A clean hallway ceiling

Indoor Air Quality

In this article, we will be talking mostly about the role that ceilings play in controlling indoor air quality, but the same concepts apply to walls and floors (especially carpets).

The indoor air quality information provided here is mostly from the Environmental Protection Agency's free guide "The Inside Story: A Guide to Indoor Air Quality".

There are 3 ways to improve the indoor air quality of your place of business:

  • Source Control
  • Better Ventilation
  • Air Cleaners

Source Control

The best way to improve the quality of the air in your place of business (or home) is to eliminate the sources of the pollution or reduce their emissions.

One of the biggest sources of indoor pollution is mold. Various types of molds can be found almost anywhere. They can grow on almost any ceiling surface as long as moisture and oxygen are present. Dirt on ceiling surfaces provides additional nutrients for these molds.

Molds (and mildew) on ceilings can cause discoloration, odor problems and deterioration of building materials. Various molds can lead to allergic reactions in susceptible individuals as well as other health problems. Cleaning and disinfecting with nonpolluting cleaners and antimicrobial agents provides protection against mold growth.

Another way to control mold is to control the moisture in your establishment. Molds have a hard time surviving in a dry environment. Keeping your establishment clean and dry is important, but is there is a little more to it than that. High humidity in your building or areas of your building can also cause moisture to accumulate.

Bottom line: Regularly clean your ceilings (walls and floors) and keep the humidity of your place of business low.

Better Ventilation

Another approach to lowering the concentrations of indoor air pollutants in your place of business is to increase the amount of air coming into it. Many establishment's heating and cooling systems don't actually bring fresh air into the building.

What to do:

  • Increase operation of any fans or blowers that will increase the flow of air either in or out of your building. Example: kitchen exhaust fans.
  • Open windows and doors occasionally if possible.
  • Use a window air conditioner in high humidity areas.

Air Cleaners

The effectiveness of an air cleaner depends on how well it removes pollutants from the air and how much air it draws through its cleaning element. A very good pollution collector with a low air-circulation rate will not be effective. An air cleaner with a high air-circulation rate and a poor pollution collector will not be effective either. The long-term performance of any air cleaner depends on how well you follow the manufacturer's maintenance instructions.

The three strategies to give yourself (and your customers) better indoor air quality are source control, better ventilation, and air cleaners. If you find that your ceiling (or walls or floors) are in need of cleaning you may

contact us.

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