Are you seeing more or your co-workers taking time of due to illness? Studies have shown you are more likely to become ill in the winter and that rooms with poorer ventilation allow colds to thrive. So keeping the windows closed and turning the heat up another few degrees may not be the answer to a healthy work place!
As the wintery weather really takes hold and we are surrounded by cold and damp items in the office we are all looking for ways to stay warm at work, but simply turning up the heat won’t tackle all the issues relating to the cold weather and can increase the risk of illness. Condensation is the main cause of mould in any office, when there is too much moisture in the air there is a risk of your workplace becoming damp, stuffy and smelly, which in turn can lead to respiratory health problems and even chest infections.
Here are our tips to help keep your office warm, dry, hygienic and free of mould and condensation.
Bringing the rain in doors
It feels like we have had none stop rain for the last few months, so the raincoats, the umbrellas and the wellies have been well used. Constantly bringing wet items of clothing into the office and leaning them against furniture and on the backs of chairs will help to build condensation on the walls and the windows. Many of your colleagues will also put their clothing on the radiators to dry out but if left all day then your building won’t warm up efficiently, making it more likely for damp to build up in the air.
We understand with freezing temperatures it not always possible to keep the office well ventilated by leaving windows and doors open all day. However a dehumidifier is a great idea. It will help to remove the excess moisture in the air which will prevent mould from being able to grow.
If you are getting small pools of water on your windowsills, make sure that it is wiped up every day, sitting water can stagnate and cause bacteria to grow. Older buildings will be more prone to this but having a daily routine will help to reduce the risks. Each morning and night mop up the excess water, although paper towels will do this well, good quality microfibre cloths will soak up the water and can be reused so are much kinder on the environment.
Managing leaves and grit
As the leaves blow into the office and get caught on your shoes you should ensure that they are removed on a daily basis, wet leaves will rot down and you don’t want this in your office.
The freezing temperatures also mean that the roads and the pavements are regularly gritted. This wet debris can become ingrained in the carpets in your workplace. Invest in a good quality floor mat, ensure all staff and visitors use it and then remove the grit and dirt in the mat on a daily basis.
Open the windows!
Yes, even in winter it is advisable to open the windows each day for just a short period of time. Poor air flow is a big contributor to the build-up of condensation and mould, using a dehumidifier will help but if you can brave the cold ,fresh air flowing in, it will make a big difference!
Although buying a new floor matt, a dehumidifier and wiping down windowsills every day might sound like a bit of an effort, in the long run you will save time and money. If mould sets in, you will have to call in professional help as your co-worker’s health could be at risk.
Remember keeping your office clean, hygienic and tidy will help manage your working environment. Talk with your cleaning company about assisting you with tackling your damp issues over the winter months.