Mold remediation, mold removal, mold mitigation, and mold abatement are actually interchangeable terms that basically mean fixing a mold problem in a building. You might be able to handle a minor mold problem yourself. On the other hand, if your mold covers a large area (10 square feet or more), it’s best to call the professionals.
Causes of Mold
Mold growth can start in as little as 48 hours once water gets into your property. Mold spores flourish wherever there is moisture. These spores can rapidly grow into colonies when exposed to water. Sources of moisture or water must therefore be addressed before mold remediation can start, or else the mold may return. Dampness results from water incursion either from exterior or interior sources. If you have a leaky roof or windows, or a burst pipe, the source of your moisture is apparent, and you’ll know where to look for mold. On the other hand, if the moisture source is hidden from plain view, mold growth will obviously be harder to spot.
Effects of Mold
Mold can grow on practically any organic material, and can be found virtually anywhere, providing oxygen and moisture are present. Allergic reactions and respiratory problems (such as asthma) are among the symptoms and health effects that can result from exposure to mold. As the public becomes more aware of these health effects, concern about indoor exposure to mold has been increasing.
Some molds generate mycotoxins, which are considered grave health hazards to humans and animals. Stachybotris chartarum, commonly known as “black mold,” is particularly toxic. Exposure to excessive levels of mycotoxins can cause neurological problems and death. Prolonged exposure is especially risky. People with chronic lung disorders are at greater risk for mold allergies, and will experience more severe effects when exposed to mold.
Effective Mold Remediation
If your mold problem is large enough to warrant hiring a mold remediation service, make sure the company that you employ has the expertise, experience, and also the necessary permits to carry out remediation work. If the mold and/or water damage was caused by a sewage problem or by flooding, then call in a professional mold remediation company that has experience remediating mold caused by contaminated water.
An hour or two before the mold remediation technicians arrive, place pets in a separate room, or put your dog the backyard. Mold remediation typically takes two days. On the first day, the technicians will spray the affected area with biocide, an EPA-approved liquid used to kill mold. On the second day, they will carry out the encapsulation process, where they spray the area with a type of paint or whitewash to contain the remaining mold spores and prevent them from growing.
You can prevent mold from occurring in the first place by acting promptly whenever you have a water leak or spill indoors. Repair plumbing leaks as soon as possible. Follow the inspection and maintenance schedule for your HVAC system, and keep HVAC drip pans clean and unobstructed. Keep in mind that your mold remediation plan should also include steps to permanently correct the moisture or water problem.