Mold Remediation – A Helpful Guide To Remediating Mold
Black Mold is toxic mold. It can cause health problems and is dangerous to have in your home. Black mold is a challenge that many people will run from, and for good reason.
Unfortunately, not everyone can run from black mold and this fact forces them to search for other solutions, and mold remediation is one of them. This article will provide you with insight into the mold removal process for black mold, and will hopefully help you to better understand how to deal with your mold infestation.
Mold And Black Mold Remediation
Apartment tenants have had to move out because they saw the black substance creeping up their walls. It is a toxic compound and prolonged mold exposure to black mold can be quite dangerous. It is not a problem that should be taken lightly, so mold remediation might be a valuable option to addressing this problem.
DOES MOLD REMEDIATION REALLY WORK?
To answer this question, it is best to understand the basics of the black mold remediation process. For instance, the sight of mold means that you don’t have to have pretesting done.
You only need to pre-test if you suspect mold but can’t see it. Why even mention pre-testing at this point then? It is to illustrate how urgent a black mold situation is.
Things You Need to Know About Mold
For many years now, mold has been a hot topic. Barely a week goes by that you can’t find something in the media about water damage or mold. Trying to find out more information can be a daunting task, with many half-truths, biased stories and outright lies propagating on the internet.
Mold is everywhere and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing!
From pharmaceuticals to beer, wine and cheese, we use and benefit from molds every day. There are literally over 100,000 different types of mold known today. Some are harmless, some bring great benefit, but some also bring problems. Even the “problem” molds can be no big deal in a normal environment. Mold levels fluctuate constantly indoors and outdoors and are influenced by factors such as seasonal variation and weather effects
How does mold growth develop?
Molds reproduce by creating tiny spores that usually cannot be seen without a microscope. Mold spores continually float through the indoor and outdoor air and are not usually a problem unless the spores land on a damp spot and begin to grow. When excessive moisture or water accumulates indoors, mold growth will often occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains uncorrected. While it is impossible to eliminate all molds and mold spores, controlling moisture can control indoor mold growth.
What is “black” or “toxic” mold?
I am sure you have all seen and heard the media reports about “black mold” or “toxic mold.” The mold that the media outlets are referring to is Stachybotrys chartarum (Stachybotrys). Stachybotrys is black in color, typically indicates a long-term problem and can cause severe health implications, particularly in the elderly, children or immune-compromised people. It’s a particularly nasty mold, but not the only one to be concerned about
If you think you have a problem, what should you do?
Some of you may have seen the Mold Test Kits available at many home improvement stores and are asking yourself if that is a viable solution. The simple answer: No. The test kits allow the user to test the air in a building and require you to send your sample to a laboratory for analysis to tell you what the sample contained. So where is the problem with that? As we mentioned earlier, mold is found everywhere, even in a normal environment, so what does that lab report tell you? Nothing useful if relied upon alone.
Mold Inspection Services
mold inspection and mold testing services leverage our extensive knowledge of mold and mildew (black mold, black toxic mold, Stachybotrys, and other molds) and the conditions conducive to mold growth as well as building construction, air flows, building materials, and heating ventilation and air-conditioning systems.
Where we find mold, find moisture. By locating the source of moisture and identifying hidden water intrusion sources can focus our mold investigation in the right areas. Where there is water damage from a flood, leak, or natural event can inspect and asses the water damage along with identifying the presence of mold and make recommendations on the best ways to return the home or office to a healthy state.
use FLIR infrared camera technology to enhance our inspection services. This advanced, non-invasive technology allows inspectors to zero in and identify potential sources of moisture to more accurately determine testing and sampling investigations. This, in turn, will allow us to make conclusions and recommendations for action during the inspection.
Certified Mold Inspectors
value certification, education, and experience. Performing quality mold inspections requires all three. Each of our inspectors, consultants, and project managers is a Certified Mold Inspector (ACAC and/or MICRO). To protect your liability, property, and health, it’s important to engage the services of a professional and certified mold inspector.
