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Before tackling mold remediation, we need to first know what is mold. Mold are a type of fungi with different species that take different colors like black, white, greenish-gray, and pink among others. What determines the pigmentation is the material on which the mold is growing on.
Mold grows in areas that are high in humid levels. The fungi produces spores which are microscopic organisms that are found in the air. When inhaled, they cause allergic reactions and other respiratory infections.
What is Mold Remediation?
Mold remediation is the cleaning, removal or elimination of mold from your home. It also encompasses the treatment, sanitization and prevention of further mold growth. This is a process that is carried out by professionals. It is important to know the source of the moisture so that you root out the cause of the mold and not just clean it and leave it to grow back.
You need to come up with a proper remediation program. This will help you know when the work is scheduled to begin, when it shall be completed and allocate roles to the specific people who shall carry out different roles during the actual remediation process.
Also, you need to know whether there is any testing that is required. The homeowner should also be informed in good time so that they can plan appropriately. Here, the homeowner shall be forced to temporarily vacate their house for it is not safe to be around while remediation is taking place.
The amount of mold accumulation should also be determined together with size of the affected area before remediation. This will inform the way in which the mold shall be removed. The remediation process focuses on removal of mold with very minimal exposure to people.
What follows here is the actual cleaning process. This focusses on avoiding further presence of moisture which fosters the growth of mold. Repair all water leakage issues and isolate the contaminated area.
You thereafter need to suppress the dust by misting contaminated areas. Remove all the materials that are wet or damp or in any manner contaminated and damaged beyond repair, by placing them into plastic bags to minimize further contamination. These infested materials shall later be discarded as trash.
Cleaning of porous surfaces that have been contaminated follows. A wire brush is used and the surfaces are later dried. Clean off the areas that were used during the cleaning process, here, a vacuum cleaner is used to make sure that no mold spore is left to escape.
Check any visible dust or mold on porous and non-porous surfaces . All cleaned materials should be allowed to dry properly before being returned to their previous places.
Another way of doing remediation is by accessing the damage caused by the mold and carrying out required tests. Moving the items that need to be removed. Then the first thing that the mold remediation team does is to suite up and spray the area with biocide. The second day, spray with anti-mold type of paint that kills mold. This shall prevent any further growth of the mold.
Do I Really Need Mold Remediation?
There are some indicators that call for mold remediation. Let us consider some of these signs:
1. Dark colored spots
Mold have diverse effects on material. At times if they are not noticed in good time, they can cause damage to say your furniture, wall, among others. When you notice a change in color of your items, it is a call for remediation.
2. Water leakage
We are alive to the fact that mold grows in humid areas, humidity can be caused by water leakages in your home. When you notice damp areas in your home, it is an indication that mold is already growing and you should therefore have it removed.
3. Musty smell
Mold has a pungent musty smell. When you notice this type of smell, especially when you turn on your Ac you should think of having a mold remediation in your home.
4. Adverse health effects
Mold spores cause allergic reactions like itchy skin and eyes, dry cough, among others. And other severe complications like lung failure. When these symptoms become frequent or severe, you should have a mold remediation carried out in your home for this is a sign that indeed your home has been infested with mold.
This is built up of moisture content in your home. We know that mold thrives in areas that are full of moisture. The presence of moisture in your home will necessitate remediation.
6. Location of the mold
If you suspect or notice mold in areas that you cannot easily access, it would call for the services of a mold remediation specialist.
7. Size of the mold
Here, if the mold is more than 10 square feet big, you shall definitely need the help of mold remediation specialist.
When Should You Call a Mold Remediation Specialist?
You need a mold specialist because they can handle the mold problem in the best manner. This is due to the fact that they have the best equipment and cleaning agents. They also handle the problem well and avoid spread of mold spores to other areas of your home.
Mold specialists also would track down the source of the mold and effectively prevent any further mold growth. Further, mold removal specialists would naturally asses the damaged caused by the mold and replace the damaged surfaces if need be.
Calling a mold remediation specialist is necessary if the mold has spread over a relatively large area. Like more than 10 square feet. Large mold colonies indicate that there is large damaged surface, a remediation specialist would be able to advice on whether cleaning is enough or you need a replacement of the damaged surfaces.
It is necessary to call a mold remediation specialist in the event that you can only smell the mold but you can’t see it. Here, the specialist will be able to determine the location of the mold with the help of the tools they have.
If mold in your home is located in areas that are not easily accessible, you shall require a mold remediation specialist to access the area with their specialized tools and effectively remove the mold.
You need to engage a mold remediation specialist if you live with family members who are highly susceptible. These could people with pre-existing medical conditions like asthmatic people and young children who have a weak immune system. The specialist shall clean your home and avoid the escape of mold spores into the air.
Call a mold remediation specialist if you have hazardous materials in your home like asbestos. Good care shall be given to such materials by a specialist.
Signs That You Need Mold Remediation
Presence of moisture in your home means that mold could be present. This is because mold grows in areas that have a high moisture content. Also inactive spores become active the moment they come into contact with moisture.
2. Visual marks
These are marks left by the effect of mold. Mold leaves behind circular marks on substances. They also discolor materials that they grow on.
Mold has a pungent musty smell. When you notice this smell, it means you need the services a mold remediation specialist.
4. Health symptoms
People react differently to exposure to mold spores. Severe allergic reactions and chronic diseases of the respiratory system are a sign of exposure to mold spores, here get a mold remediation specialist to clean your home.
5. Decay of materials
If a surface has been infested with mold for a long time, it starts to decay and causes the whole structure to become weak. A mold remediation specialist shall advise you and avert any chances of accidents occurring as a result of weak structures.
Does Mold Have to be Removed Professionally?
Caution should be taken when removing mold from your home. Arguments against professional mold removal is that it is costly and at the end of it all, mold must be removed for it is harmful. Mold poses as a health risk to both animals and human beings, so it is ideal that you get a specialist to remove it and completely eradicate it.
Professional mold remediation is more effective for the right tools, gargets and cleaning agents are used. There is always minimal exposure of people to the mold spores as the vacuum used collects all the mold spores from the air.
Professional removal of mold spores also focusses on the causes of mold. The main cause many times is the moisture factor, which shall be eliminated.
It is also ideal for having a professional to remove mold from your home especially if the mold has spread over a large area.
Mold often times mold grows in hidden damp areas. This makes it hard to be discovered at early stages, a professional shall be able to remove all the mold including the one that you cannot physically notice.
A professional shall also be able to assess the extent of damage caused by the mold and advice accordingly. Sometimes the affected areas need to be replaced, it is hard for you to determine this.
What is the Average Cost of Mold Remediation?
Many people argue that it is not necessary to test for mold before having it removed. Others, however, think that testing is crucial. Testing for mold is important in the sense that it would help you know the species of mold that you are dealing with, and the degree of infection. Mold testing costs also adds to what a professional mold cleaner would charge for the remediation services.
Determining the price of mold remediation mainly depends on the size of the work required. The cost ranges from $500 to $ 6000 or more, depending also on the service provider. It is therefore best to first compare the prices from different service providers, then settle on the most affordable one.
The price for mold remediation is relatively high because the companies have to carter for insurance cover for their employees and their general safety while at work. Another factor that makes it expensive with mold remediation companies is that they require specialized equipment.
We have described mold remediation, its importance, signs of mold in your home that call for professional mold removal and the cost of mold remediation.
HVAC tech with over 30 years of experience. Retired and doing repair work on the side around Madison County, AL.