Keeping Workers Safe from Mold

Almost all construction workers have one thing in common, safety is their number one priority. Although, most construction workers take very good safety precautions, many forget about the less common dangers, such as being exposed to mold.

During the remodeling process of older homes and buildings, construction workers will likely become exposed to some areas of toxic mold. Common symptoms that occur from being exposed to mold include nasal congestion, eye irritation, respiratory problems, skin and throat irritation, coughing and headaches. If a construction worker is exposed to high levels of toxic mold for long periods of time, it could result in neurological problems or even death in rare cases. Mold exposure is a serious issue and proper safety precautions should always be taken to assure the workers are at no risk of being exposed to toxic mold.

To start being safe from mold, begin by visually inspecting the work area for mold. Mold requires water to grow, so look for moisture problems in the area. Typically, toxic mold is under carpets, behind walls, in basements, in toilets, and in attics. Construction workers should always wear safety goggles, gloves, and a respirator while inspecting the area for mold. Once the mold has been identified, you can proceed to remove it.

To remove the mold, you need to control the moisture level in the home or building because mold has no way to grow without moisture. If possible, clean the molded area. Areas such as glass, wood, concrete, metal, and hard plastics can be cleaned thoroughly and reused in the future. Other areas can sometimes be used again after cleaning but it is not typically recommended.

Molded areas should be cleaned with a solution that contains, detergent, water, and soap or with a solution made up of vinegar and baking soda. After the area has been cleaned, it should be dried completely. Anything used during the drying or cleaning process should be disposed of immediately. After all the mold has been removed, all nearby areas should be cleaned and the floor should be vacuumed. The area should be kept well ventilated until everything has dried. Molded areas that are larger than ten square feet should be handled by a professional with prior experience cleaning larger areas of mold.

Preventing mold can be helpful in all working conditions. Keeping humidity levels under 60 percent but above 40 percent can help prevent mold from growing. A fast cleaning and repairing process for leaks within the work area is also a good tactic against mold. Mold inhibitors can also be added to paint before painting. The use of mold killing products to clean all entry and exit points, as well as bathrooms, can be very helpful in the prevention process.

Mold can very harmful if it is not discovered and properly removed in a timely manner. By taking the proper safety precautions in preventing the mold from appearing, inspecting for mold, and removing the mold, construction workers will able to work in a harm-free environment.