Have you noticed signs of mold in your beloved home? Mold infestation has the potential to ruin households and the health of occupants. It’s an arch enemy of numerous homeowners who cope with moisture issues.
The toxicity of this fungus affects children, the elderly, people with compromised immune systems, individuals with respiratory conditions, etc. Hence, by noticing the initial signs of mold, homeowners should immediately hire professionals to conduct a removal process. These specialists document the problem, create a plan for remediation, calculate the contamination extent, remove the fungus, and eventually check if the cleanup has been successful.
Here is everything you need to know about the process of removal.
Understanding the role of moisture in mold growth
Moisture plays a crucial role in the growth of this fungus, which is known to be an invisible intruder. Apart from the signs of visible growth, it also grows behind walls and other surfaces. The root of mold growth is a moisture or water problem, which is why the source of moisture has to be located as soon as possible. Professionals are trained in identifying such sources by looking beyond the visible signs of damage.
Mold growth happens through the release of spores into the atmosphere, which is invisible to the human eye. They only need oxygen and moisture to spread everywhere around the house. The usual surfaces that harbor this fungus include insulation, drywall, fabrics, tiles, and wood.
Documenting the problem and creating a remediation plan
After evaluating the condition of properties, mold removal specialists document the damage by taking videos, photographs, and writing reports. Such documentation is necessary for developing a remediation plan, which provides answers to important questions related to the need for testing and temporary relocation of homeowners.
In the long term, this documentation might even indicate trends in mold growth. This fungus is not only a problem in terms of aesthetics, but it also has adverse effects on the health of household residents. Once spores land in a damp and wet location, they start growing and producing allergens, toxic substances, and irritants. Therefore, devising a remediation plan should be done as fast as possible.
Calculating the extent of contamination
Once a remediation plan is devised, mold removal specialists take the following step of calculating the extent of the contamination. This fungus doesn’t always grow in one area, meaning experts should figure out the right extent of the contamination. The majority of mold removal companies, like Union Restoration, offer free inspections. These calculations have an influence on the removal and cleanup approach they will use.
Furthermore, the removal of this fungus is usually based on square footage, along with checking whether it’s located inside the HVAC system. There are specific guidelines that professionals follow in cleaning up contamination.
Remediation and removal
After performing all the necessary inspections and calculations, experts commence the process of mold removal and remediation. It involves cleaning up existing spores while trying not to expose themselves and homeowners to their negative impact. They also work on preventing future growth by addressing the source of moisture.
The calculations they’ve made will help them determine which remediation guidelines to follow. For instance, level one remediation is recommended for small areas up to ten square feet, whereas level two remediation is suitable for larger square footage, between ten and thirty square feet. The cleanup process is the same for both levels.
The initial task on the agenda of mold removal professionals is to repair the water problem for new spores to be prevented from growing. The contaminated area should isolated by closing all doors and windows between this area and the rest of the rooms. Level 2 remediation guidelines instruct professionals to have all doorways covered with polyethylene sheeting of six millimeters. They seal all sheeting seams with duct tape.
Additionally, dust should be suppressed and wet materials removed. If unsure which materials to remove, these professionals can refer to EPA documents for instructions. Moldy and wet materials should be placed in plastic bags, whose thickness is six millimeters. These workers double-bag the materials and close the bags by tying them. The exterior surface of the bags should be wiped with detergent and a damp cloth.
Wood surfaces and other surfaces made of non-porous materials are then cleaned. Moldy surfaces are best cleaned by using a wire brush and wiping the area with disposable wipes afterward. Wipes are then discarded in polyethylene bags of six millimeters.
Level 1 remediation requires cleaning with a mop or damp cloth to apply the detergent solution, whereas level 2 requires all surfaces to be vacuumed with HEPA vacuums and then mopped with detergent. The following link, https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/what-hepa-filter-1, explains what a HEPA filter is.
A visibility test is conducted afterward to check if all areas are free of debris and contamination. The absence of dirt and dust indicates no mold. The materials that undergo cleaning should be dried to enable the remaining moisture to evaporate. Professionals speed up the drying process by using dehumidifiers and fans. Level three remediation and above are practiced on areas larger than 30 square feet.
Checking if the cleanup has been successful
The ultimate step is checking whether the cleanup has been successful by revisiting the property soon after the removal process was completed. When revisiting homes, professionals check if the moisture problem has been repaired. There should be no symptoms of recurring water damage, visible mold, moldy odor, and mold-damaged materials.
Moreover, homeowners are supposed to reoccupy their homes without experiencing any adverse health symptoms. Additional testing may be conducted to ensure mold has been entirely removed. The requirements for extra testing depend on the severity of the mold problem. If the problem was serious enough, more tests should be performed to confirm the absence of the fungus from a particular home.
This intruder has to be eliminated from households before it causes tremendous damage.
Call the experts to take the necessary steps for rapid removal!