Wednesday, March 2, 2016

What You Need to Know About Mold Remediation and Removal

A recent report on housing safety found that mold was one of the most common health hazards in American homes. This national study revealed that about twenty percent of abodes have exterior and interior water leaks that result in mold growth. Because this growth often occurs in out-of-the-way areas, such as attics, cellars, and crawl spaces, homeowners are often unaware of its presence until it becomes an infestation that requires mold remediation.

How Long Does It Take?

Normally innocuous, mold spores are all around us. These microscopic reproductive units float around searching for a way to multiply. Their best chance to achieve that end is to find a moist environment. That's why minor problems often occur in bathrooms. But when we're talking about major infestations, spores need a water source that provides them with the moisture they need to grow into colonies. A roof or plumbing leak in a humid indoor environment, such as an attic during the summertime, does exactly that.

When the conditions are right, spores can spread through a property in as little as 48-72 hours. These infestations not only cause serious damage to the structure, but they can also cause health problems for people with respiratory disorders like asthma. Even those who suffer from seasonal allergies may experience symptoms because of the increased amount of irritants in the air. At this point, mold remediation is often the only option.

Remediation Vs. Removal

Some restoration companies mistakenly claim that they can remove all of the spores in an affected home or business. But because spores are microscopic and are virtually everywhere, this is impossible. What they actually mean is that they will remove colonies and infestations that are responsible for damage to the structure and possible health problems. But removing these irritants is only one step in the remediation process, the goal of which is to return mold levels to normal, healthy levels. Here are the steps remediation specialists typically take to achieve that end:

- Fix the water problem. This helps prevent further growth.

- Inspect and assess the damage. This helps experts determine the proper course of action.

- Isolate the contaminated area. A crucial step that may prevent the spread of spores, it often involves covering all windows, doors, and other openings with a polyethylene sheeting.

- Air filtration. This process helps remove excess spores from the contaminated area.

- Remove materials. All wet, mold-damaged porous materials must be taken out.

- Clean contents. All non-porous wood surfaces and materials must be thoroughly cleaned with specialized cleaning solutions.

- Drying the area. Fans and dehumidifiers are used to remove excess moisture from the contaminated area.

- Straightening up. All objects and materials that were moved are replaced.

Although experts may use different tools and procedures, almost all of them follow those basic steps during the mold remediation process. Depending on the damage, the process typically takes between three and seven days. In most cases, an experienced team of technicians can return your home or business to its pre-infestation condition.

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