When running a hospital in Billings, MT, you worry about many factors, including patient care, billing, and building cleanliness. One area that you may not think about as much is mold prevention in hospitals. Mold outbreaks have been known to infiltrate hospitals quickly. This can lead to the cancellation of surgeries and make patients sicker, as mold spores contaminate the air quality and surfaces, adding to the already high-risk environment.
Your cleaning staff may be experts of sanitizing for viruses and bacteria to keep people safe, but do they know what to do when facing mold? Stopping the spread of mold immediately is critical to prevent further contamination, damage, expense, and most importantly, patients from becoming critically ill. Follow the five steps below to help prevent mold from growing and spreading in your hospital.
What is Mold Remediation?
Mold remediation consists of not only repairing the moisture issue at its source, like a leaking appliance or burst pipe, but also making a mold prevention plan to avoid future mold issues. Stagnant or built-up water from a leak provides a prime breeding spot for mold spores, which feed off of moisture and rely on wet surfaces to grow and spread. Mold spores also like to feed on organic materials like dust and drywall. In moderate to severe cases of mold, it’s recommended to hire a professional mold removal service. They’ll have the proper equipment and knowledge to safely remedy the situation.
The most important thing your maintenance crew or cleaning staff can do to help prevent mold growth is to prevent immediate mold damage to avoid any secondary damage. Communication and preparation are key. Your hospital and staff should have a plan in place long before any mold outbreaks should occur, Don’t waste time discussing protocol after an outbreak has already occurred. In that same vein, if you think you’d like to hire any external contractors like Alpha Omega for your hospital mold remediation, have them thoroughly vetted, confirm they are insured, and contract with them so if you have a mold outbreak they can jump right in to quarantining and cleaning up the area before the issue becomes a larger one.
If you think you have a mold outbreak, contact hospital administrators, and members of your hospital’s mold remediation team and do the following:
Create a containment area.
After you and your staff have identified where the mold is, seal the area off from people, if possible. Use plastic materials or hard barriers to not only keep the people out, but to keep microscopic spores in. If they can’t escape the area into the rest of the hospital, they’ll be easier to deal with and eradicate. When you seal off an area or a room, make sure to also seal off the ceiling, floors, hallways, windows and doors. The area must be air-tight.
Turn off HVAC to the area.
You’ve physically block off and sealed the area with plastic and heavy duty duct tape to keep spores in. Now, don’t give spores a back door exit from the space through the air ducts. Make sure you cut off any air flow from the mold affected room.
Use HEPA filter air purifiers to remove dust.
Dust, drywall, paper, and other organic materials feed mold spores to help it expand and grow. Place at least one HEPA filter device inside the sealed off area to capture dust and particles. This will prevent the increased growth of the mold.
Set up a decontamination area.
Use extra plastic sheets or hard walls to set up a decontamination area (or anteroom) area. This is where cleaners or professional mold technicians can change before and after they enter the mold-infested area. Workers can also use this room to clean off equipment used in the mold area. This space acts as a second room of defense to prevent bringing mold spores into the rest of the hospital.
Inspect the Mold Remediation.
After your hospital’s team or an externally hired professional mold remediation company like Alpha Omega has contained and cleaned the mold, it is important to inspect the area to ensure the mold is completely gone. To remove the mold spores, professionals should first use a HEPA vacuum on all surfaces. Then go through the area and hand clean it with a disinfectant. If they test the area and find that there are still spores, they’ll repeat the process until the area has been tested by an independent company or your hospital’s infection control staff. This way you can clear out the blockades, turn on the ducts, and make the area ready for normal use.
Does Your Hospital Need Mold Remediation Professionals?
Contact Alpha Omega Disaster Restoration. With emergency response availability, we are there for your hospital, staff, and patients 24/7. We will help you recover from commercial mold damage. Our professional team of trusted advisors are experts in the mold damage remediation industry. We know how important it is to keep your hospital up and running, and to resolve these issues quickly. We will oversee your hospital’s damage and recovery with honest, reliable, high-quality work.
Alpha Omega the leading disaster restoration company serving commercial and residential properties in Billings, MT and surrounding areas.