Once a building has had a thorough mold inspection, proper testing and a remediation strategy has been set, It is time to begin remediation. The first step is identifying the appropriate remediation company. When choosing a remediation company, it’s critical to find a licensed/ certified and accredited company that knows the adverse health effects of mold on sensitive individuals. There are remediators that understand the toxic nature of indoor water damage. Understanding  of the term mycotoxin and knowing the difference between a mold allergy and a toxic response is an important part of the job.

The proper process of remediation comes in two phases. 

  • Two phase process
    • Phase 1: Source Remediation
    • Phase 2: Home Cleanse
      • Basic Home Cleanse
      • Deep Home Cleanse
  • Post remediation verification should be performed after each phase

The first step is addressing any sources of moisture in your home. Usually, mold is the result of a leak, flooding, or a damaged pipe which eventually builds-up of mold. However, water comes in many forms not just liquid. It can come in a gaseous form such as high relative humidity or water vapor. 

Since elevated moisture and humidity are conducive to mold growth, it is essential to eliminate all sources of moisture in the home. If these issues are not addressed, mold mitigation can be performed, but future mold growth can occur. Therefore, a qualified waterproofing professional should be hired to create a plan to eliminate all moisture issues.

During phase 1, the remediator must set up proper containment. Dual entry containment includes plastic sheeting and protection at the entrance to the containment site to avoid cross-contamination.  All HVAC vents, registers, A/C units are sealed off. Contents are sorted and removed depending on if it’s porous or not. An extremely important step is eliminating mold contamination by removing materials such as: compressed wood, drywall, flex ductwork, carpeting, or rugs. The building materials that can be cleaned, depending on their condition, are solid surfaces like, steal and wood studs, glass or metal. During phase 1 it is key to properly prepare for the home cleansing process.

After each phase 1 is complete, a post remediation verification should always be performed. It’s important to make sure  the remediation protocol is being followed and all sources of contamination have been removed. Proper phase 1 post testing should include:

  1. Visual inspection Inside Containment –  including thorough inspection of all remediated areas, moisture mapping and infrared camera. Goal is to identify if the source of the cleaned areas still exist. 
    1. The following sample types should be collected inside the containment:
      1. Air sampling
      2. Surface sampling 
      3. Outside Containment
  2. Visual Inspection Outside Containment – including thorough inspection of the containment verifying it is properly sealed, there are no breaches and all impacted areas are within the containment.
    1. The following sample types should be collected outside the containment:
      1. Air Sampling 

Once phase 1 remediation has been completed and all the source areas have passed post remediation verification, phase 2 can begin.

In phase 2 is broken into two types of cleaning depending on the contamination, The Basic Home Cleaning and Deep Home Cleanse. The goal of the Basic Home Cleaning is to remove dust from the home and contents. The following steps should be performed:

  1. Air scrubbing with HEPA air scrubbers.
  2. Removal of all carpet, rugs and associated padding throughout the home.
  3. All vertical and horizontal surfaces such as: walls, floors, ceilings, cabinets are to be HEPA vacuumed & wiped clean.
  4. Contents cleaning following IICRC S520 guidelines.
    1. In some cases, porous or semi- porous items can not be cleaned in an efficient and effective matter and should be discarded. 

When the home has tested positive for contaminants that will not be captured by traditional cleaning methods or the occupants of the home are immunocompromised/ hypersensitive, a Deep Home Cleanse should be performed. This process is extremely detailed including a pack out of all contents throughout the entire home. In this case, porous or semi- porous items can not be cleaned in an efficient and effective matter and should be discarded. 

  1. Removal of all carpets, rugs, carpet padding throughout the home.
  2. Discard all exposed insulation.
  3. Replace all exhaust vents and ducting throughout home.
  4. HEPA vacuum all hard surfaces with exhaust vented outside.
  5. Implement air machines for air movement and air filtration units with carbon filters.
  6. Implement fogging throughout the area with a non-toxic environmentally safe solution (All contents should be removed from the area.)
  7. Three stage damp wipe on all hard surfaces including walls, floors, ceilings, counters and cabinetry.

Companies should be using botanical products, proper engineering controls, and building science to ensure that the sources of contamination are being removed in a manner that will not cause additional damage and cross-contamination to the building. Additionally, it is important to work with a mold remediation company that truly understands working with all clients, especially individuals that are hypersensitive to their built environment. If you believe you have a mold problem, the first and most important step is an inspection and testing. Call us today.