Mold is a natural fungus that can exist almost everywhere. Mold spores are opportunistic travelers and will latch onto anything in an attempt to reach environments that are capable or producing mold. They thrive in moist and humid environments where they can easily break down and infest materials. Areas that have experienced a burst pipe or natural water damage from flooding are susceptible to growing mold. Mold spores are also hazardous to a person’s health, especially children, and it is best to begin the remediation and removal process immediately if you suspect there is mold in your home or business.
To spot mold look for discolored surface areas that produce strong, musty odors. If you do suspect mold inside your house, your best option is to contact a company that is licensed to handle mold remediation. Mold removal is a complicated process, and many who attempt to remove it on their own have a high chance of the mold coming back. Professionals trained to handle mold have the tools and knowledge needed to remove the mold safely and understand what necessary to prevent further problems.
Step 1: Locate the mold
If you suspect that you may have a serious mold problem, contact a mold removal company immediately and be prepared for a temporary relocation as they handle the problem. Once called, the removal company will begin inspecting the property to determine the extent of the mold growth and how to remove it. Mold can be tricky as it is not always visible, in many cases, the mold can be found deep inside the walls and will only show once it has grown deep enough to show on the surface.
Step 2: Set up air filtration and remove moisture
With the infected areas of the building determined they will begin to set up an air filtration system using dehumidifiers and fans. This will eliminate any moisture in the area and discourage spores from growing. The filtration system will also remove spores from the air that are disturbed while they were removing the contaminated surfaces. They will also turn off any A/C or heating systems in the building to keep spores from circulating to new areas.
Step 3: Remove furniture and visible mold from surfaces
Once the air has begun filtering it is time to remove the mold from the contaminated areas. First, they will start with removing any furniture or items in the area and sealing them with air tight packaging to prevent any contamination. The company will have already begun removing these items during the mold examination process to create space, but the room will have to be completely emptied so workers can get to the contaminated area easily. Once the furniture is removed, workers can start taking down drywall or tearing up carpet depending on the location of the mold. With the contaminated areas exposed they can begin removing the contaminated areas. As a precaution, workers will remove more than the visibly affected area in case non-visible mold is present.
Step 4: Apply antifungal and fungicide
After they are certain all colonies, have been removed they may allow the room to air out and completely dehumidify before starting this next step. If dehumidifying is no longer needed, then workers will start applying antifungal and fungicide treatments to the area. Antifungal treatments are used to eliminate mold colonies and prevent the growth of new colonies in its place.
Step 5: Ensure all furniture and surfaces are clean of spores
As the area continues to dry and the antifungal treatments set it is time to start cleaning the furniture and items that were located in the infected areas. Mold spores may have settled on the furniture, and if they are not cleaned properly, they can reintroduce mold to the area. You will want to work with workers to sort through the items if they have visible signs of having been affected by the mold the workers will likely recommend complete disposal. Anything that involves cushions will be disposed of as spores can hide inside the cushions and be released whenever they are sat on or fluffed.
Step 6: Begin restoration of walls and flooring
Once the treatment is dry, the workers will begin repairing and restore the damage caused by the mold. This may involve replacing drywall or carpet that were torn down to treat the mold. The air filtration will continue to run during this time to prevent moisture from being sealed inside after all surfaces have been repaired. Once they are finished, the room will be good as new.
After time has passed, and there have been no problems with moisture or musty odors in the area, you may want to consider scheduling a mold prevention appointment to prevent mold colonies from forming in other areas.