Your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system is in place to keep you comfortable all year round. However, it needs to be maintained regularly for it to function correctly. While some types of mold are harmless, other than looking unsightly, others can pose a risk to health. Here are five important things you should know and what information you can give to the professionals to help get rid of mold.
Mold appears quickest in places that have a high level of moisture. Bathrooms and kitchens are good examples. Mold however, does not just grow where you can see, and quite often moisture helps it to grow in hard to reach areas. Moisture is the only reason mold appears, so finding the source of the moisture will help you to eliminate the mold problem. Seal off any areas where moisture is getting in, and wipe down surfaces regularly to remove residual moisture.
Documenting the issues you have with mold can help you to pinpoint exactly where the issues are. Noting down where mold is found, and how long it takes to grow back after cleaning can give an idea of the level of moisture, and of course where that moisture is coming from. This documentation can also be given to trained professionals when you decide to have the mold removed by a specialist.
There are different recommendations if the mold is limited to outside of the HVAC system, or if it is growing within the system itself. Building regulations and government guidelines will need to be followed to comply fully with these rules. While cleaning the mold yourself could get rid of some of it, it is often recommended that a professional company is hired to do the removal, especially if it is inside the HVAC system. These companies have specific tools, products and methods that will produce a more thorough job.
Removal of mold will mean clearing the existing mold from the affected areas, and then isolating and repairing the moisture source. There are specific stages that should be followed to make the process as thorough as possible.
- Repair the water issue to help prevent new spores from forming.
- Isolate the contaminated area by closing doors and windows. This will restrict the possibility of the mold spreading to other rooms or parts of the HVAC.
- Remove any material that can be replaced and dispose of it in plastic bags.
- Clean the affected with detergent and a wire brush, and wipe down fully after cleaning, disposing of all cleaning materials to avoid cross contamination.
- Dry the cleaned areas fully, using dehumidifiers if necessary.
- Replace any materials that have been removed.
A final examination of the previously affected area can then be carried out, to visually check that all the mold has been removed and that the source of the water or moisture has been repaired.
Mold removed by specialists can be a lengthy process, and in extreme cases could result in the homeowner leaving their residence for a few days. Give us a call if you have concerns or want more information.