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Our Mold Remediation Process
When it comes to mold remediation, time is of the essence. because the longer you wait before mold removal, the more damages your home sustains. Here are some of the steps we follow in tackling your mold problems.
Before remediation begins, a proper assessment is important. The mold should be documented with photos and a written assessment that will be used to develop a proper remediation plan. This plan will determine when work will begin, when the remediation is scheduled to be complete, who will perform the work, and which strategies will be implemented. Because mold is not always isolated in a single area, the mold remediation company will determine the extent of the contamination.
Stopping the Source
If there is an active leak or water problem, it must be corrected before the mold is removed. Mold does not need much to flourish: a dripping pipe or water that splashes out of the bathtub can feed a large mold problem. Addressing the water problem will prevent new spores from growing.
The contaminated area will need to be sealed off from the rest of the home. In most cases, all doorways and openings will be sealed with sheeting with seams closed with duct tape. This prevents mold spores from spreading to other areas of the home when materials are disturbed. Negative pressure will be used in the work area to allow air to flow into the space but not out. This is important to prevent mold spores from spreading.
Removal of Contaminated Materials
All moldy and wet building materials will be carefully removed from the property in sealed bags. Any contaminated materials that cannot be sufficiently cleaned must be removed after they have been lightly sprayed to reduce the risk of spores getting dispersed. A vacuum with a HEPA filter is used while cutting into contaminated drywall and other materials.
All materials that can be cleaned will be thoroughly cleaned with detergent and a fungicide. Non-porous materials like countertops and bathtubs are first scrubbed. When mold has affected porous materials that can’t be removed like wall studs, as much mold as possible will be removed. This may require sanding wood to remove the mold. In these cases, encapsulation is also necessary. Once the mold is removed as much as possible and the surface is treated with fungicide, it will be encapsulated with a product that is applied like paint to seal any remaining mold so it cannot spread.
The final step of mold removal is completing any necessary repairs. This may involve replacing carpet, drywall, baseboard, and other building materials that could not be cleaned. How long these repairs will take depends on the extent of the mold problem. Because mold is often discovered during renovations, these repairs may already be planned and may not add much to the actual mold removal cost.
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Types of House Mold
To the untrained eye, all mold may look the same. The truth is there are more than 100,000 types of mold and over 100 commonly found in homes. Exposure to a high level of any type of mold can have health repercussions. Some forms of mold are more dangerous than others, however. Here are some of the most common molds to watch for in the home.
Alternaria This type of mold is usually found outside, but it can be found growing near leaky pipes, wet showers, and homes that have experienced water damage. Alternaria can spread from one area to another very quickly. Alternaria is a common cause of allergies, especially allergies that get worse from spring through late fall. About 70% of mold-allergic people are sensitive to this mold with symptoms that include itching, sneezing, congestion, and runny nose.
Aspergillus Aspergillus mold is usually found in soil and decaying plants, but it’s also frequently found in homes. Aspergillus has been found to cause respiratory infections and hypersensitivity pnemonitis, or inflammation of the lungs. Aspergillus is one of the most common molds to cause disease in humans.
Cladosporium This mold usually looks like a green or black substance growing like pepper on the backs of toilets, air ducts, and painted surfaces. Despite being nontoxic like many household molds, cladosprium can still cause allergy symptoms. Cladosporium is different than many molds in that it can grow easily in cool areas as well as warm climates.
Fusarium This type of mold, like Cladosporium, grows and spreads at lower temperatures than other types of mold. Fusarium is usually found on water-damaged fabric like carpet. Some species can cause mycotoxicosis in humans, but most are fairly harmless. Fusarium is a common agricultural plant pathogen that can damage many crops like wheat, tomato, and tobacco.
Stachybotrys Chartarum Also called “black mold” due to its slimy black appearance, this is one of the most notorious types of household molds. While the mold itself is not toxic, it does produce mycotoxins that can cause health problems. This type of mold has a unique musty aroma and typically grows in areas that stay damp, including near leaky pipes and air ducts with condensation.
Trichoderma Trichoderma is similar to Stachybotrys chartarum in that it produces similar mycotoxins that can cause health problems. This type of mold usually grows on damp material like carpets, wallpaper, and drywall. It’s most common in a home after serious water damage. Trichoderma is a green-colored fungi that’s naturally found in almost all soils.
Some molds in your home are nothing more than a nuisance or eyesore, but others can cause health problems and allergy symptoms. The only way to know what type of mold is growing in your home is with a professional mold test. Not even an expert can visually confirm the types of mold in your home, but a mold test will identify the mold and extent of the problem.