Mold in K-12 Schools

Guarding Against Mold

Mold is no trifling matter in schools or buildings; it’s a formidable foe capable of causing structural damage, triggering respiratory issues like asthma, and even leading to school closures. What’s insidious about mold is its stealthy nature, often lurking undetected above ceilings or within walls, and it can persist without the presence of an apparent water leak. Mold’s only prerequisites are moisture and a suitable food source. However, the repercussions of failing to pinpoint and tackle its root cause can be both persistent and costly. Mold isn’t just a structural problem; it can jeopardize the health of occupants, making it imperative for schools to adopt preventive measures. Neglecting this can result in expensive remediation efforts, potential displacement of students and teachers, possible legal matters, and a disruption in the learning environment.

By integrating EBTRON’s solutions, schools can bolster their defenses against mold and ensure the well-being of their students and staff. Precautionary steps taken today can avert the financial burden of remediation and, more importantly, safeguard the health and future of those within the educational community.

Promote Better Learning

Improve Student Health

Reduce contaminants & mold growth

The EPA found that changes in building practices have caused moisture problems in schools over the past 20-30 years.

The EPA has reported that some moisture problems in schools are caused by changes in building envelope tightness construction practices. Additionally, leaky school buildings can create mold problems, which mechanical HVAC systems can prevent. EBTRON, a leader in indoor air quality solutions, offers advanced HVAC technologies that help maintain optimal humidity levels and provide precise monitoring and control, contributing to the prevention of mold issues within school facilities.


Mold spores are naturally present in the environment and require moisture and oxygen to grow. They look for a food source, and once they find one, they attach themselves, reproduce, and even generate the moisture they need to thrive. Surprisingly, mold growth often occurs in low-humidity environments; just enough moisture is sufficient to sustain its development.

It may begin with a single event when the humidity gets out of control and/or a surface is colder than the dew point, allowing moisture to condense. The indoor humidity may moderate; however, more humid summer air may infiltrate the building envelope and condense onto a cool surface. Similarly, cold winter air can also create conditions that result in condensation. In some cases, this condensation may not be visible on the indoor material (food source), as it may be beneath the surface or within a wall.

Fundamentals on Mold Growth in Indoor Environments and Strategies for Healthy Living.

guard against mold

A well-functioning HVAC system is crucial in preventing the growth and spread of mold. In humid climates, it’s essential to properly condition ventilation air and remove moisture before it enters occupied spaces. Moisture can also enter buildings through doors, windows, and the envelope if the building automation system (BAS) is not regulating the building’s pressure effectively.

The ASHRAE 62.1 Ventilation Standard sets a limit of 60°F on the indoor dew point, and the EPA recommends keeping it below 55°F to prevent conditions that are favorable for mold growth. However, sometimes good intentions can lead to bad results, such as raising the space temperature to save energy during unoccupied or vacation periods. Without considering ventilation or exhaust operation, removing humidity, or maintaining a low dew point, such efforts may easily create mold growth conditions. Even in dry climates, high moisture or dew point conditions can occur if the HVAC system is not sized or controlled correctly.

An HVAC system that functions properly should dry out the air and food source. However, once mold exists and begins to dry out, it releases more airborne spores to survive. The HVAC system then carries these spores. Therefore, the system must transport indoor airborne mold spores outdoors, recirculate them through filters where they can be captured, and replace the indoor air with the correct amount of filtered and conditioned outdoor air.

Controlling Dew Point


Over-ventilation often causes mold growth because HVAC systems are not designed to eliminate all the moisture present in outdoor air. Another reason is the improper regulation of exhaust systems in conjunction with ventilation rates. Overexertion or running exhaust systems when ventilation systems are not in use leads to negative pressure, poor indoor air quality (IAQ), and the possibility of mold formation.

Measuring the airflow rates inside and outside the building is crucial to preventing these problems. This will enable the BAS control system to sequence fans and dampers to avoid such situations. If the necessary conditions or operation cannot be maintained, the system should be set to alarm, indicating that corrective action needs to be taken. EBTRON offers airflow measuring products with humidity and temperature sensors to provide an all-in-one solution. For more information, view our product range or contact your local EBTRON representative.

The proper way to measure and control ventilation rates

Ventilation control stands as a linchpin in the battle against mold. The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) and the American Rescue Plan Act offer a unique opportunity for Local Education Agencies (LEAs) to leverage available resources for transformative change. Now, more than ever, schools can channel their funding towards crucial improvements, repairs, and upgrades to mechanical ventilation and control systems. EBTRON, a pioneer in indoor air quality solutions, takes this commitment further by providing cutting-edge technologies tailored to meet the specific needs of schools. Our solutions ensure optimal ventilation and offer precise monitoring and control, a formidable defense against mold infestations.


Additional Resources Related to Mold in Schools

Environmental Protection Agency

Design HVAC systems to manage air flow and control condensation. Controlling pressure in air conditioned buildings in hot, humid climates is crucial to controlling condensation in the enclosure.

Moisture Guidance


Measure and limit the volume of ventilation and makeup air to the amount required for the application and that will in fact be dried effectively by the system’s dehumidification components.

Position Document on Mold and Moisture

Healthy Schools Network, Inc.

Many schools have plumbing problems, leaky roofs or poor ventilation systems, which can create ideal moisture conditions for molds to grow.

Promoting Green & Healthy Schools: Mold Prevention Practices
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