What is Mold Remediation?
Mold remediation is like any other procedure where you hire a professional or a specialist to get rid of mold present in your home. The expert will first assess the situation, and then you will be walked through several steps by the mold remediation company representative.
But there are certain things that you might want to get done before the crew arrives.
- Try to fix the water issue until the professional arrives to prevent further damage.
- If you have pets at home, keep them away as any hindrance in the job will cost you money and time both.
- The remediation company will want to park their vehicle as close to the house as possible because they have to run down hoses, lay plastic sheets down to the mold area. This won’t be necessary if the affected area is accessible from outside, like in a crawl space. So keep the front yard or garage clear.
Let’s chug some knowledge on the procedure details so that we are well prepared the next time we bring in a mold specialist for mold control.
As obvious as it may sound, to solve and treat a problem, you first need to know its source and its severity. So there goes the first step:
Learn about the moisture, its origin and assess the severity of damage
Finding the cause might be a comparatively easy task. If there was enough time for mold to develop, then the source will probably be evident and upfront. However, assessing mold growth will be much more problematic than it seems because it might not be limited to just the amount that is visible growth on the walls or the ceiling or in the corners.
Mold is much of an invisible intruder; it will grow above, around, and behind the place where it is visible. It is for this analytical thinking required here for which you need to hire professionals from mold remediation companies.
Keep in mind about all sorts of mold growth, water, or moisture problem is involved. Mastery over the knowledge of moisture will help you a lot. You will have to know about all the possible ways from where condensation or water can get inside your property. Ultimately, this will help a lot in the remediation process as the detection of moisture and detecting the severity of the damage will be very easy.
Bring in an IEP (Indoor Environmental Professional) to assess the degree of contamination, document it and create a remediation plan
After you know the source of moisture and the root of the problem from where it all began, you can bring in an IEP to assess the degree of contamination or damage to your property by mold. The IEP may collect samples from affected and unaffected areas of the property and analyze them simultaneously to chalk out a plan of remediation for the professionals to act on to restore your house to the pre-contamination state.
Time to act out the plan!
It’s time to remediate your property now that you have all the knowledge about the contamination, the damage, and the plan of action.
Tools and materials needed at your disposal to get rid of mold can be categorized into two divisions: viz., personal safety-related equipment and tools, and chemicals to remove the mold and repair the damage.
The must-have list of personal safety items for mold control would be:
- N-95 or P-100 respirator masks
- Safety glasses
- Overalls to cover your body head-to-toe
- Rubber or latex gloves
Your mold prevention arsenal must have:
- Plastic sheets to lay down
- Drywall saw
- Shop vacuum (wet-dry vacuum)
- Scrub brush
- Window fan for ventilation
- Utility knife
- Approved grade plastic disposal bags
- Heavy-duty cleaning reagents
- Painter’s tape
- Any oil-based primer
Step 1: Isolation and ventilation of the contaminated area
The process of remediation will involve exterminating the maximum amount of existing mold while maintaining the safety of the property as well as their owners. Thus, isolation and ventilation are always the first and the most crucial step towards mold control. Proper segregation will also ensure that while remediation is being carried out, there is no further spreading of spores involved from the contaminated zone. Other than the newly created ventilation, so serve the purpose of maintaining fresh air for breathing. All other doors, windows, and other openings must be sealed with six mil polyethylene sheeting and all slip openings with duct tape. Create isolation barriers in correspondence to the degree of contamination and verify their integrity with a negative pressure to confirm there is no air leakage. Also, to suppress the airborne spread of spores and dust, use a garden sprayer to moisten the contaminated areas. Once all these measures are in place, the mold prevention process can begin.
Step 2: Remove and get rid of unsalvageable materials
This lot will mostly comprise of porous materials that are damaged beyond repair. Most of these items cannot be restored effectively, and thus, should be carefully discarded in approved grade plastic bags and wrappers. If you are doubtful about what you can keep and what should be discarded, seek help from the supervisor or EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) documents related to mold remediation. It is of utter importance that you use plastic bags of at least 6-millimeter thickness and double-bag those. Seal off the mouth with tape, clean the outside of the pack with a detergent solution before it leaves the containment area.
