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The Complete Guide to Mold Damage & Remediation

What Is Mold Damage?

Mold is something that loves to grow on things we’d rather it didn’t, like drywall, insulation, and floorboards.  But once it starts to destroy material it’s growing on, that’s when we call it mold damage. Left unchecked, mold damage can lead to collapse of ceilings, walls, and even floors. So let’s take a look at how mold remediation with Save The Day Restoration can help you avoid that nightmare scenario.

The Health & Structural Risks Of Mold Damage

Health Risks

To what extent does mold make you sick? Alarmingly, mold has the potential to make you, your family, or your co-workers extremely sick or even kill you. And being in moldy buildings will make pre-existing breathing problems like asthma even worse. Unsurprisingly, the risks are compounded when there’s a lot of mold or if you’re around it for a long time.

Structural Risks

Because mold feeds on organic matter, like the kind your walls, ceilings, and foundation are made of, they break down easily and are eventually destroyed by it. This can lead to big expenses if not dealt with quickly. Plus, if there’s mold in your heating or AC system, it can spread itself around and compromise an entire building in no time.

Common Causes Of Mold

In all types of buildings, mold can result from:

  • Air conditioning blowing mold spores around
  • Leaks in pipes, gutters, air conditioners, or roofs
  • High humidity in the local area, like if you’re near a lake or river
  • A damp basement
  • Flooding, especially when left unaddressed for a long time
  • Poor ventilation in a building 
  • Blocked drains inside or outside

Causes Of Mold At Home

  • Showers or baths when left damp after usage
  • Cooking, especially without an extractor fan
  • Appliances like coffee machines and steam irons
  • Washing machines when they heat up the air, or when they overflow or leak
  • Drying laundry indoors
  • Poor drainage from your garden or surrounding area

Causes Of Mold In Commercial Properties

Mold loves warm environments. And many commercial properties tend to be nice and toasty. Why? Because computers or machinery are usually switched on, keeping the temperature of commercial property constant all night. Additionally, when it’s cold outside and the building’s warm inside, it creates extra condensation for mold to feed on. Unfortunately, this creates an environment ripe for mold to grow in.

Mold Remediation Evaluation Standards

Since there are many types of mold that vary in terms of danger to your health and property, it’s important to evaluate what type you’re dealing with from the get-go.

The following are the exact methods we use to get to the root of mold problems, so we can create a plan to contain and remove it.

Mold Remediation Testing

First, we take samples of visible mold formations on your property to establish what type you’re dealing with. We follow the procedures for mold testing recommended by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), and the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH). The results will tell us which mold remediation strategy to use, as well as whether your mold is dangerous to you and your family.

Mold Remediation Moisture Test

Next, we use specialist equipment to detect hidden moisture pockets invisible to the naked eye. These unseen moisture pockets could lead to future mold problems if you don’t treat them now. So we make sure to scan and remove them to save you from possible headaches down the line.

Air Quality Test

Finally, we run an air quality test to show you how concentrated the mold spores are. So even if you can’t see mold, this test will get it out of hiding for its prompt removal.

Mold Types

After we’ve run these tests, we’ll be able to determine what type of mold we’re dealing with. Now, there’s a range of molds that could be lurking in your property at any moment, some more dangerous than others. Let’s take a peek at some of these molds and see what makes them so deadly.

Mycotoxin

The major reason mold is dangerous is primarily because of this guy. This is a toxic substance that can be produced by all the molds below. And although it’s just a fraction the size of an actual mold spore, mycotoxins are capable of causing cancer or in worst-case scenarios, even death.

Cladosporium

Cladosporium usually appears as black, green, or yellow spots. If you’re lucky, it won’t carry any mycotoxins that are fatal to your health. And in these more fortunate situations, the worst it will do is give you an allergic reaction, especially on the skin. 

Penicillium

Recognizable by its paintbrush-shaped spores, Penicillium is the same mold that feasts on old, rotten food. It’s particularly dangerous to anyone with a weak immune system, and can cause serious infections in anyone who ingests it.

