To avoid risks to health, OSHA encourages building managers, custodians, and others responsible for building maintenance to learn how to avoid, control and remove mold in buildings. The key to controlling mold is moisture.
Here are 10 tips from OSHA:
1. Repair plumbing leaks and leaks in the building structure as soon as possible.
2. Look for condensation and wet spots. Fix source(s) of moisture incursion problem(s) as soon as possible.
3. Prevent moisture from condensing by increasing surface temperature or reducing the moisture level in the air (humidity). To increase surface temperature, insulate or increase air circulation. To reduce the moisture level in the air, repair leaks, increase ventilation (if outside air is cold and dry), or dehumidify (if outdoor air is warm and humid).
4. Keep HVAC drip pans clean, flowing properly, and unobstructed.
5. Perform regular scheduled building/HVAC inspections and maintenance, including filter changes.
6. Maintain indoor relative humidity below 70% (25 – 60%, if possible).
7. Vent moisture-generating appliances, such as dryers, to the outside where possible and vent cooking areas and bathrooms according to local code requirements.
8. Clean and dry wet or damp spots as soon as possible, but no longer than 48 hours after discovery.
9. Provide adequate drainage around buildings and slope the ground away from building foundations. Follow all local building codes.
10. Pinpoint areas where leaks have occurred, identify the causes, and take preventive action to ensure that they do not reoccur.
OSHA offers more recommendations on how to prevent mold growth, the proper use of personal protective equipment, ways to assess mold or moisture problems, and methods to cleanup damage caused by moisture and mold growth with their guide, Preventing Mold-Related Problems in the Indoor Workplace.