There is a fungus among us – Soil moisture

There’s something stinky going on in office buildings these days and it’s hiding under your rug. Like a roach slithering down the walls chasing down old pizza crust, this troublemaker is growing and few people even suspect it’s its presence or the harmful health and safety hazard it’s causing. It is known to cause sick building syndromes and to breed mold and mildew. At the very least, it antagonizes people with respiratory problems, and at worst, it can negatively affect everyone working in the environment. What is? The danger is uncontrolled moisture below the surface of the rugs. Yes, there is a fungus between us.

I recently heard a real estate professional say that checking the slab for moisture was a complete waste of time and totally unnecessary. That statement couldn’t be further from the truth and ignoring a massive threat to the health and safety of all workers or visitors inside a public building is a legal responsibility that should not be overlooked. Additionally, making sure buildings are safe is a must for all reputable building owners, managers, architects, real estate companies, and general contractors.

Just because a carpet product or carpet tile material may lie flat on your floor doesn’t mean all is well. Go ask a virologist about that and see what they say about the things you can’t see and if that’s the extent of it being okay. In college I couldn’t see all the roaches in my dorm room, but we all knew they were there. Don’t ask me how, but you get the idea. When it comes to moisture issues, you better be safe and have proof or lawyers because when the biological bogeyman shows up, you’re going to want one or the other or maybe even both.

The Carpet and Rug Institute and most reputable manufacturers require that concrete slabs have less than 5 pounds of moisture before installing carpet and most experts would tell building owners to make sure that moisture is below 3 pounds. But with the fast-paced commercial construction schedules of today’s environments, you’re starting to see a scary rise in slab moisture ranging from 6 to 10 pounds on a regular basis. Now, carpet manufacturers often put building owners and occupants at great risk by telling them their carpet will be installed above these moisture levels and inferring that it is okay. The carpet may be fine, but the potential biological nightmare below the surface of the carpet is not fine. Some manufacturers have products that will be installed in high humidity levels, but that doesn’t mean your floor is right. VCTT/Powerbond will actually install more than 10 pounds of moisture, but that doesn’t mean biological growth won’t occur.

When it comes to going green, don’t let your slabs turn green with mold and mildew. For the madness Fix the slab. Make sure your slabs are tested if there are any questions about high moisture levels and take appropriate corrective action if there are moisture levels above 5 pounds. Don’t pretend that no one’s rug will solve the problem. Remember, bacteria love moisture just like roaches love pizza. Growing green mold under your carpet is not sustainable, even if it is green. It’s actually more like a yucky green mushroom color anyway and who wants that, even if it’s under the rug. Don’t sweep this issue under the rug.

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