American students attend school for an average of six to eight hours each day, 180 days per year. Every year, a youngster spends around 1,260 hours on school grounds. With so much of your child’s life spent within the four walls of a facility, it’s concerning to consider that they may have been exposed to hazardous molds and indoor air pollution the entire time. Yet, according to recent research, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) discovered that over half of the nation’s schools had potentially dangerous indoor air quality (IAQ) issues. That equates to around 57,500 schools across the country.
Many factors, ranging from poor HVAC maintenance and inadequate ventilation to airborne mold spores and school construction dust, can cause students, teachers, and staff to get ill and remain ill for the remainder of the school year if problems are not addressed.
How Mold Spreads and Causes Sickness
Here’s how a little roof leak, a dirty carpet, and a perfectly working HVAC system may all conspire to degrade indoor air quality.
1. Water from the leaky roof gets into the carpet, soaking the filth and mold that has been latent there.
2. The carpet dries, and the mold spores are spread through the air again.
3. The HVAC system kicks on, moving fresh air through the entire school.
4. Mold spores are carried through the air by the HVAC, into the vents and ducts.
5. The HVAC distributes the mold spores throughout the entire ventilation system and school.
Students and staff can be exposed to airborne mold spores carried from one location to another throughout the ventilation system and into every classroom and during outdoor recess, and as they cross from one room to another.
Mold is the No. 1 trigger for asthma and allergy symptoms in children. The EPA has associated poor IAQ with lower grades and higher absentee rates in recent studies. If you have ever wondered how a school can produce top-notch test scores and yet still have so many kids who miss a lot of school, indoor air quality problems are the answer.
How Commercial Cleaning Prevents Sickness in Schools
Dirty carpet, roof leaks and drywall damage, moldy ducts, and inadequate ventilation are just a few things that can contribute to poor indoor air quality in schools. All of these conditions need to be addressed to improve a building’s IAQ. However, suppose your child’s school has been exposed to toxic mold, asbestos, and other hazardous materials. In that case, you will need to have the school professionally cleaned by mold remediation or an asbestos abatement company. Do not attempt to do this work yourself, or hire a do-it-yourself company. These types of jobs require specialized equipment and highly trained professionals who are familiar with government regulations and codes.
Whether public or private, schools and offices generate a lot of paperwork, not to mention the many types of dust stirred up by students, teachers, and staff. Schools are, therefore, a prime location for airborne dust particles to accumulate on virtually every surface, from drywall to window sills. The more surface area a building has, the more places for dust, dirt, and other contaminants to collect. Commercial cleaning of schools uses a combination of professional-grade vacuums, ventilation fans, and air purifiers to eliminate airborne pollutants and dust mites.
Schools are a vital part of our society, and they have the added responsibility of raising the next generation. The entire educational environment needs to be clean and safe. That is why it is imperative to have an effective cleaning program that keeps the air your children breathe and the rooms they spend so much time in as clean and healthy as possible.
Call AK Building Services now for a free quote on school sanitation! We’re a cleaning company in South Florida that offers a comprehensive portfolio of cleaning services for multiple industries throughout the Dade County, Broward County, Palm Beach County, Martin County, Treasure Coast, and St. Lucie County areas.