We’ve posted about this before, but we wanted to post a reminder, as kids will be having a break from school over the holidays. Why is that important? Because, like Matthew Asseline of Winsted, Connecticut, your kids might be sick while in school, but energetic and active when they’re not.This doesn’t have to do with not wanting to do math problems or learn their history lesson.
If this happens to your son or daughter, there’s a possibility that there’s mold in your child’s school.
And hopefully, unlike what happened to a teacher in Virginia who was very ill, your school won’t try to cover it up in order to avoid prosecution. That case is now with the grand jury, because the teacher had been diagnosed by her physician with sinusitis, bronchitis, lip inflammation and infection, and mold exposure, while the school denied any wrongdoing.
How do you know when mold is growing in a school? And why does it happen? The Environmental Protection Agency has produced a flyer that outlines the answers to these questions. We’ve outlined it below:
- Mold requires oxygen, water and a food source to grow. There are many types of mold who can use anything for a food source, including wood, paper, carpet, foods and insulation.
- Controlling moisture is the key to managing mold in the classroom.
- Airborne mold spores fly through the air and land on a damp “food source”. The mold spores start digesting it in order to sustain themselves.
- Water sources in school buildings and portable classrooms for mold growth include: leaky roofs, pipes, windows, foundations and other structural openings. Water may also enter these structures due to floods, poor drainage or misdirected sprinklers.
- School breaks are usually when big maintenance jobs are scheduled, and this work can also be a source of mold growth, such as increased moisture due to painting or carpet cleaning; high humidity during the summer; and no air conditioning/heating (or reduced use) when school is not in session.
- When moisture enters a building, many times it condenses as it comes in contact with cooler indoor surfaces, such as windows, walls and water pipes. This condensation can create excessive moisture, and even pools of water inside the building.
Mold growth often results from excess moisture or water build-up in the following areas:
- On roof materials above ceilings
- Around windows
- Near water fountains
- On walls, ceiling tiles, and other visible surfaces
- On hidden surfaces, such as the back side of dry wall or wall coverings
- Around bathroom tiles
- In cooling coil drip pans and inside ductwork
- In books and carpet
Next week we’ll talk about the health effects associated with mold, and the best ways to manage mold in schools. But if you’re suspicious that your school already has mold, give us a call. We can discuss the next steps with your school’s board and be allowed to eradicate the problem so that all the students (and faculty!) are safe from the hazards of mold. Call us: (877) 732-8471<p>Image courtesy of Paul Goody / <a href=”http://www.freedigitalphotos.net” target=”_blank”>FreeDigitalPhotos.net</a></p>