No Conflict of Interest
don’t perform mold remediation, repair, or construction. have no interest in the outcome of inspections other than to ensure you have the information needed to return your home or office to a healthy state
BUYING A HOUSE AFTER MOLD REMEDIATION
You think you’ve finally found “the one” – the house that might become the home that you’ve been dreaming of. How exciting! But there are so many things to think about during the home purchasing process, especially if you’re considering buying a house after mold remediation has been done by the previous homeowner. Hopefully the sellers disclosed the mold-related issues that they dealt with and you’re not discovering evidence of previous mold remediation that you weren’t aware of when you bought. If that’s the case, then you might be stuck with whatever mold-related issues are still lingering. But if you haven’t closed yet, here are some key things to consider. Every home purchase involves risk, of course, but by thinking about these important factors, you can follow through on your negotiation and closing – or walk away – with a greater degree of confidence in your decision.
If mold remediation has been disclosed, ask the sellers: “How long ago did it happen?”
Mold issues that are older could signal that the home is now in good shape if the mold remediation was done properly and the sellers have continued to maintain a clean and dry indoor environment to minimize the risk of mold returning to the structure. But by the same token, older issues might also mean that there’s been plenty of time for more mold to creep back in. On the flip side, if mold remediation was done recently, then this could mean that the home has been rid of the mold and it’s now good to go. Or, once again, it could mean that the issues are just starting to develop and more could be just over the horizon after you get the keys. So how can you know what’s the real deal?
Ask the sellers, “Who did your mold remediation?”
If they assure you that their cousin Frank, who is the family’s resident mold expert, thoroughly cleaned out all of the mold, then maybe you should exercise some more caution. Is Frank certified by the National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors (NORMI)? Does he have the latest mold inspection and mold testing technology, and has he been trained in the best techniques for removing and remediating black mold and other types of harmful spores? So depending on both the timeline and the mold mitigation service provider, you can make a more informed decision about the possible condition of the home.
Review your home inspection report thoroughly.
Ideally, you were able to walk with your home inspector as she or he went through every nook and cranny of the home you’re thinking about buying. But if you weren’t present for the inspection itself, then review the written report which should include pictures of all deficiencies which the inspector found in the home. Even previous mold remediation services might be evident to the inspector based on the condition and appearance of certain surfaces. If the inspector found current mold damage but didn’t make specific recommendations in the report on how to go about remediating the mold, then contact him or her to ask for further details about the nature of the mold infestation and any thoughts on how serious the problem might be (and how extensive and costly a mitigation service might be). This information can give you leverage in the negotiation process with the sellers – or, if the issues are bad enough and your gut is telling you to bail, then you might have just saved yourself from discovering the issues later and wondering why you bought the place at all.
What if you need additional mold remediation?
If you’ve already bought the house and you’re stuck with a mold-related problem, try not to panic. If the issues weren’t disclosed or caught on your home inspection, you might have recourse to hold the sellers liable. Although this may be difficult to accomplish legally, an attorney can give you sound advice on what your options are for getting the sellers to do the right thing. Maybe the mold won’t require litigation, but regardless it will require mitigation. (We couldn’t resist the rhyme on that one.) In all seriousness, mold is nothing to mess around with, and if you’re going to have it removed, then you need to have it done the right way the first time.
Frequently Asked Mold Questions
Do I literally have to clean everything in my house (i.e. plastic storage containers, books, toiletries, candles, knickknacks, canned food etc) or just the major things like clothing and furniture?
Is it possible to clean electronic devices that may have mold spores inside of them, seeing as I have no way to clean the inside of these devices (i.e., DVD players, computers)? Is it good enough to simply clean the outside of them?
Clean the outside and vacuum the openings
Do pictures and documents have to be scanned/copied or can the originals be kept?
Photos can be washed. Porous frames are trash. Documents need to be copied.
What about books, journal? How do you clean them? Or do they have to be thrown out?
Books are difficult. If the books are on a shelf and not opened, HEPA vacuum each one. Opened books are trash.
Do I need to use a new cloth for every item that I clean (one clean cloth per moldy item) or can I use the same cloth for several items?
One cloth can be reused. You will be vacuuming, then wiping and vacuuming again anyway