Where there is water damage, there is likely also a mold infestation. Whether the water damage was very recent or happened so long ago that you have no idea what the original cause was, mold loves once-saturated porous materials from fabric to carpet pads to the unpainted backside of drywall. Home residents and business owners alike often first notice a mold problem because of a pervasive smell, headaches, or food that goes moldy much faster than it should.
If you spot a visible colony, that’s that. Your entire building needs to be inspected to discover the extent of the infestation and the type of mold remediation and restoration you may need. Many buildings are far more infested than they realize, as mold likes to grow in dark hidden areas. If your building needs mold remediation, or you suspect that it does, your first question is likely to be
“How does mold remediation work?”
Today, we are here to answer that question by outlining the standard mold remediation and restoration process.
Repair Any Current Source of Water Damage
If there is an active source of water damage, the first step is to keep it from continuing or happening again. This means fixing plumbing, repairing the roof, or renovating a flooding basement.
Mold Spore Testing to Locate the Colonies
Next (or first, if you had no active water damage source) your mold restoration service will conduct a preliminary mold spore test of various locations and materials around the building. This will create a map of spore concentration and allow your service to narrow down the potential locations for the hidden colonies.
Visual Inspection of Building and Behind Drywall
The tests will be followed by a complete visual inspection based on the locations of the highest spore concentrations. The inspection will include cabinets, furniture (especially undersides), and storage areas. Then your team will cut small holes in the drywall and use a camera to see if there are visible spore colonies growing on the back-sides of your walls. This is the most common place for extensively large colonies to hide.
Containment and Removal of Mold-Infested Items
Next, your team will use a combination of plastic bags and tarps to safely remove any badly infested items in the building. Upholstery that has been fostering mold, mattresses, porous wooden furniture, among other things will be wrapped to contain the spores and safely removed for disposal or restoration.
Removal of Mold-Infested Drywall if Necessary
Sometimes, drywall can be cleaned of mold. But if the mold is too deeply entrenched or very large sections of drywall are infested, it can be more practical to simply remove, wrap, and dispose of the infested panels and install new drywall panels instead.
Mold Remediation Treatment and Stain Removal
Once all the most infested items and wallboards are gone, the next step is mold treatment with a special formula designed to kill mold without being toxic to humans or pets. Your mold remediation service will use this formula extensively to kill and then wash away any remaining mold growths and discourage mold growth in the future. If the mold left stains, as it often does, a second treatment to remove those stains will be used.
Reinstallation of Removed Drywall
Once all the mold in the building has been destroyed, it will be safe to reinstall any panels of drywall that were removed. This is also your chance to do any work on the building involving the between-wall spaces like insulation, soundproofing, duct-work, or light remodeling. Remember to repaint the new drywall panels.
Mold Prevention Measures
Finally, your mold remediation and restoration team will help you enact mold prevention measures to keep the mold from returning. Mold comes from local spores that are in the air all the time and the best way to prevent a new infestation is to keep your entire building dry, clean, and lightly coated in a natural anti-fungal agent like tea tree oil or a formula suggested by your remediation team.
Mold remediation and restoration really is as simple as that. Out with the mold, in with the new mold prevention measures. For more information about mold remediation or to schedule your initial mold testing and inspection, contact us today!