Mold Abatement Processes - What You Need to Know
You would be pretty happy to go your entire life without spotting mold in your home or business. However, when you see evidence of an outbreak, knowing what you can do, who you should call, and what to expect will remove a lot of stress from your mold abatement issue.
Read on to learn more about effectively dealing with mold around your property by working with a professional mold abatement company.
Choosing a Mold Abatement Service
Getting rid of mold isn't rocket science, and it's reasonably easy to deal with small outbreaks on your own. However, a large outbreak will need an experienced team and the right equipment to reduce the chance of future problems.
Mold abatement services are licensed, qualified professionals. They are specialized trades and are similar to a licensed plumbers or electricians than a general handyman. This makes their service a little more expensive, but the peace of mind that comes from knowing a job is guaranteed and insured is invaluable.
Professional mold abatement services will use proper safety gear when working around your property, including face masks, neoprene gloves, and hazmat suits when chemicals are required.
Big mold abatement jobs will require HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) scrubbers, vacuums, and dehumidifiers to combat mold and dry out your property. It's all high-end, expensive stuff the average handyman can't access.
Many mold remediation companies are part of a larger restoration team they can call on when structural damage needs to be removed or repaired or electrical work needs to be carried out. These are the guys your home handyman will call in when they find themselves ill-equipped to adequately deal with your mold problem.
When to Call a Mold Abatement Service
Noticing signs of mold can be distressing, but there's no reason to panic because you always have options. Small areas of mold on things like bathroom tiles can be quickly dealt with using household cleaners.
However, mold can be insidious and invade your home out of sight for some time before you can see it. For example, a small leak in the roof could be the source of a mold outbreak in the wall cavity. Unfortunately, you won't notice it until it becomes visible as a strange brown stain on your ceiling or drywall.
So, when you notice strange dark stains on your ceiling or walls, you should have them inspected by a professional. They will assess the extent of the damage and give you expert advice on what you should do next.
The location of the mold is another critical indicator of how well established your mold problem is. Most likely areas include rooms where moisture is regularly present, including the laundry, kitchen, and bathroom. Attics, crawl spaces, ducts, and vents are also favorite haunts for mold.
Musty odors are another sign it might be time to call a mold abatement company. Mold has often been described as smelling like 3-day old wet socks or rotting wood. The odor is unpleasant, but it also indicates mold spores are in the air you breathe, leading to or exacerbating respiratory diseases.
You mustn't ignore a musty smell for too long as your nose will quickly get used to it. If you don't notice the smell, you will likely forget about it or think the problem may have resolved itself.
If a flood has recently damaged your home, you must start the drying process as soon as possible. Mold can settle in after just one day, so any delay will give a head start for it to become a significant problem later on. A professional mold abatement company has access to industrial-level fans and dehumidifiers that will dry your property quickly and prevent mold from establishing itself.
Don't forget floodwater carries other contaminants such as sewage and chemicals. Contaminated water damage should always be assessed and dealt with by professionals for health and safety reasons and to prevent more problems from developing later on.
Should You Test for Mold?
There are different types of molds, but determining which type you have, won't make any difference to how it is treated.
Generally speaking, if you can see a mold outbreak, there's no reason to waste time or money with testing. The only exception would be when you are purchasing a house, and you want proof of a mold outbreak. Knowing for sure will give you extra negotiating power and a strategy for improving the property if you decide to take ownership.
How Are Mold Outbreaks Dealt With?
Once your property has been assessed and determined that you do have a mold problem, the mold abatement company will first seal off any areas that need to be treated. Plastic sheeting will contain mold spores and prevent them from getting dispersed throughout the rest of the property.
HEPA scrubbers will be employed to 'scrub' the air clean of spores and replace it with clean, fresh air. Remember that regular air filters, such as what you might pick up from the local hardware or department store, will not remove spores because they are tiny enough to pass right through the filtering material.
Any remaining moisture will be removed from the property and building structure, which is achieved using powerful dehumidifiers and air movers.
When mold outbreaks are visible on the ceiling or drywall, some repair work may be required on the structure of the property. Mold needs moisture to grow, which means there is a possibility that some wood root is going on behind the walls.
This is where a remediation company can help because they will have a qualified team that can carry out the work. There's no need to go calling for yet more companies to inspect your property and give you quotes.
Even though there is no visible evidence of mold in your HVAC ducting, there may be mold spores just waiting to get expelled into the property to areas where they can grow. To be on the safe side, it is highly recommended you have your HVAC system inspected and cleaned.
Removing and Disposal of Damaged Material
Mold abatement and repair most often require the removal and disposal of contaminated structural materials. A mold remediation company can do this for you safely and efficiently.
If your property is experiencing a mold outbreak or has suffered flood damage, get in touch with your local mold abatement company for professional advice to protect your investment from further damage.