Entrepreneurship is at the backbone of the economy. Every year, thousands of brave men and women decide to take the plunge, open their own business, and pursue life as their own boss. If you're among those brave individuals, you probably did so with visions of grandeur in your mind. Most business owners envision themselves finding massive success in their chosen industry. You may have even envisioned what it would be like to contribute positively to your community, employing people, and giving back to the place you called home. What you may not have considered is the legal ramifications of owning your own business, and the liability that you face as a business owner.
Sure, you’ve probably considered creating a safe workplace by putting safety policies in place for your employees. You undoubtedly know about the importance of quickly cleaning up spills, so no customers or employees suffer a slip-and-fall accident. However, you may not know that you are also professionally, financially, and morally responsible for quickly handling any mold that may form in your business. This is especially troubling for business owners who operate in an area where flooding is common.
What can you do as a business owner to protect yourself, your employees, and your clients from mold? There are plenty of answers to that question, each of which you need to keep in mind. Doing so can not only help you enjoy better personal health, but it can improve your business's profitability, and it may be the difference between dealing with mold liability and enjoying your life as a business owner.
Looking For Mold
As a business owner, you are ultimately responsible for everything that goes on within your business. Even if you employ managers who supervise other employees, the overall health of your business and your building is your responsibility. That means that you need to be aware of signs that you have mold in the building.
You can see some physical signs of mold, especially when it starts to grow on the outside of your drywall. If you notice the presence of mold, you are responsible for contacting a mold remediation company to come in and handle the issue. Failure to do so not only jeopardizes the health of your staff and your clients, but it opens you up to potential litigation.
Speaking of health, there are some side effects of mold that you can look for when trying to determine if you have mold. If your employees start exhibiting certain symptoms, you may have a mold problem in your business. Constant coughing, more frequent asthma and allergy flareups, headaches, and dizziness are all signs of mold. It's more likely that your employees who are there every day will exhibit these symptoms than customers who may occasionally come by your business. However, depending on the type of mold present in your facility, frequent customers and clients may also experience health problems. You have a legal and moral obligation to provide your employees and clients with a healthy space. This is why you need to be aware of any physical symptoms associated with mold.
Finally, you can typically determine that you have mold in a space based on the unique musty odor that it emits. If you notice this smell, you should call for a professional mold remediation company to come and inspect the building as quickly as possible. Ideally, you will have caught the problem early enough that there aren’t any effects on you, your employees, or your customer base.
How Can You Protect Yourself?
Your primary responsibility as a business owner is to the physical safety of your employees and the clients who keep your business afloat. However, there is no denying that you also need to protect yourself from the financial ramifications associated with mold liability. After all, you can't employ those people and serve those clients if you lose your business to a mold liability case. In addition to being aware of any early warning signs of mold in your business, there are other steps you can take.
While having workers' compensation insurance is required as a business owner, you should also look into other types of insurance that can protect your balance sheet. For example, flood insurance is a must-have for business owners, especially those who own a business located in an area prone to flooding. Even if your building doesn't land in the middle of a high-risk floodplain, flood insurance can be worth the investment, as it helps cover the cost of mold remediation during flood cleanup.
Additionally, other types of insurance can protect you from any type of financial loss associated with water damage and resulting mold. If the building that you operate in requires major mold remediation, you will not be able to operate for an extended period of time. Having insurance policies in place allow you to recoup some of the money that you will lose during this period of being closed.
Finally, there are structural steps that you can take that will help reduce the risk of mold in your business. For example, while traditional drywall is incredibly prone to mold, there are newer, more advanced options on the market such as EnduraFlood drywall. This brand of drywall is waterproof, which means that you don’t have to worry about water penetrating your walls, resulting in a mold outbreak in your business.
Ultimately, as a business owner, you need to be aware of everything going on at your business. That's why it takes such a special individual to find success as an entrepreneur. In addition to knowing how to look for warning signs of mold in the facility, you should also educate yourself about all the financial protections that you have at your disposal. Doing so will put you in a position to find lasting success as a business owner as you make your dreams a reality.