Why Mold in Schools
From R and R
Have you ever been driven crazy by a young child who keeps asking “Why?” That kid may be onto something. Developed by Sakichi Toyoda and used by automotive companies and other industries to improve safety, quality, productivity and cost, “5 Whys” is a tool used to identify the root cause (origin) of a problem. Simply asking “Why?” at least five times can help you move past looking at symptoms of the problem and onto addressing the root cause of the issue. For example:
1. Why is there mold in this classroom? Mold grew where condensation formed on the ceiling.
2. Why did condensation form on the ceiling? When chilled air entered the room through a diffuser in the ceiling, it came in contact with warm, moist air and condensation formed around the diffuser.
3. Why is there warm, moist air in the classroom? Humidity permeates the walls of the building during warm weather. Since air conditioning was installed, the windows aren’t opened much anymore and some of the window seals are no longer tight.
4. Why isn’t the moisture being removed by the air conditioning? The HVAC system is set not to run between midnight and 6 a.m. on weekdays, and it does not run on weekends.
5. Why doesn’t the HVAC run during the evenings and on weekends? To reduce consumption of electricity.
Once you know the root cause, you’re in a better position to address the real issue.