There are different types of mold inside houses. And nearly all of them lead to health problems and deterioration of the surfaces, where they grow. In this article, we’re considering the mold damage restoration that is done in a house, apartment, or building.
Can I remediate mold myself?
Yes, you can! The Environmental protection agency of the United States, epa.gov, tells that it is expedient to deal with mold on your own if the contamination is not larger than 10 square feet.
However, if it is caused by long-term dampness, flood, sewer waters, poor basement insulation, or you live in or run a commercial house or public building, it is necessary to contact a suitable contractor for mold remediation with profile hands-on experience in the exact type of work. Since the kinds of mold vary and it is in most cases impossible to define the real footage of infestation after an unprofessional visual examination of just outer surfaces, applied techniques and used cleaning detergents for mold removal will also vary.
Do you have to throw everything with mold away?
Mold, especially, the most widespread black one, tends to grow on porous surfaces, which include textile, wood, drywalls, foam-based ceiling tiles, and tile joints. Unfortunately, this includes furniture upholstery, carpets, doormats, clothes, and curtains. Along with black mold, it is also possible to have white mold, which also loves dampness and can proliferate on leather, faux leather, some types of textiles, and food.
Since mold propagates through space using spores, which are invisible to the naked eye, it can be told with assuredness that wherever there is visible mold, there are spores. If you can kill the visible part, you, most surely, can’t kill spores. And after some time, new mold will grow from the spores sitting in the material, occupying even its tiniest dents. So, yes, for mold remediation, you have to throw away all the infested porous materials, including carpets, clothes, foam tiles, drywalls, and debris.
Should mold be removed by a professional?
A mold inspection usually shows that most kinds of its infestation in buildings are large, occupying far more than 10 square feet. Thus, commercial mold removal specialists must be contacted. They have all the necessary tools, materials, and remedies for mold removal.
Constant wetness of shower rooms makes mold proliferate there. But not only this room is susceptible to mold growth. The dampness of the indoor and outdoor air throughout the year, and bad insulation of walls, roof, and foundation of the building create conditions for mold growth, especially if water permeates through. So it is a problem that can appear in any room and live well not only on visible surfaces but also inside of them, especially in buildings made of wood and drywalls, which make up the biggest part of private homes in the US.
If a house was not initially built with a correct HVAC system that would prevent mold remediation in the future (because it would have kept the indoor air clean and dry every day), then the professional mold removal procedure is just a matter of time.
What do professionals use for mold remediation?
Depending on the size of mold damage restoration and the type of building, a professional mold remediation company may be called by a private homeowner or a landlord.
To make mold cleanup, a specialist must first make an inspection. It will include visual estimation of surfaces and preliminary internal inspection of contaminated drywalls (usually, several small holes are made to insert a tiny camera there) to estimate the scope of work. The mold remediation cost will heavily depend on such estimation.
Then, mold removal is scheduled, and, depending on the restoration volume, the entire process will take from several hours to several days. The first scenario of remediation is possible if only outer non-porous surfaces are contaminated — only good brushing with bleaches and cleaners will be necessary in this case. The worst-case scenario will require undoing the walls for thorough mold remediation. As a rule, it is mold from water damage, which has been soaking the walls for years and little or nothing was done to prevent it.
There are several stages of mold removal when experts arrive at the place:
1. Removing all moldy surfaces and materials
Since we’ve already said it is impossible to return life to certain materials and surfaces if they are infested with mold (especially, the black one), all contaminated moldy materials are to be thrown away. They, along with
the debris of the repair process, are gathered in thick-wall plastic bags (a bag in a bag would be the best) and then disposed of.
2. Sealing the treated site
Every room where there will be works must be sealed with a plastic film to be separated from other rooms of the premises (to avoid spores distribution). All air ducts in the walls and floor are sealed the same. And windows are shut tight unless there is a special duct for a vacuum cleaner positioned outdoors to remove contaminated air and debris. All furniture and other items must be removed from the room (and cleaned separately) before it is processed.
3. Opening up the moldy walls
Wherever there is mold, drywalls are to be opened. You shall replace them anyway — it is impossible to remove mold from them without dismantling them since it sits in every smallest pore (with which drywalls are packed). So specialists will remove as many wall parts as necessary until they see there is no mold anymore behind the walls. In worst cases, an entire room can be left with stripped walls. But worry not: to complete the process, they shall restore the walls.
4. Cleaning the mold
At this stage, every single inch shall be cleaned. Rigid brushes soaked in a special cleaning solution are used first. Then, mold removal experts will apply 2-3 layers of mildewcide to prevent mold from growing again. This is a substance like a primer or paint, which additionally can kill mold that is hard to reach if it’s impossible to dismantle infested elements. The room must dry completely to kill the residues of mold.
5. Restoring the room
After everything is processed, specialists typically restore the previously broken elements of walls, ceilings, and floors. New surfaces are also heavily processed with mildewcide to prevent mold to occur in the future (at least for years).
Remember that preventing mold’s proliferation is keeping your home very dry and doing regular cleaning.