Most people know that mold can be a serious problem in homes, businesses, schools, and other places we visit in daily life. Some might even be aware of the health risks involved in long-term exposure to mold, and the options available to test for it.
But surprisingly few people know what happens when a serious mold problem is found, and a licensed specialist shows up to address it. What actually takes place during the mold remediation process? How long does it take? Should you be worried about harmful sprays or other chemicals? Will the results be permanent?
These are all good questions, and gettings answers can take the mystery out of mold remediation.
Important note: There are different methods for different types and sizes of mold infestation. Each job is unique, and may call for a different combination of methods to eradicate the problem. But you can always expect some or all of the following from a mold remediation specialist.
- Protective suits, eyewear and respirators
- A clear path to the problem with minimal disruption
- Removal of infested building materials and application of biocide
- Encapsulant and cleanup
Working to remove mold can be hazardous task, so expect your specialist to be dressed accordingly. This often involves complete coverage in protective gear, and even respirators to prevent workers from breathing in spores. Chances are, your mold infestation is not highly toxic—but getting to the source of it, and working for hours to remove it, is still a significant health risk. Your mold specialist will usually err on the side of caution and wear protective gear at all times.
Your specialist will be concerned about making sure all the building’s inhabitants—including pets—are protected and kept away from the area being worked on. They’ll also be concerned about protecting furniture, vehicles and other valuables. Creating a proper work area is a crucial step in the process.
Since the company’s vehicle is like a “headquarters” from which they’ll work, it will be stationed near the most sensible point of entry. Plastic liner will be used to protecting the floor and create a path to the work area. Treating the mold is important, but so is leaving a light footprint.
Your mold problem may have rendered areas of the wall and floor irreparable. When this happens, the specialist will carefully remove such materials after discussing the action plan with you. They’ll then move on to a key part in the mold remediation process: Using biocide in and around the affected area to eradicate mold spores. The EPA has approved the use of biocide for this purpose, so you should not be alarmed so long as the chemical is being used with expert care.
Now that biocide has been carefully applied, it will usually be left until the following day. Then the specialist will return to apply a substance known as encapsulant. This will trap or “encapsulate” the remaining spores, making it very difficult for mold to return. Most specialists will apply this process liberally. For example, if mold was found in one area of the wall, the entire wall (or in some cases the entire room) will be treated with encapsulant.
Cleanup is the final important step of the process. Expect your specialist to be meticulous about removing all tools, plastic, and traces of treatment. The only thing left behind should be a mold-free environment!
This is only a brief summary of the mold remediation process, but we hope you’ve found it helpful in dealing with your mold problems. Any questions or comments are welcome. We would be happy to hear your thoughts!