Mold can become a problem when it starts growing on a surface. This might happen under certain conditions, when four main factors for mold growth come together – moisture, lack of ventilation, temperature over 3Â°C and organic surface. Organic building materials, like wood, bricks, drywall or concrete, are a perfect feeding source for mold. When mold spores attach to an organic surface that is moist and improperly ventilated, they form a colony and start growing. The way most of the buildings are constructed and maintained nowadays provides multiple choices of places for mold growth. Usually they are basements, attics, cold rooms, showers and bathrooms, sometimes mold grows under the carpet or even inside the walls! But no matter where it is, mold needs to be removed, and the affected surface needs to be replaced.
Mold removal process, as any other reconstruction or restoration process, has some peculiarities:
- Any mold removal job should be preceded by a proper mold inspection. Mold inspection should be done by a certified inspector, who will examine the mold affected site visually or using special equipment (moisture meters, thermal imaging cameras, relative humidity meters, etc.) if necessary. Special equipment might be needed to detect a leak or other possible source of moisture, if it’s not obvious. Mold inspection should result in expert conclusions and an estimate with a thorough scope of work.
- Some cases of mold detection and inspection can be complicated by the absence of any visible signs of mold. When mold is growing inside the walls, in insulation or drywall, and hasn’t grown out to the surface, it’s challenging – you can only assume it’s there by detecting moisture with the equipment mentioned above. But if the source of moisture has already been eliminated – then even the equipment is helpless. In such cases air quality testing comes to help. This procedure involves taking air samples from outside and inside of the affected building and analyzing them in a laboratory. As a result – you will receive a lab report outlining the details of air components in your house. The report will state if the level of mold spores in your house is elevated (more than normal) or not. This will let mold specialists decide on the further remediation steps.
- One of the most important things in mold removal process is preventing cross-contamination. Nobody wants mold spores to travel from the affected area to other places of your house. Especially, because some types of mold can release hazardous toxins that can cause various health problems – from headaches to allergies and asthma! That’s why proper containment is the first crucial step of mold remediation process. Plastic barricades will provide substantial isolation of the area, and negative air machines will efficiently filtrate the airflow. Mold remediation company has to follow all safety instructions provided by the regulatory bodies, like IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration).
These basic facts about mold removal process should help you understand that mold remediation is not a do-it-yourself project! It involves a lot of professional knowledge and technical skills, and should only be done by a specialized company.