Mold isn’t something new. It is something people have had to deal with for hundreds of years and as our technology increases, unfortunately so does the amount of mold. Mold in the workplace is something that is increasing.
Many residents and business owners are under the impression that our generally dry climate here means we don’t actually have much issue with mold, when in fact, reports have found that in Colorado, insurance claims for mold has increased more than 80% in recent years!
Insurance companies across the United States are seeing an increase in particular of toxic mold claims, predominantly against real estate agencies who are selling properties infested with mold, builders and developers and homeowner associations.
The major claims: water damage, construction defects and maintenance issues.
The Energy Efficient Building Association has released information that claims many modern problems with mold are associated with energy efficiency: thermal insulation, heating and cooling systems, and tighter building enclosures and new materials.
This is why builders in particular are being hit with insurance claims for mold: the use of expansive soils when constructing homes or offices, which then leads the building to shift, causing structural damage which provides a great home for mold.
The solution many builders have made is to instead use a wooden subfloor; however this still doesn’t stop the mold as the space under these doesn’t always have great ventilation – another haven for mold to grow.
One of the ways Colorado is combating mold is to ensure HVAC contractors and construction managers are well educated on how to manage it. Even insurance companies are insisting the property is inspected properly before insurance is applied. But these new changes don’t stop it from growing in older buildings. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
The biggest problem you face with mold in the workplace is illness. Mold is a carrier of numerous allergens and it can cause symptoms including eye irritation, sneezing, wheezing and rashes. And that’s just the minor symptoms. If you are finding that your team members are taking more sick days off work than ever before, or you are listening to a chorus of sneezes all day long, it is probably time for you to check your property for mold. The last thing you want is for them to get really ill and file a lawsuit against you for not taking proper care.
If you want to keep mold out of your business, ensure you have highly trained professionals construct the building, and install any HVAC systems or other insulation. Never install carpets in the bathrooms or in the basement and if you find a water leak of any kind, get it fixed right away.
The most important thing is that you look after your own safety and the safety of your employees. And mold is not a welcome visitor to your business. If you want advice on how to protect your business from mold, give us a call.