Mold growth is a serious concern for homeowners and businesses alike, as it can cause structural damage and pose health risks. When mold is discovered, it's crucial to enlist the services of professionals who specialize in mold remediation. In this informative article, we will delve into the various steps involved in the professional mold remediation process and explain the purpose of each step. If you suspect mold growth in your property, MI&T, a leading mold inspection company, can provide you with a comprehensive mold inspection protocol. Contact them at 855-600-6653 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to ensure the safety of your indoor environment.
Mold remediation refers to the process of addressing and resolving mold growth issues in indoor environments. It involves the identification, containment, removal, and prevention of mold to ensure a safe and healthy living or working space. Mold remediation is necessary for several reasons:
Mold can release microscopic spores into the air, which, when inhaled, can cause a range of health issues. These health risks include respiratory problems, allergies, asthma attacks, sinus infections, and even more severe reactions in individuals with weakened immune systems. By conducting mold remediation, the potential health hazards associated with mold exposure can be minimized or eliminated.
Mold growth can gradually deteriorate building materials such as drywall, wood, and insulation. It feeds on organic matter, compromising the integrity and strength of these materials. Over time, extensive mold growth can lead to structural damage, compromising the stability of the property. Mold remediation helps prevent further damage to the building's structure, preserving its value and ensuring a safe environment.
Mold colonies can quickly spread throughout a property if left unchecked. Mold spores are lightweight and can be easily transported through the air or by attaching themselves to objects, clothing, or pets. Prompt mold remediation is crucial to contain the growth and prevent it from spreading to unaffected areas of the property. By isolating the affected areas, professionals can limit the potential for cross-contamination and further mold infestation.
Mold growth can significantly impact indoor air quality. Mold spores and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released by mold can cause unpleasant odors and contribute to poor air quality, leading to discomfort and potential health problems for occupants. Mold remediation helps improve indoor air quality by removing the source of mold growth, eliminating spores, and implementing proper ventilation and filtration systems.
Mold requires moisture to thrive, and its growth is often indicative of underlying moisture problems within a property. Mold remediation not only involves removing existing mold but also addressing the moisture source that allowed mold to develop in the first place. By identifying and resolving the moisture issue, such as plumbing leaks, roof leaks, or high humidity levels, mold remediation helps prevent future mold growth.
Prior to starting the mold remediation process, people will need to decide as to whether or not they will have a pre remediation inspection performed. If you know you need mold remediation and are sure about what the scope of work needs to be, you may not need this service and can save the money for the Post Remediation Verification Clearance Testing that will verify the job is complete. The benefit of having this done by a third party like MI&T is that you can be sure the results are unbiased, and you will have a “protocol” for a mold remediator to work off of. This can be useful in obtaining quotes from multiple companies without them having to come and visit the property. Often times spending this money up front can save money in the long run by either avoiding professional remediation all together or by finding a more affordable option without having to spend time with multiple on-site visits.
Mold remediation workers use a variety of PPE to protect themselves when working in a contaminated area. This includes but is not limited to; n95 paper masks, half face respirators, full face respirators, long sleeves, pants or full Tyvek suits.
Many times, during the remediation process, temporary barriers or “containments” are created to isolate the damaged areas and prevent the spread of mold spores. This can be setup via plastic and zipper walls on door frames or “zip poles” or temporary framing that is made to hold up plastic walls. If the work is being performed in the entirety of the property or the property in question is vacant, containment may not be necessary.
Water or mold damaged building materials such as drywall or cabinetry usually calls for the removal of discarding of said items. Porous materials with organic nutrients that absorb water and are conducive to mold growth are usually the ones that will be needed to be removed. It is the recommendation of MI&T that these materials are removed 12” past any visible mold growth to ensure that everything has been removed and additional growth will not happen.
Mold Remediators will use a variety of cleaning methods on surfaces that are left in place to both physically remove mold and disinfect surfaces. These methods include scrubbing, brushing, sanding, spraying and wiping down surfaces. Disinfectants are used to clean surfaces and anti-microbial may be applied to kill mold and prevent future growth. Additional methods may be used for used for aesthetic purposes such as stain removers but they can be done with very harsh chemicals and it is not recommended for indoor living environments. There are very good organic disinfectants on the market today and that is what is most often recommended. Bleach can be used for non-porous surfaces but once again is a very harsh chemical, this product should not be used on porous surfaces like wood as it is water based.
As mold damaged building material is being removed, it can cause the air quality to get worse by dispersing even more mold into the air. HEPA vacuuming is used to remove mold from surfaces and air scrubbers are set to filter out excess mold spores from the air. Air filtration will usually remain in place for 48-72 hours to exchange the contaminated air with clean air. It is often recommended that “negative pressure” is created with these air scrubbers; this is done by venting the air scrubber's exhaust to an outside area, creating a vacuum effect on the area and also venting the air that is coming out of the air scrubber which may still have some mold spores.
Water and moisture are the sources of mold problems. Whether there is a leak, floor, or simply high levels of humidity, dehumidifiers are almost always used during the remediation process to remove moisture from the structure and air. If this step is missed, there is a good chance the mold problems will return, even if the rest of the removal and cleaning were done properly.
For properties that have highly concentrated levels of mold or if the HVAC unit is the source of the problem, a system cleaning will become part of the mold remediation process. It is important to understand that a full system cleaning is much different than a “duct cleaning.” Most state laws require that systems are cleaned by licensed HVAC techs, which is why not as many people offer them compared to duct cleaning. A full system cleaning includes the removal of all the systems internals to properly clean prior to reinstallation, and this is done in conjunction with the duct cleaning.
In certain cases, a mold assessor or remediator may recommend encapsulation to an exposed structure after the final cleaning is complete. Encapsulation is an application of a clear or often white sealant or coating. The benefit of encapsulation is preventing mold spore release, reinforcement of damaged materials, prevention of mold growth, aesthetic improvement, and long-term protection.
Once the mold remediator has completed all of the steps in the mold remediation process, it is highly recommended that a third-party mold assessor visits or re-visits the property to perform a Post-Remediation Verification (PRV), otherwise known as clearance testing. This is an inspection that is done to ensure all visible growth has been removed, and air tests are taken to ensure that levels are within acceptable ranges. Once the lab tests come back confirming this, the job can be closed out. In the event the inspection does not get clearance, the restoration company will return to re-clean and prepare for a secondary clearance.
Once the job has been completed, the restoration company will return to the property. On the final visit, they will remove equipment, take down containment, remove floor protection, and perform a final cleaning of any leftover dust and debris. After this is complete, any rebuild that is necessary can take place.
Mold remediation is a complex process that requires professional expertise and adherence to industry standards. Addressing mold growth through mold remediation is vital to ensure a safe and healthy living environment. MI&T, a trusted mold inspection company, offers a comprehensive mold inspection protocol and collaborates with experienced remediation professionals to effectively address mold-related issues. If you suspect mold growth in your property, don't hesitate