What Is Involved With Mold Remediation?
Molds can be frustrating in your residence or workplace. It can cause you allergies, eye itchiness, wheezing, scratchiness in the throat or even coughs. Also, the damage to your house and its environment can be unprecedented. For example, it can eat up floors and walls, thus weakening the overall structure or attic of the building.
If molds start growing, then know it is time for mold remediation. Don’t wait too long or else you could lose your home or office.
Mold remediation means that you are removing mold in your house or business and getting the mold levels back to normal and natural levels. Follow our mold remediation process and get back your joy.
Mold Remediation Process
First things, first! Call a mold remediation company to make an expert assessment on the extent of the mold in your house. More of the evaluation is visual but may get invasive to unearth hidden molds.
Molds can hide beneath the carpets or inside the ceiling, making it difficult to notice. Take note that molds like to grow on damp surfaces and the growth accelerated by temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Inspect for small black mildew as that is how molds begin their journey on surfaces. Molds also produce musty odors, but be watchful not to sniff large quantities of the substance.
Assessment must include indoor and outdoor areas where dampness is possible. Like any living organism, molds thrive on water and oxygen.
Be sure to check in the wardrobes too as wet clothes harbor molds. Take note that the bigger the molds, the greater the effort needed to remove it.
A sampling of molds also happens at this stage. With sampling, an expert examines the species of fungi to ascertain the level of risk.
2. Coming up with a Mold Remediation Plan
A critical thing here is to document the mold remediation plan. The priority of the remediation plan is to protect the health of both the occupants and remediation workers.
These plans vary depending on the complexity and magnitude of the job. It must also be flexible for adjustment upon the discovery of more contamination.
Here are a few things to include in the remediation plan:
- The Personal Protective Equipment required
- Level of containment under consideration.
- Dealing with moisture to avoid recurrence
- Disposal of moldy materials to prevent further spread
A remediation plan states the methods to use in removing the mold. A budget must accompany everything in the remediation plan.
Since mold may pose a health hazard, the mold remediation plan should include the hours when remediation will take place. Off hours are the best to stop occupants’ exposure to the mold.
The plan will also have a list of resources required.
3. Gearing up and Precautionary Measures
Once you have a plan, it is time to gear up. Gearing up is essential for a remediator to stay safe during the mold remediation process.
Having a proper mask and goggles helps in stopping molds from entering your body through the nostrils and eyes. Choose appropriate clothing that is washable or disposable upon completion of the exercise.
Note: The N-95 mask is the best as it features several layers of material that block off molds effectively. But if you do not afford N-95, wear several of the ordinary masks for ultimate protection.
Desist from eating after the remediation process until you shower and clean the home environment thoroughly. Also, wash the clothes you used alongside others to avoid harboring the molds.
Before proceeding on mold remediation, turn off ACs and furnaces. You do not want to spread spores of molds to other areas of the house.
4. The actual process of remediation
The first thing here is to seal off other rooms to prevent spores from spreading to other rooms. Consider using uncut sheets of plastic while using duct tape to seal off the other places entirely.
Next, you do negative pressuring of the house. That means getting air out of the house using an exhaust pipe. It is the best way to dispel any remaining spores to the outside of the building. While applying negative pressure, ensure the AC is off to stop the recirculation of contaminated air.
Now wet (using water) the dry molds to soften them for easy removal. Moistening absorbs spores which ensures that it doesn’t escape to the air.
Alternatively, use other agents like ammonia, borax or bleach. Note that agents like bleach are only effective for non-porous surfaces.
How about porous surfaces?
Vinegar and peroxide are the best for removing molds on porous surfaces. The good thing about vinegar is that it is pretty safe as compared to bleach which may discolor your clothes or may be harmful to pets.
Just like vinegar, Hydrogen-peroxide is an inexpensive option for clearing molds. Peroxide works well on tile surfaces, but you must accompany the removal with a hard scrub.
Once you remove all the mold infestation, apply mold killing solution or spray that averts any recurrence of the mold.
For porous materials, decide whether they are still valuable and if not, dispose of them. After clearing all the molds, wrap up the process by High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) vacuuming.
The very last thing is the disposal of moldy materials. Seal all the items in a trash bag and dispose of them like you always do. You can also throw the trash into a construction bin.
5. Evaluate the success
Once satisfied that mold remediation was successful, conduct a debrief. Here, you check if the process followed the EPA guidelines. Ascertain that there is no moisture and traces of mold.
It is the point where homeowners get the go-ahead to move into the premises. More environmental tests are necessary at this point. It is here that you outline the learnings and state areas that your team needs to improve.
There you go! Follow those steps to succeed in your mold remediation exercise. Guide your handyman to follow the same. But always involve an expert to have big wins. Remember that a moisture management strategy will save you a great deal in eliminating the mold problem. Also, don’t forget to use the best Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to stay safe during mold remediation.