News We Follow: Controlling Summer Mold Growth in Schools

From an article on ASHRAE Website

Being based in North Carolina, we understand the way the weather and humid climates can effect mold growth in buildings that are unoccupied for long periods of time. We get many calls for vacation homes that have been left unoccupied for a few months and when they returned they noticed growth within the home. Schools can face the same issue during the long Summer break. This article, shared on the ASHRAE website, addresses this issue and outlines what can be causing it to happen. Here are some highlights from the article, to read the full story click here. “Sumer mold growth is sometimes attributed to shutting off school HVAC systems for energy conservation. However, in half of the schools experiencing summer mold growth investigated by the authors, the HVAC was running, but over ventilating or overcooling unoccupied areas.  Water damage is the most common cause of indoor mold growth, but extended periods of relative humidity or over-cooling can cause similar problems in otherwise dry buildings. The underlying cause of this type of mold growth is relative humidity at the surface (water activity) sustained at a level supporting microbial growth.” The article explains the methodology for this review and also outlines some other contributing factors present where the mold growth was found:

  • “Unit ventilators valves remaining open.
  • Negative Pressure.
  • Reduced solar loads.
  • Rooms with high paper loads.
  • Outdoor air dampers remaining open with fans off.
  • Areas with excessive moisture evaporation.”

Do you have a vacation home or building that has been unoccupied for long periods of time where you notice mold growth or a bad odor? We can help you determine what that is and what may be causing it. Contacts us today!

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