Stachybotrys Chartarum

This is better known as the very common and highly toxic black mold. Stachybotrys is a massive health risk to anyone in its vicinity, so you should under no circumstances attempt mold remediation to deal with it yourself.

Aspergillus

Surprisingly, most people breathe in Aspergillus every day. But most species aren’t harmful, they just like to lurk in your food and AC. However, some types of Aspergillus can trigger allergic reactions, potentially leading to serious lung and sinus problems. You can recognize Aspergillus from its black, white, yellow, green, or even brown coloring.

Mold Remediation

Process For Mold Remediation

Mold remediation and restoration involves many steps. As mentioned earlier, first we inspect the mold on your property to see what type we’re dealing with. Next, the mold samples get tested in a lab. The results tell us how we should go about its removal with our specialist equipment. And after that, we restore your property as close to its original state as possible, before mold gets its hands on it.

Personal Protection

Mold is dangerous so our IICRC certified technicians prepare for the removal process with personal protective equipment. This includes eye protection, a high-quality filtration mask, and gloves.

Mold Testing

We take several mold samples and test them, which lets us best plan how to remove it from your property. Of course, when mold is dangerous we treat its removal in a different way than if it’s non-toxic. 

Handling Of Treatment Area For Mold Remediation

Armed with a plan of attack with the data from mold testing, our technicians will now contain the mold while preventing tiny spores from floating off and wreaking havoc elsewhere. To do so, we use:

  • HEPA air scrubbers to capture mold particles in the air
  • Zip walls – tough plastic walls – that mold spores can’t escape
  • Mold coatings to kill the mold
  • Mold sealers – waterproof coverings – that future mold can’t get through

Removal Or Disinfection Of Material With Mold

The ideal situation is to keep your property intact, so we do our best to disinfect moldy material and leave it where it is. But if the mold’s made too much of a meal of your wall or floorboards, we’ll remove and replace them.

Dehumidification Of Affected Area

After removing mold, it’s vital to dry the area thoroughly so it doesn’t come back. Once it’s totally dry, we apply industrial-grade chemicals to the whole area to make sure mold can’t return.

Cross-contamination Check

When we’ve finished treating the mold, we check the whole property again to make sure no spores have escaped. Thanks to the zip walls mentioned earlier, this process usually goes over pretty well.

Replacing Or Reconstruction Of Affected Area

If you’re worried about removing a moldy wall or floor, don’t be. Our service is mold remediation and restoration, so if we have to remove material, we also replace it. So after we’ve finished your property, it will look good as new. 

Mold Remediation Tools & Equipment

Air Movers

An air mover is an industrial-strength electrical fan that increases airflow, which is perfect for blowing mold spores out of properties. These are great for drying large, damp areas quickly as well.

Air Scrubbers

No one wants to risk breathing in mold, so we use air scrubbers like the HEPA filter to capture mold spores you can’t see. And not only do air scrubbers remove mold, but they also filter out other dangerous stuff like asbestos or lead as well.

Dehumidifiers

Dehumidifiers work by sucking in air, drawing the moisture out of it, and then releasing out dry air instead. The moisture actually gets trapped inside the machine, meaning it can’t get back on your walls to create any mold.

Post Mold Remediation Testing & Clearance

Mold Remediation Clearance Testing

After your mold remediation is complete, we do a complete visual assessment to make sure we caught everything. Next, we test the amount of mold spores in the air, as well as get swabs from solid materials to test them for mold also. This is to check and see if the mold in your property is actually gone, or at least at a very low level.

Mold Remediation Clearance Criteria

  • Is there any more mold?
  • Is there any mold damage to your materials?
  • Does the area still have a musty smell? 

If the answer to all these questions is no, you’re good to go.

Independent Inspector

Want a second opinion? An inspector can give your property a thorough assessment before giving us the green light. The combination of an expert at Save The Day Restoration and the inspector will give you the confidence to remove and prevent mold from your home forever.

Get Mold Remediation & Restoration For Your Property

You need a top-quality mold remediation company to stop mold damage from ruining your property and your health. So call Save The Day Restoration to get started with your personalized mold remediation service today.