Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.

Mold, which is part of the fungus family, thrives in warm environments and does not need sunlight to survive. If enough moisture or water builds up indoors, mold will no doubt grow. Discovering that you have an infestation at your business can be daunting. Mold is a potential health risk to employees and it needs to be removed asap. It can cause asthma attacks in your staff members. What is worse, mold can irritate the eyes, skin, and nose. Employees, as well as business owners, can fall victims. It is not a good idea to underestimate the health threat arising from prolonged exposure to mold.

Employees can sue for mold-related health issues

Not only can mold exposure make team members sick but also it can cause them to lose productivity. People start to experience fatigue, headaches, weakness, and chronic sinus congestion. It takes some time before they realize that there is a connection between their worsening symptoms and the workplace. What happens when someone becomes sick due to toxic mold exposure is that they can pursue legal action. In other words, they can sue for toxic mold exposure. If an employee suffers considerable impairment due to mold, they can get a lawyer and sue you for damages.

Numerous lawsuits are brought against business owners. Most of them are settled before trial to avoid a jury verdict. Settlements consume a great deal of money. The costs involved are related to medical experts and lab testing. If you want to avoid an employee lawsuit, you must protect your business from mold. This is done by using high-quality materials, installing tight seals around the windows and doors, and preventing water leaks which can cause mold growth. If you are proactive with your legal compliance, you do not have to worry about issues of this kind.

Best ways to handle mold at the workplace

Mold can be present in any building. Many property owners fall victims to mold, whether it is in the US or Canada. Canada, in particular, has not been immune to the fungus. The issue is that certain species of fungus can be dangerous, especially when they are found in large concentrations. Black mold is just an example. It releases mycotoxins which endanger human health. In severe cases, black mold can cause cancer. If there are any problems, you have to take measures right away. This is what you can do to protect your staff members from the mold.

Clean up contaminated areas

Sensitive individuals cannot be in areas where there is mold, as the spores immediately affect them. It is imperative to clean up the contaminated areas right away. At home, you would normally use bleach, vinegar, or Borax. Unfortunately, you cannot use these solutions on your commercial property because they will be ineffective. It is necessary to use chemicals in remediation. If the areas of contamination are more than 30 square feet, it is best to call in the professionals. When it comes down to indoor mold infestation, you cannot take things into your own hands.

If your company is located in the heart of Toronto, you are in luck because the supply of services grows higher than the demand. Experts in mold removal in Toronto will clean up the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. They are the only ones who can fix the problem. The entire mold will be removed from the building, so the spores will not migrate to areas that were not previously affected. Most importantly, mold removal experts are able to identify the source of the problem. Once this happens, recurrence is unlikely to happen.

Keep an eye on humidity levels

According to experts, mold tends to grow when it is hot and humid. So, if the humidity of the indoor area reaches 60%, you have reason to be concerned. Test the humidity levels of the commercial property with the help of a hygrometer. As mentioned earlier, too much humidity can cause many problems. Besides using a hygrometer, it is recommended to have someone check the windows, mirrors, and vertical glass surfaces to see if there is moisture build-up. If you happen to notice stains on the walls, you have a problem.

Think about purchasing some monitors. They will clearly indicate the amount of moisture present in the air and tell you if something is wrong. The installation process is smooth and the monitors do not require maintenance. A solution of this kind is made up of a base and wireless sensor that monitors the parameters. No matter the business site, the minimum temperature is 68 Fahrenheit and the maximum is 76 Fahrenheit. As far as the acceptable indoor humidity is concerned, it should be between 20 and 60%.

Give employee complaints the attention they deserve

Have people come up to you to complain about mold? Chances are that they have. Do not dismiss their reproaches because they are completely justified. When a staff member makes an official complaint, you must perform a walkthrough, get information about the building’s history, establish which areas could be troublesome, inform employees about what you are doing, and create an incident log. It is not a good idea to ignore the signals.

Prevent mold and bacterial growth in occupied areas

Prevention is important, to say the least. Make sure to regularly check the building and drainage systems. A preventative maintenance plan needs to be put in place, just in case. Know everything there is to know about the recommended maintenance schedules and operations. Repair leaky pipes and check out gutters and downspouts. It is also important to ensure that the commercial property is not full of dust and dirt.

The bottom line is that mold can easily transform into your worst enemy. Do everything possible to protect your company and your employees from this nasty fungus. The best possible thing you can do in an emergency situation is to call a professional. They will know what to do.