Step 3: Commence cleaning of mold-infested surfaces with great attention to detail
Open up moldy walls, pry off baseboards and probe heavily stained walls to bring out any hidden moisture damage or mold build-up. There is no need to hold back while doing this to reduce cost as the walls and floorboards have to be repaired anyway. Isolate the power supply to the outlets to avoid any accident by cutting off any in-wall wiring. It is better to poke a hole through the damaged area to get a general idea of the wiring. Moisten the mold-infested regions to avoid the spreading of spores and get rid of any moldy material, like wall insulations, parts of wooden floorboard or plaster in heavy-duty bags, and shut them off.
At this stage, the following are the things that a professional does-
- The mold control professional will most probably begin further cleanup by vacuuming the mold-infested area using a HEPA vacuum. It is equipped with high-efficiency filters to trap mold spores
- Use a combination of bleach mold cleaner and water to scrub off surface mold stains from walls and wood trim. Use a soft brush and scrub till there is no visible sign of mold left. Post scrubbing, allow the bleach to penetrate and continue killing mold and dry up by itself.
- After all these tense procedures, the mold control specialist will spray an EPA-approved biocide (mold killer) and let it rest while it does its job.
- By the next day or two, all of the above procedures involving all the scrubbing and applying of chemicals and sanitizing sprays will have taken its toll in favor of mold prevention. Make sure the area is well dried up, and there is no visible mold left. The mold control specialist will then spray the area with an encapsulant. It is a type of paint or whitewash that will encapsulate the mold affected areas and little beyond when sprayed on to eliminate any remaining chances of spore spreading, leading to mold growth.
- Following these steps, the crew will then purify the air in the area using a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particular Air) air scrubber to exchange the air that might contain mold spores with fresh air.
- Give a final cleaning by vacuuming the whole area with a shop vacuum and disposing of off any moldy porous or non-porous materials following proper disposal protocol, as discussed previously.
Step 4: Mold Inspection to be done by the IEP to determine if the remediation has been successful
The last judgment call!
This is to ensure that all the efforts of mold prevention and mold control have been successful. Just because all the visible signs of mold have been treated and cured doesn’t mean it is all done. The IEP will revisit your property to verify that the following goals have been successfully achieved:
- There are no recurring signs of water damage or moisture.
- No visible signs of mold, mold-infested items. Mold smelling odors should also not be there.
- Proper disposal of mold-infested items has been done, and nothing mold-infested is remaining in the property.
- The property owners’ atmosphere and internal environment are entirely safe and habitable for the property owners to move in and commence a healthy lifestyle without any hindrance or risk to health.
That’s pretty much all there is to mold remediation. However, now that you know what to expect from mold remediation companies when performing mold prevention on your property, always remember to focus on preventing it from occurring at all in the first place.
The final verdict
Mold remediation, if appropriately done, should prevent it from happening again in the future. The key is to have total control over the dampness and become and the master of moisture.
As mentioned by Rachel Adams, the President of Indoor Environmental Management, Inc., mold remediation is more about emphasizing source removal than using chemicals and paints and coatings and methods of shielding and removing the problem temporarily. Understanding moisture and managing airflow also play an integral role in achieving success in any mold remediation project.
Now, do you want to get rid of mold in your house? Then simply don’t hesitate to hire the best mold remediation services near your place as soon as you discover the mold attack. The more you wait, the higher will be the overall cost of the procedure. Finding the best services can be tricky, though with the increasing number of mold remediation services.
In that case, you can only cherry-pick our services and relish the most affordable mold remediation procedure. All you have to do is gives us a call. Our mold specialists will visit your property soon and will verify the severity of the condition. Once done, they will head on to the next step to help you get acceptable levels of mold in your home.