The Basics of a Mold Remediation Plan and What to do After
Mold is a natural part of our environment, even in the most pristinely clean homes. But if you can see it growing in your home, something’s wrong. You don’t have to run out the door screaming because you vaguely remember a horror story about black mold that you read on the internet. But you do need a licensed professional to take a look and tell you what’s going on. They can help explain the basics of a mold remediation plan and what to do after the process is over.
How It Grows
Mold spores are constantly wafting throughout the air, both indoors and outside. They’re invisible, but when they find an area with excessive moisture and oxygen, they can grow on the surface. The spores reproduce and can spread anywhere in the home. Mold digests whatever it’s growing on to survive: insulation, carpet, wood, food. As long as there’s a damp spot that goes undetected, the mold will continue to thrive.
Depending on the situation, mold can weaken the structure of a building. More often, the main concern is in protecting the health of inhabitants. While there’s no need to immediately assume that your home has toxic black mold, different mold species can affect your air quality and your health. The mold might irritate your eyes, nose, or skin. It could trigger allergies in varying degrees. In severe cases, it can worsen a preexisting health condition.
If you think what you’re seeing—or smelling—is mold, you’re probably right. Here is just a sampling of places you might see it:
Step One: Assessment
Contact a licensed, reputable mold remediation professional to determine the extent of the problem. You can have more trust in a service that specializes in mold, as there are more than 100,000 kinds of mold to identify. Someone with experience is more likely to recognize any hazardous conditions and complications. They should be prompt in responding to your call and easy to schedule. They’ll test the air and surfaces and find the source of the excessive moisture. Getting to the root of the problem is essential if you don’t want it to recur. Among the tools used in an assessment are moisture meters and borescopes, which can get into otherwise inaccessible areas.
Step Two: Documentation
Within 24 hours, you should have an estimate on how much it will cost to get rid of the mold. Your remediation worker will give you a report on your mold situation with a corresponding quote. They should also give you an action plan in writing that includes:
- When work will begin
- When work is scheduled for completion
- Who will perform the removal
- What testing is necessary
- Whether the inhabitants need temporarily relocation
Your specialist can show you the source of the moisture using thermal imaging. This is the time to ask any questions so that you’ll understand the procedures.
Step Three: Containment
The contaminated area will be isolated so the mold will stop spreading. All doors and windows will be closed off from the rest of the home or building. The remediation might call for polyethylene sheeting sealed with duct tape. It’s essential to suppress dust by misting the location. Your service technician will wear protective gear to keep from inhaling spores.
Step Four: Repair
The mold isn’t the real problem; the source of the moisture is. You must repair that problem before attacking the rest of the mold. This issue could be the result of a leaking roof or pipes or a faulty water tank. If something caused a flood in your home, you must have it fixed. Your air conditioning vents may even have helped to spread the mold spores.
Step Five: Removal
Any wet, mold-damaged, porous materials will be removed and discarded safely. The Environmental Protection Agency provides guidance on how to do this. The materials will go in plastic bags of a certain thickness. Then, they get tied closed. Once the mold specialist wipes the outsides of the bags with a detergent solution and a damp cloth, you can include them with your regular garbage pickup.
Step Six: Cleaning
The wood surfaces and nonporous materials that are left need to be cleaned and sanitized. There are different procedures depending on the level of contamination, which should be outlined in your remediation plan. A detergent solution will kill many kinds of mold, along with a damp cloth, a mop, or a wire brush. More severe cases will use:
- A chemical sprayer
- A HEPA vacuum
- An antifungal sealer and liner
- An antimicrobial disinfectant
Step Seven: Drying
Once the mold is no longer visible, you must dry the area and materials thoroughly. If you’ve ever experienced flooding in your home, you know this is no easy feat. Your remediation worker has tools to speed up the process, including:
- Air movers
- Wall cavity dryers
- Spot carpet dryers
- Air scrubbers
Your Next Steps
Once you’ve experienced a basic mold remediation plan, what to do afterward depends on you. You might need to negotiate with your insurance company to replace items that were damaged or repair your home with newly painted walls. Now that you’re aware of what to look for, you can be vigilant in maintaining proper moisture levels in your home. You can invest in your own dehumidifiers and humidity monitors. Make sure that the ventilation in your home is working effectively, especially in your bathroom, laundry, and cooking areas. With any luck, you shouldn’t encounter another mold problem.
The Right Professionals
At Mold Only, we went into business for ourselves because we were disappointed in shady practices like overbilling in the remediation industry. Since 2006, we’ve been doing just one thing. Not fire damage, not water damage—just mold removal. We give honest, no-pressure estimates with unmatched pricing. If you need mold remediation in Delray Beach or elsewhere in South Florida, you can trust us to do the job right—and with integrity.