Mold Removal Tips and Techniques
Who should complete the mold cleanup depends on several factors. The first factor is the size of the mold issue. If the moldy area is less than around 10 sq. ft. in most instances you can handle this job by yourself. Follow our tips and techniques listed below.
When to contact an EPA-certified mold remediation specialist:
- If there has been a lot of water damage or the moldy area is over 10 sq. ft.
- If you've identified a moisture problem in your HVAC system or suspect it may be contaminated with mold.
- Do not run your HVAC system until a restoration technician has completed an inspection to verify your system is contaminated. Doing so could cause the mold to spread throughout your home or building.
- If the water or mold damage has been caused by sewage or other contaminated water.
- If you have allergies or health concerns.
Mold Removal Tips and Tricks
Lara's Services Group has created a list of tips and tricks to help you clean up your mold problem. Professional cleaners and mold remediation specialists may use methods not covered in our steps. Mold may cause staining and cosmetic damage if not restored properly or early enough. Due to this, it may not be possible to restore an item to its original appearance.
- Work with your mold remediation company to include air duct cleaning as part of the process.
- Keep a dehumidifier running in areas of your house that aren't well ventilated, like basements or attics.
- Avoid mildew in your shower and tub by letting it air dry after use before closing the shower curtain.
- Do not paint or caulk moldy surfaces. Paint applied over moldy surfaces is likely to peel.
- Keep an eye on your utility bill and note any increases in water usage. Hidden plumbing leaks can take weeks or months to become apparent due to mold growth, exacerbating the problem.
- Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners when cleaning away mold. It creates a poisonous gas.
- Mold testing does not have to be a precursor to mold remediation; however, knowing the strain of mold helps your remediation technician know which products will be most effective.
Frequently Asked Questions About Mold
Anytime the moisture levels in your home are at 60% or higher, mold can grow. What's frustrating for many property owners is that they don't see a puddle on the floor or water dripping from the ceiling. When mold grows, the source of the moisture is usually hidden under floorboards or behind walls.
It could be. Because mold spores are microscopic and airborne, you'll end up breathing them into your lungs. Depending on the type of mold and how well your immune system functions, you may develop some serious health symptoms that could end up being the result of mold. That's why a mold remediation company takes mold removal so seriously. The space affected by mold is isolated and contained during cleaning so the spores won't spread to other areas of the house, and the remediation team stays suited up in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) during the process.
For the majority of surfaces in your home, bleach won't actually get rid of your mold problem. It's the "iceberg effect." Visible mold is usually a small percentage of the actual amount of mold growth. Bleach can't kill mold on porous surfaces like wood, and while tile or fiberglass surfaces can be cleaned with bleach, often the mold has spread far deeper. The reason why mold remediation companies don't recommend DIY cleanup isn't that they want to make more money; they know, in their experience, that a mold problem is usually far more invasive than can be seen with the naked eye. Simply cleaning the surfaces can provide false assurances that you got rid of the mold, only to have it come back time and time again.
Sometimes mold remediation is included if the cause of the mold was a "covered peril" like a burst hot water heater or water damage caused by firefighters extinguishing a fire in your house. Gradual water damage - like from a leaking pipe or hose - will often cause mold growth, but your insurance coverage will usually not cover that by claiming that it was caused by poor maintenance or neglect. If your insurance company denies your claim, you should request an inspection from a mold remediation company that can help you document the source of the mold.
If the inspection/assessment process was able to pinpoint the source and cause of the mold growth, once that source is repaired, you can be relatively confident about the success of remediation. Ask if your restoration technician has the IICRC certification for "Applied Microbial Remediation Technician." You can also request a "post-remediation mold clearance" from a third-party mold inspector to re-test the area for any remaining traces of mold before the area is treated with a sealer or encapsulant to resist future mold growth.
To learn how to prevent mold growth in your home, see the Environmental Protection Agency's book 'A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home' by clicking the button below.Download PDF