Don’t Let Mold and Mildew Inhabit Your Trash Chutes – Your Health Depends on It

When garbage is allowed to sit and fester there is a good chance it will attract a lot of unwanted things. While some of them you may notice (and smell), others are less noticeable. Regardless of which kind of inhabitants in your dirty areas you are talking about, neither one is desirable. Unfortunately, the less obvious culprit – mold, bacteria, and mildew – can often be even more problematic than those that get your attention faster.

Bacteria, mold, and mildew can cause a variety of health issues for many people. Bacteria, of course, as discussed in our last blog, can lead to a variety of infections and illnesses. But mold and mildew can create spores and colonies that cause respiratory and other health issues and even exacerbate existing health issues.

The Difference Between Mold and Mildew

To really know what you’re dealing with, let’s tackle the differences between mold and mildew because the two are often confused. Both are fungi that thrive in warm, damp areas. However, the easiest way to tell them apart is how they look. Mold is typically fuzzy or slimy and green or black in color. It usually grows beneath the wet surfaces as opposed to on top. Mildew, on the other hand, is usually powdery or fluffy in consistency and white, yellow, or gray in color. It grows on the top of areas that are warm and moist.

Mold and mildew can both be found in commercial buildings and residences, as well as inside and outside of buildings. Mildew is more likely to be found inside, especially in wet areas such as restrooms, sinks, and kitchens.

Concern Over Mold

Mold is a natural part of our environment and plays an important role in breaking down organic matter. However, mold inside should be avoided. For one, it can break down and cause damage to the materials it is growing on, but the spores it creates can make its way through the indoor are creating havoc in its path.

There are currently no federal recommendations or standards for airborne concentrations of mold or mold spores by OSHA, the EPA, or other government agencies. However, the relationship between exposure to mold and its health effects is well known. While certain types of mold – yes there are many varieties – don’t pose a health risk, others produce much more significant health issues.

Molds may cause localized skin or other allergic reactions and the symptoms may be immediate or delayed after exposure. The symptoms may include runny nose, red eyes, and other hay fever type symptoms. In some people it can result in asthma attacks. For those with compromised immune systems, exposure to mold can be catastrophic.

Some types of mold produce mycotoxins and most of them are cytotoxic. This means that they are similar in structure to alcohols, ketones and other chemicals that can be stored in tissue and organs producing mold toxicity and serious health complications. These health complications may include damage to the liver, nervous system, and kidneys. Some of the mycotoxins are even carcinogenic.

Eliminating Mold in Trash Chutes

Aside from eliminating odors and warding off pest infestations, keeping your trash chutes clean helps eliminate mold and mildew and improve the air quality of your building. Because of the impact chute cleaning can have on your facility and the health of the residents, it is important that you have your service done only by experienced professionals.

Benefits of having your trash chute cleaned include the following:

  • Increased longevity of the chute
  • Improved air quality
  • Eliminating mold, mildew, viruses, bacteria, and other harmful microorganisms from building up in the chute
  • Improved health for residents
  • Inhibiting pest and insect infestations
  • Reducing the risk of fire

Cleaning of trash chutes and other garbage areas often falls on the building managers and maintenance supervisors. However, that duty doesn’t have to be a burden. Fresh Foam offers chute cleaning service to much of the NYC and DC areas and will come and professional clean your chutes and other garbage containing areas include compactor rooms and drains, dumpsters, pet waste areas, and more. Contact us today to see if you qualify for a free demonstration and to get a quote for our services. The health of your building and residents depends on it.