What we measure: mold risk indication in businesses

Emily Moschowits
July 23, 2021

At Airthings, we constantly try to use data to provide you useful insights about your building to improve the health and wellbeing of your business and its occupants. That’s why we now offer an algorithm-based mold risk indication (MRI). The MRI is available as part of our solution through Airthings for Business Wave Mini. Using your air quality data, we can estimate your risk of developing mold. 

Mold is too small to see with the naked eye but can grow fast and spread rapidly, meaning you need to address potential issues before the first signs of mold begin to appear. clouds

Contents:

What is mold? 
What are the effects of mold on commercial buildings and their occupants? 

mini mould-1

What is mold? 

Mold is a microscopic fungus that naturally decomposes dead organic material. There are 100,000 different types of mold, with 100-150 species commonly found inside buildings1. All species thrive in moist environments and many are harmful to both the health of your building and its occupants. 

Molds feed on building materials, which aid their continued growth and reproduction. Some can produce airborne spores, helping the mold spread even further and contributing to respiratory disease. 

AS-B2C--How-to-get-rid-of-mold-and-mildew-in-your-home-for-a-healthier-environment-and-better-indoor-air-quality-Insert-1 (1)Want to book a demo or expand your current setup? Contact us 

What are the effects of mold on commercial buildings and their occupants? 

Indoor fungal growth has been an issue plaguing humankind for at least 5,000 years2

Mold can be a serious problem for any building. If moisture gets in the walls, mold can grow, breaking down building materials and degrading the quality of the building3

Beyond reducing the longevity of your building and requiring often costly repairs, it can also threaten the health of occupants in your building. In fact, 21% of current asthma cases in the US are attributable to dampness and mold exposure4, resulting in more sick days and unhealthy working conditions. Moreover, studies have shown that damp or moldy buildings can more than double the risk of negative health impacts, including lower respiratory symptoms, mucous membrane symptoms, headache, and fatigue5.

Mold also has other negative consequences in buildings. The musty smell reduces occupants’ satisfaction and growth also decreases property values. It can also increase the cost of insurance coverage. Finally, if mold impacts the insulation in your building, it can also reduce its efficacy, meaning higher electricity bills and greater environmental impact6

Find out more about how Airthings for Business can help notify you of your mold risk before it becomes a problem→

 

References:

  1. https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9789086867226
  2. https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9789086867226, chapter 9
  3. https://www.ashrae.org/File%20Library/About/Position%20Documents/ASHRAE---Limiting-Indoor-Mold-and-Dampness-in-Buildings.pdf
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7596174/pdf/11783_2020_Article_1357.pdf
  5. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/925535
  6. https://www.ashrae.org/File%20Library/About/Position%20Documents/ASHRAE---Limiting-Indoor-Mold-and-Dampness-in-Buildings.pdf