5 min read

Mold In Schools: What To Do If You Find Mold In Your Classroom

Mold spores are practically everywhere, but they aren’t harmful unless they’re in environments that allow spores to grow. Unfortunately, some indoor spaces have humidity, moisture, and darkness that would enable mold spores to proliferate, including classrooms. 

Some schools may be dealing with an underlying mold problem because of poor maintenance. This issue can pose dangerous health concerns for students and teachers. In order to address mold in schools effectively, it is essential to understand why it occurs in the classroom, the likely places where it could be hiding, and the remediation steps to take when it is found.

Why Is Mold Growing in the Classroom?

Mold spores can develop in your classroom due to several factors:

  • Poor Ventilation: A classroom with insufficient airflow is a breeding ground for mold. 
  • High Humidity: A humid classroom with over 60% moisture content can promote mold growth. 
  • Water Damage: Unaddressed issues like roof or pipe leaks can create damp spaces inside the walls and spread outwards. Additionally, if your classroom wasn’t fully dried after being affected by floods, there could be lingering moisture underneath.
  • Inadequate Heating: During winter, poor heating can create cold and damp conditions for mold growth on the walls and windows.

Where Is Mold Likely To Occur?

Mold can grow anywhere indoors as long as the environment promotes growth. However, some of the most common areas include: 

  • Ceilings: Most cases of ceiling mold are due to roof leaks, faulty air conditioning units, or damaged insulation. Check for signs of water damage and mold by looking for discoloration, peeling paint, or a musty smell.
  • Walls: Mold can appear on walls due to roof leaks, and moisture from the inside of the walls, or poor indoor ventilation. Even if the mold is not visible, watch out for bulging, discoloration, and peeling paint. 
  • Windows: Mold can develop on window sills, frames, and seals due to condensation from indoor moisture or leaks. Wooden windows affected by mold can show signs of rot, while the paint around the windows can start to peel. 
  • Bookshelves and Storage: Mold spores tend to feed on organic materials, so books, wooden bookshelves, and other wooden furniture can be prone to mold growth in specific environments, especially during winter.
  • Air Conditioning Units: An unmaintained unit with blocked vents will likely develop mold growth. Prevent this by ensuring your classroom’s units should be regularly cleaned, inspected, and maintained annually. 
  • Carpets and Upholstery: Floods or poor ventilation can dampen the floors, especially in carpets. Check for dampness or musty smells, especially in areas prone to spills or flooding.

What To Do if You Find Mold

If you discover black mold in school spaces like classrooms, here’s a set of guidelines on how to deal with the mold infestation:

  1. Report the Problem: Inform the principal, custodians, facilities management team, or anyone who can address the mold problem immediately. Take photos and document the location of mold for evidence.
    Contact a Mold Remediation Specialist: Mold can be tricky to handle, and improper handling can spread active spores to other areas and create new mold growths. The best solution is to let the professionals handle the mold remediation process. 
  2. Remove Affected Items: A full-service mold remediation team can handle these next steps. Mold-contaminated items such as books, papers, or furniture that can be salvaged should be treated against mold growth. Otherwise, these items should be properly discarded and replaced.
  3. Relocate Children: Mold and water damage could make your classroom a health and safety hazard. Until the mold and underlying issues are addressed, arrange for students in that classroom to have classes in a different classroom until the issue is resolved. 
  4. Mold Remediation: A mold remediation team can inspect the problem, identify the source of mold growth, and formulate a plan to remediate and prevent it from recurring.
  5. Testing: Once the remediation process is complete, mold levels in the school should be tested to ensure the area is safe for occupancy.
    Preventative Measures: Your mold specialist can advise effective ways to prevent mold growth. This can range from air purifiers, dehumidifiers, or proper storage steps to prevent mold growth.
  6. Address Water Damage Issues: If the mold growth is caused by issues like roof leaks, air conditioning unit damage, or insulation damage, you must address these issues. Removing mold but ignoring these underlying problems can result in mold regrowth. 

Keep Your Students Safe Against Mold With Restoration 1 of Oak Harbor 

Mold in school spaces can be dangerous for students and staff. School staff and administrators should be vigilant about identifying and addressing mold to maintain a healthy learning and working environment. With the right knowledge and preparations, mold can be prevented and managed effectively, safeguarding the health and well-being of everyone in the school.

Restoration 1 of Oak Harbor is your full-service property restoration company. We can address mold and the underlying property issues causing it. Contact us today at (360) 218-2253, and we’ll send a certified technician to inspect your school at your earliest convenience.