Mold Inspection and Remediation Services.
After a flood or leak, mold in your home is an invisible threat. Many people are surprised to learn that mold is everywhere. Mold spores are always present in our air, albeit in harmlessly low concentrations.
The EPA says mold control is all about moisture. Mold spores can grow and spread after a flood or water leak due to excessive moisture. Water-damaged surfaces must be dried within 24–48 hours to prevent mold growth.
WHAT IF YOU HAVE MOLD?
Resolve the issue immediately. Mold is a living organism that can damage your property and health if left unchecked.
- Mold remediation often begins with an assessment.
This test determines the extent of water damage and mold growth. Mold inspections are necessary to detect and identify moisture conditions hidden behind walls, beneath floors, or within building materials.
- The following steps are mold remediation and removal.
This includes removing visible mold and fixing moisture issues. According to the EPA, mold remediation should consider mold growth size. If the mold only affects a small, isolated area of less than 10 square feet (roughly 3 feet by 3 feet), remediation can be performed by trained personnel. If the mold covers more than 10 square feet, it is recommended that mold professionals handle the job.
Mold Inspections, Assessments, and Testing.
Mold problems are like icebergs—you only see the tip. Mold can grow in hidden places where water and moisture can seep through a building’s structure’s walls, floors, and other openings.
A mold inspection (also called a mold assessment) locates all mold and moisture sources to create a comprehensive mold remediation plan.
Why is it important?
The purpose of a mold inspection is to find all places where mold and moisture have invaded to develop a comprehensive plan to fix the problem.
Without knowing where the mold is, it’s difficult to adequately address the problem and stop it from spreading. That’s why mold assessments are a necessary step when trying to identify and remediate mold issues.
Note: Mold inspections are not the same as mold testing, which aims to identify the species of mold present. Mold testing is usually unnecessary and not recommended since mold growth should be remediated regardless of the species.
Depending on the severity of the mold condition, you may either opt to inspect for mold yourself or hire a trained professional. The latter is helpful to ensure an accurate assessment of the moisture problem and develop a site-specific work plan.
What does an assessment include?
Mold assessments start with a visual inspection to determine the extent of water damage and mold growth. This includes mold on visible surfaces as well as hidden areas where moisture or mildew may be present, such as:
- Inside walls
- Behind wallpaper and moldings
- Underneath carpets and floorboards
- Crawl spaces
- Ducts and ventilation systems
- Insulation and other building materials
During the assessment, moisture sensors and infrared cameras should be used to detect hidden moisture or mold after a flood or leak.
Air sampling is only sometimes necessary but can also be used to confirm the presence of mold when the source cannot be visually identified. A qualified professional ought to collect the samples, and an accredited laboratory ought to analyze them.
At the end of the assessment, you’ll receive a mold assessment report with findings and a detailed remediation plan.
Mold Remediation and Removal.
The specific methods and processes involved in mold remediation depend on the size and scope of the problem. However, the goals are the same:
- Correct the underlying water or moisture problem.
- Clean or remove mold-damaged materials.
When should you hire a professional?
When dealing with mold, you can tackle it yourself if you have adequate knowledge or training. But before you choose the DIY path, you should be aware that:
- Mold and moisture may be present in areas that are hidden or not readily accessible.
- Household mold cleaners are not always effective at killing all mold present.
- Mold can be a serious health hazard if you don’t follow safe work practices or use proper protective equipment.
- Improper or incomplete work may give the mold time to spread, causing the cost of damages and repairs to soar.
- After the mold is killed, the area must be appropriately cleaned up, and any dead mold must be removed.
- Trained building maintenance staff can handle relatively small or occasional amounts of mold, but more extensively trained mold remediation professionals will be better equipped to handle larger jobs.
As a rule of thumb, you should consider hiring a mold professional whenever you find mold growth that covers more than 8–10 square feet.
It would be best to use a professional in the aftermath of a severe leak or flood when water or moisture has penetrated floors and walls because there is a high probability of mold growing where you can’t see it.
How to prevent mold?
To prevent mold growth, first, fix the causes. After flooding or water leakage, the area must be dried and dehumidified to remove moisture from the building materials. For mold prevention, the EPA recommends indoor relative humidity below 60%. Next, clean or remove mold-damaged surfaces. According to the EPAS mold guidelines:
- Metals, glass, and hard plastics are examples of non-porous materials that can almost always be cleaned.
- If the semi-porous and porous structural materials (e.g., wood, concrete) are structurally sound, they can be cleaned.
- Porous materials (ceiling tiles, insulation, and wallboards) should be discarded.
- Cleaning is usually done with soap or detergent; gentle cleaning limits mold dispersal from the work area. Adjacent areas are also cleaned with HEPA-filtered vacuums to remove mold spores and debris.
When you work with Mardenas SnapResponseTeam™, our professionals will always provide a report evaluating and documenting that the quality assurance factors were followed.
If you have any questions about mold inspections or removal, please get in touch with one of our mold specialists right away. We have the experience and expertise to quickly and thoroughly remediate mold problems.
If you’d like to tackle mold removal independently, you can check out the EPA’s Mold Cleanup Tips and Techniques.