MOLD REMEDIATION PROCESS
When mold is detected in a house, it is always recommended that the homeowner informs a professional mold removal company. This is because there are usually a good number of steps that have to be taken, to make sure the mold is completely removed and the cause fixed.
When a mold removal company is invited to inspect a house, the experts come in with the necessary equipment for thorough inspection. For example, the inspector may come with an infrared camera with several different kinds of moisture meters.
While a flashlight would only detect a sign of moisture if it is visible on the outside part of the wall, this equipment can even see if there's water in a wall, even though it's dry to the touch. Air sampling can be done as well, if necessary.
After the initial Inspection, if the home is found to be contaminated by mold, a protocol is written and all involved parties informed about the sequence of events, the expected results and an estimated cost. With these out of the way, the mold remediation can begin.
The next step would be to set up containment. This is done so that the contaminated area is isolated from unaffected areas. Also the containment is used so that a negative air pressure system can be set up. Air scrubbers and HEPA filters are used to accomplish this air pressure system. HEPA stands for high efficiency particulate arrestor. This air exchanges 4x‟s per hour.
This Negative Air Pressure is important for two areas (1) The air exchange through the HEPA filters helps clean the air of the mold spores (2) The negative air system helps the mold spores from spreading through openings or through entrances and exits. This system stays in place for the duration of the mold remediation.
After the containment is built and the negative air system is in place, the next process in deconstruction. This includes removing anything that may block easy access to the surface of the building – things like sheet rock, carpet, carpet pads, and baseboards. In most cases what is left after this process is only the subsurface, the basic structure material.
Contents that are unsalvageable or more cost effective to replace are to be thrown away. The salvageable contents are then removed to a containment space to be held to clean till the rest of the home is clean. Material that is removed during this process is placed in large plastic bags and treated as hazardous material. Special precaution is used when removing this material from the house so that cross-contamination does not occur.
After all layers are removed the new surface is special HEPA vacuum. We HEPA vacuum all surfaces. A HEPA vacuum contains a filter the remove 99.97% of particulate 0.3 micrometers or larger in size. A normal vacuum cleaner can remove down to about 35 microns or larger in size.
One of the final steps of remediation will be treatment. After all contaminants are removed the antimicrobial mold inhibitor is applied. Another factor to be considered in this stage is to make sure there in not an excess of moisture. Sometimes it might be necessary at this stage to bring in dehumidifiers and fans.
The final step could be to use an encapsulant with is a prevention step in mold growth. Also called mold sealant or mold paint, encapsulation is the process of treating mold with a product that “glues” the mold in place so it cannot release any spores – rendering the mold powerless. This works to some extent, but encapsulation is not completely effective and should never be the sole means of remediation.
After this whole process, a clearance testing from a third party, such as Certified Industrial Hygienist, may ensure that the mold remediation is successful. This is known as post remediation verification, and is quite important because you're dealing with such microscopic mold spores.
Mold spores are so little that you can't see them. If you take a pen and make a dot on a piece of paper now, between seven and ten thousand mold spores could be on that one dot. They are that small. Mold spores are between 1 and 20 microns, (a micron is a millionth of a meter). They're so small that you can't just look at a surface and see if it is clean or not. It has to be tested.
Since it is an added expense many people who are not involved with litigation, or dealing with severe illness may forgo a third party inspection that may run into the thousands. Many will be happy with a visual inspection, or for extra insurance lab testing done by the remediator.
Remember, it is not possible to get rid of all mold and mold spores in the world. Some mold spores will always be found floating through the air and in house dust. Rest assured. The mold spores will not grow if moisture is not present.
Indoor mold growth can and should be prevented or controlled by controlling moisture indoors. If there is mold growth in your home, you must clean up the mold and fix the water problem. If you clean up the mold, but don’t fix the water problem, then most likely, the mold problem will come back.
An important thing to remember is that if mold is disturbed it can spread. Mold has to be carefully handled. If handled carelessly, mold spores would spread from the mold throughout the room, thereby negating the earlier work. The idea is to bring the level to the lowest possible. This is one of the reasons why it is safer when the job is handled by a professional mold removal company.
One other thing they do is that they help dispose of the mold materials. You see, even dead mold can still be really toxic, and it is all some people need to develop allergies. A professional mold removal company will help to dispose them far away from the home.
At Mold and Mildew Solutions LLC, we are totally dedicated to keeping your home as mold free and safe as possible for your health and that of your family. Feel free to reach us anytime. We are eager to be of help.
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Mold and Mildew Solutions LLC
Lee Ramey with Mold & Mildew Solutions wants to share his latest podcast with everyone. It is 50 mins long and answers the most common questions about mold and the health of your home.
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AKA the Mildude, Lee has for decades