Mold Remediation to Protect Your Property
When it comes to home improvement, you can find “5 Easy Steps!” articles online for every sort of project. But when it comes to mold, there are no easy steps or shortcuts. Advanced mold growth can present hazards to both your health and your property. Untangling and researching solutions can be challenging when confronted with an immediate problem. For instance, what’s the difference between remediation and removal? Where do you get a HEPA scrubber? At this point, you may be ready to call in the experts, but what should you expect?
Remediation as a Strategy
Removal may imply total eradication of mold, but in practice, this isn’t entirely accurate. There is always some level of mold present in the environment, even after removal. Mold is all around us. But in a well-maintenance environment, mold levels are usually harmless. However, some removal is necessary when unsafe levels (determined by the EPA) are reached. Removal captures just one aspect of the mold maintenance process, known as mold remediation.
Remediation is a strategy with multiple touchpoints, and the most effective remediation strategies should encompass the following:
- Assessment and Testing: with professional equipment, to determine the scope of any issue.
- Documentation and Communication: it’s your space and you should be communicated clearly! Any strategic decision making should keep you in the loop, and the best experts will thoroughly document and share probable mold origins, growth patterns, and plan of attack
- Containment: before vigorously scrubbing, HEPA-vacuuming the air and surfaces, or removing moldy materials, the spread should be contained. Otherwise, any attempt to clean may push mold into the air and into new places. Protecting unaffected areas from further spreading during removal is key to getting the job done right the first time.
- Removal: to get clean, your area occasionally needs to get messy first. Irreparably damaged areas may need to be cut and removed, though any demolition or damages should be minimized as much as possible. Moldy materials should be bagged and disposed of responsibly. Fans may be temporarily brought in to control ventilation, and HEPA scrubbers may be used to remove mold from air or surfaces.
- Sealing: at last, affected surfaces may be given a final wipedown with moldicides or other solutions, and then treated for the long-term with sealers depending on expected humidity levels.
- Maintenance: the best remediation strategies are built for the long haul, potentially incorporating future testing to ensure mold remains at safe levels and making recommendations to prevent future over-abundance of moisture.
Further Breaking Down the Cleaning Process
Once your infestation has been assessed, digging into the removal step can quickly reveal the value of an expert remediation team. Unfortunately, mold is extremely resilient. Cleaning often demands more than a spray-and-wipe solution. Even when visible mold is eliminated, it can grow back again and again from microscopic colonies, creating more frustration and damage along the way. To remediate mold and restore healthy, EPA-accepted levels of air quality, will often require a deep, multipronged approach to cleansing. The removal step of a remediation plan may look something like this:
- Problem Spots: to begin removal, potential origination points must be addressed, or else the whole process can be a messy waste of time. Leaky pipes, flooding basements, or any other source of unwanted moisture should be reduced or eliminated when possible.
- Subdue Dust: although counterintuitive, misting or dampening dusty surfaces may limit debris from traveling through the air and stirring up more mold spores.
- Extract Porous Materials: porous materials such as wood or insulation are susceptible to holding water and facilitating mold growth at a level below the surface. Damp or drenched-through materials like this are often irreversibly damaged. They may need to be cut out, securely bagged, and ultimately removed to maintain containment.
- Top-Level Cleaning: non-porous materials and surfaces should be thoroughly wiped down. A wire brush may be required for problem spots, followed by detergent solutions or moldicides which can be applied, rinsed, and dried.
- Deeper Cleaning: even when visible mold has been removed, it may be necessary to clean both air and surfaces with HEPA vacuums. HEPA vacuums are industrial-grade cleaning appliances designed to specifically capture unwanted particulates down to the microscopic level of mold spores.
- Drying: any cleaned and rinsed surface must be deeply dried to prevent return growth. Hopefully, problem spots have already been addressed, and leftover moisture can be managed with ventilation and dehumidification. Experts may bring in industrial fans or dehumidifiers to control and speed up the drying process.
Sanity Check – Was Mold Remediation Effective?
Any expert worth the money should be attacking your mold problem now and in the future! As a critical last step, high-quality mold remediation specialists should determine whether cleanup efforts have been successful and are likely to remain successful. They may return for another assessment, comparative moisture mapping, or even order more testing to verify that no mold has returned. While we can’t speak for others’ approaches, at Lamunyon we believe in getting the job done right the first time. We also provide high quality comprehensive mold services in McPherson including:
We have years of experience treating the mold of local McPherson conditions, and our specialists are experts in remediation strategy. Our goal is to serve you in the protection of your property and, most importantly, your family! Call us for no-obligation testing!