Prolonged exposure to mold can have adverse effects on your health. Signs to look out for include red or itchy eyes, itchy skin, headaches, a stuffy nose and respiratory problems. In a 2007 study, it was estimated that 4.6 million people out of the 21.8 million people with asthma had gotten the condition from mold and dampness in their homes. Mold brings unpleasant health risks if you don’t get rid of it as soon as possible. You can either choose a mold removal or mold remediation services. Continue reading to learn what is remediation and removal, and how they’re different.
What is Mold?
Before talking about the processes of eliminating mold, let’s go through what it actually is. Mold is another word for fungi. Fungi is found everywhere and there are over 300,000 kinds. Some common types of indoor fungi are trichoderma, epicoccum, penicillium and aspergillus. Different kinds of mold thrive in different spots. For example, you’d find chaetomium in drywall damaged from water, while you’d find alternaria in your shower. Mold can survive very harsh conditions. Although it grows in moist and dark places, it doesn’t die once the area is dry. The mold won’t reproduce spores – it’ll be dormant and what’s there will stay there. Spores can easily travel into your home through the air. You can bring them in on your shoes and clothes. It won’t be a problem if your house is completely dry, but any spores will become fungi in humid weather.
It’s very common to find mold in showers, sinks, windows, basements and attics. Mold will grow in places with water damage, such as floors, walls and ceilings. It can also grow in washing machines and air conditioners. The symptoms that are attributed to extensive mold exposure may not only be from mold. Moist, dark places are just as likely to house bacteria, break-down products from fungi, chemicals, gasses, dust mites and by-products released on the surfaces the fungi is living on. It’s unclear which of these is most responsible for negative health effects, but plausible a combination (including mold) causes physical symptoms.
Some companies may advertise that they can remove all of the mold from your house. Don’t believe them. Mold is everywhere in the form of spores, so true mold removal isn’t possible. Cleaning a patch of mold with a mix of water and bleach will get rid of the mold but not the spores. A simple, one-step cleaning procedure won’t solve the problem. If the place the mold was living in is still damp, it’ll keep growing back no matter how many times you clean it. Because you can’t completely eliminate mold, the key is to control its growth. You’ll want to keep the living conditions in your home clean and dry to stop the mold from growing. Spores will exist, but they’ll stay dormant. The right way to deal with mold is remediation and restoration.
What is Remediation?
Mold remediation is a multi-step process that gets out-of-control fungi back to natural levels. Remediation also addresses the causes of a mold outbreak to help stop it from happening all over again.
The first step of remediation is mold inspection. Your home will be searched thoroughly for visible signs of mold. Experts will also take air samples to figure out what type of mold it is. They can do this because the airborne spores have been triggered to reproduce and aren’t dormant. The kind of mold will tell experts how they should go about ceasing the outbreak. The air sample will show what the spore count is, which can be an estimate for the level of contamination.
All of the areas that have mold are sealed off. The mold is contained to help prevent its spread into other areas of the property. There are various ways to contain mold. Some containment areas may have physical barriers with negative air chambers and negative air pressure. Heaters, fans and cooling systems everywhere in the house must be shut off. They will move spores around and make it more likely for mold to continue to thrive in other places.
3. Air Filtration
High-efficiency air filters are put into the home’s HVAC unit to clear the entire house of active spores. This will help prevent the spores from remaining and turning into fungi. Depending on contamination levels, experts may also use special HEPA-filtered vacuums to pick up any spores that could have settled onto a surface.
4. Mold Clean-Up
Anti-fungal and antimicrobial substances are used to clean the existing colonies of mold. This method of cleaning mold will help prevent more mold from forming. The method of clean-up depends on where the fungi is growing. Non-porous and hard locations such as a bathtub or sink can be cleaned well by wiping and then adding a safe, approved biocide. Mold can travel into porous locations such as wood floors and walls. There may be a larger problem within these places. Once every infected porous area is inspected, the ones with deeper mold growths will have to be removed and replaced.
Your house must be sanitized once the remediation is finished. Clothes, furniture, curtains and similar items will be cleaned. Fogging equipment is used to deodorize both your belongings and the air.
Stop Mold with Mold Remediation
Now that you know the difference between mold removal and remediation, you can make an educated decision when choosing a mold service. Remember that true mold removal doesn’t exist. Mold remediation is the smart route when dealing with a mold outbreak in your home. The mold will be contained and properly cleaned. Measures will be taken that prevent the mold from coming back. Most importantly, the remediation service will address and fix what created the perfect home for fungi.
Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions by filling out a form or calling us at 877-899-0676.