When homeowners spot a small amount of mold growing on exposed surfaces, their immediate reaction is usually to clean the surface. Mold is often much more invasive, and mold removal is not always such a straightforward process. In disaster restoration circles, experts talk about mold remediation – dealing with bigger challenges than just mold removal.
Mold spores are typically present in every home, carried by air currents. Spores landing in a spot with enough moisture and enough food – dust, or cellulose – can start to grow in days. A water leak or significant condensation, plus carpet, plywood, drywall, or other building materials, provides a starting point for mold. It often appears under carpets, inside drywall, or behind a shower or tub. HVAC may actually worsen a mold problem by moving warm, dusty air throughout a house.
Detecting mold is easy when it becomes visible, such as a unsightly stain on drywall. Sometimes, mold is hidden, but the odor it emits is very noticeable. Airborne mold spores in high concentrations can also trigger allergic-type reactions in occupants. A complete mold assessment may include visual inspection, surface sampling with tape or swabs, and air sampling to compare indoor air to outdoor air.
Once assessed, containing the mold is essential. Ventilation systems can be inspected, cleaned, and filters replaced. Affected rooms can also be isolated using negative pressure, sealing door openings with plastic sheeting and using a ducted negative air machine.
Only after assessment and containment should mold removal begin, because disturbing materials such as carpet or drywall may release more mold spores into the air. Affected areas need to be dried, cleaned, and treated to prevent further mold growth. Air scrubbers can help remove dust and mold from the air in the immediate area of the cleanup.
Homeowners should not attempt mold removal on their own. Professionals such as Disaster Kleenup (DK) have the training and equipment to safely and completely perform mold remediation, including final repairs and restoration of affected areas. If you suspect you have mold in Boise, Nampa, Caldwell, Meridian, Eagle, Kuna, or other communities in our area, we’re ready for you – give us a call.