There is still a lot of hype about mold, particularly after the death of actress Brittany Murphy in 2009, and that of her husband, Simon Monjack, five months later. At the time, it was speculated that toxic mold in the couple’s home was a contributing factor to their deaths. Mold can cause allergic reactions and respiratory health problems such as asthma, particularly to chronic sufferers of lung disease. It is therefore important to eradicate mold as soon as you discover it in your home. Mold remediation companies typically use the following five steps to get rid of the spores that cause so much distress:
Step One – Assessment
A mold remediation specialist will visit your home or building in order to carry out the assessment. He or she might opt to bring along an Indoor Environmental Professional (IEP) who will ascertain the magnitude of the mold damage and run tests to find out the level of contamination in the building. The IEP might also gather and examine specimens from affected and unaffected parts of the structure, since mold spores and other microscopic toxins can travel easily through a building.
Step Two – Address the Moisture Problem
The first goal of proper mold remediation is to fix what’s causing excess moisture in your home or building. Whether a leaky roof, poor ventilation, or bad plumbing causes your mold problem, it’s important that you find the source and fix it as soon as possible. Mold will only go away if you address the root cause. Apart from mold, you also may also face severe structural and aesthetic problems with your building if you decide to ignore your moisture problem.
Step Three – Containment
Once mold is found, the specialist uses a variety of containment measures to prevent it from spreading. For example, the specialist might use negative air chambers, which will isolate the affected area, or negative air pressure, which will prevent the mold spores from spreading when the cleanup process begins. The technician will also turn off your HVAC system and any other cooling fans to prevent spores from spreading as the mold is removed.
Step Four – Remediation
Moldy materials such as drywall and carpeting, which cannot be adequately cleaned, will be removed at this stage. Non-porous materials, such as tile, metals, sinks, bathtubs, and countertops will be treated with biocide to kill mold spores. The mold remediation technicians will use commercial grade antimicrobials to eliminate as much mold as possible from porous materials that cannot be removed, such as wooden wall studs.
Step Five – Cleanup and Encapsulation
The technicians will use a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) vacuum to clean all surfaces. This removes all remaining moisture, as well as mold fragments and residues from any microbial sprays used. It also dries surfaces and prepares them for encapsulation, which is the application of a special paint or whitewash to prevent future outbreaks of mold.
The goal of mold removal is to return your property as closely as possible to its pre-loss condition. Ensure that you choose a remediation company that complies with EPA guidelines. Mold growth can endanger your family’s health and the structural integrity of your home. With that in mind, make sure you’re informed about proper mold remediation, and choose your mold remediation company wisely.