increasing the surface temperature of the material where condensation is occurring, or by reducing the moisture level in the air (humidity).

To increase the material's surface temperature, insulate it from thecolder area or increase air circulation of warmer air.  To reduce the moisture level in the air, repair leaks, increase ventilation (if outside air is cold and dry) or dehumidify (if outside air is warm and humid).  Indoor relative humidity should be maintained below70% (25-60%, if possible)

All buildings should be checked routinely for water leaks, problem seals around doors and windows, and visible mold in moist or damp parts of the building. Any conditions that could be causes of mold growth should be corrected to prevent future mold problems.

Other prevention tips include venting moisture-generating appliances, such as dryers, to the outside where possible; venting kitchens (cooking areas) and bathrooms according to local code requirements; providing adequate drainage around  buildings and sloping the ground away from the building foundations; and pinpointing areas where leaks have occurred, identifying the causes, and taking preventive action to ensure that they do not reoccur.

Preventing mold and bacterial growth in the building's ventilation system

Ventilation systems should be checked regularly, particularly for damp filters and overall cleanliness. A preventive maintenance plan should be put into place for each major component of the building's ventilation system. Contact your equipment supplier or manufacturer for recommended maintenance schedules and operations and maintenance manuals. Air conditioning and ventilation components that are exposed to water such as drainage pans, coils, cooling towers, and humidifiers, require scrupulous maintenance to prevent microbial growth and the entry of undesired microorganisms or chemicals into the indoor air stream.

Cleaning the building's air ducts

Air duct cleaning generally refers to the cleaning of all of the various heating and cooling system components of forced air heating and cooling systems including the ducts, but not limited to the ducts. The components of these heating and cooling systems may become contaminated with mold if moisture is present within the system, resulting in the potential release of mold spores throughout the building.

Failure to clean a component of a contaminated system can result in re-contamination    of the entire system. Water-damaged or contaminated porous materials in the ductwork or other air handling system components should be removed and replaced . Ventilation system filters should be checked regularly to ensure that they are seated properly. Filters should be replaced on a routine schedule.

Source: U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration, in its pub
lication No.  OSHA  3304-04N2006Preventing Mold-Related Problems inthe Indoor WorkplaceA Guide for Building Owners, Managers and Occupants

For mold inspection, mold remediation, and mold prevention for your real estate property anywhere in the world, please contact mold consultants Phillip Fry and Divine Montero by email or by phone toll-free 1-866-300-1616 or 1-810-639-0523 or cell phone 1-480-310-7970.         Website updated August Nov. 23, 2015, by mold expert Phillip Fry