Discovering mold growth in an occupied building can be an alarming situation. When that mold is on the ceiling of a school classroom, though, the concern is even higher. FACS responded to an urgent call from a school district in Southern California – but ended up doing more than making sure the mold was safely removed. FACS communicated with all stakeholders to answer questions and reduce anxiety, then helped the district develop a mold operations and maintenance program to keep mold problems from further disrupting the educational environment.
The FACS team solves a mold issue that had the maintenance staff baffled
FACS oversaw cleanup and collected data to prove the effectiveness of the cleanup
FACS helped the district create a program for dealing with future mold issues
About the Client
This southern California school district serves over 34,000 K-12 students. The District oversees staffing, operations, and maintenance of 23 elementary schools, six middle schools, five high schools and other educational facilities. Their schools have won National Blue Ribbon School awards, GRAMMY awards, and more. They are consistently ranked on lists naming the top schools in the nation.
Teachers from several classrooms reported mold growth on the ceilings in their rooms. Maintenance addressed the issue several times, but it continued to return. After repeated attempts to get rid of the mold, all concerned stakeholders – including parents, students, and school staff members – began to fear the classrooms were environmentally unhealthy for the children. That is when the District asked FACS to investigate and advise.
The FACS Solution
The FACS response team determined the causal factor to be heat transfer from the roof to other building materials, resulting in condensation within the ceiling space. FACS helped identify solutions to manage the thermodynamics within that space, oversaw the cleanup of the existing mold, then tested surfaces to document the success of the work.
The FACS team didn’t stop there, though. Given the level of anxiety demonstrated by stakeholders and occupants, a FACS subject matter expert helped those concerned understand the issue and the science behind it. FACS was able to turn what appeared to be a frightening situation into a cooperative problem-solving exercise to get everyone on the same side of the table and return the focus of time and resources to the educational process.
Next, FACS worked with District personnel to develop a mold operations and maintenance program to reduce the likelihood of further mold-related incidents and develop protocols for dealing quickly and effectively with any that should occur.
In essence, the program developed in partnership with FACS equips the District to deal with mold issues internally, thereby resulting in faster responses and reducing the need to call on outside consultants.
This supports the FACS promise of partnering with clients to provide safe and healthful environments that protect people, resources, and reputation.