Aren’t sure if you need mold removal or mold remediation?
What are the differences between mold removal and mold remediation? How do I prepare for the mold remediation process?
In this guide you will learn:
- What is mold remediation and how it differs from mold removal
- The process of mold remediation
- When to call a professional for mold remediation and mold removal
What Does Professional Mold Remediation Process Involve?
Mold remediation is sometimes used interchangeably with other terms such as mold removal and mold abatement.
Mold removal specifically focuses on removing and cleaning up the mold. Mold abatement works to reduce and limit the growth of mold.
While these are all similar, the mold remediation process means the steps taken not only to remove the mold, but will also take care of the mold at its source. Mold remediation can be done on any size of mold growth, but it is especially important for larger sections of mold.
There are many important steps that need to be taken during a professional mold remediation process. Here are the general steps on how mold remediation works:
1.Inspection and Testing for Mold
In order to best remediate the mold, professionals will inspect all areas of mold that are currently growing or that could possibly be contaminated by mold spores.
During the inspection they are looking for any signs of mold, what type of mold may be present, the extent of the mold, how long it has been growing, any structural damage, etc. These are important factors when determining how to treat and prevent the mold in your home.
If you have not had your home tested previously, they will conduct a mold test to determine if and/or which type of mold is present. This involves collecting either a sample from the air or a surface in a room and testing it for mold.
Mold tests are very quick and will be able to tell you if there is mold present, what type of mold is growing, or, if no mold is found, if the environment is even compatible with mold growth.
2.Evaluation of the Area
Once the location and type of mold have been determined, the professional will then create the best plan for mold remediation in or around your home. Large areas of mold can take much longer and require a more invasive process.
Mold that has caused visible, or even probable, structural damage will also need to be taken into account as to preserve the stability of the structure.
The evaluation step is one of the main differences you will find between mold removal and mold remediation. During the evaluation the professional will locate the source of the mold and make a plan to remove it and all factors contributing to the growth of the mold.
You will be informed of any specific steps that need to be taken to remediate your specific mold problem. This could include informing you of the areas of the home that will be affected, projected timelines, and any structural damage that will need to be repaired.
3.Containment of the Area
Before mold can be safely removed and treated, all airways and doorways in the general vicinity of the mold need to be sealed off.
This will ensure that any mold spores traveling through the air will be isolated to the problem areas and then removed through filtration.
Plastic coverings, tape, and air filters will all be used to properly direct air away from unaffected rooms in your home.
4.Clean Up and Removal of All Mold
Next, the mold will need to be removed and cleaned as much as possible.
After scraping off as much mold as possible, professionals will use a cleaning solution and a wire or firm bristled brushes to scrub away the remaining mold. Some staining may remain depending on the size and severity of the mold.
Cleaning up a large mold growth is usually the longest step in mold remediation. Proper mold removal is essential to mold remediation and to prevent further mold growths.
5.Air Filtration and Ventilation
Due to the nature of mold, it is very common for mold spores to be released into the air during mold removal and mold remediation.
This is unavoidable but can be contained when the air is properly filtered and ventilated.
Once the cleaning process has been finished, professionals will ensure that your home air is safe to breathe by filtering out any excess mold spores remaining in the air. This will also help remove any lingering musty smell caused by the mold.
6.Disposal of Mold and Supplies
Mold can easily spread by coming into contact with other organic material. Proper disposal of cleaning materials as well as protective gear is another essential step in true mold remediation.
Any materials used during clean up should be sealed in a thick plastic bag.
Bags should then be sealed in another plastic bag to ensure the mold spores are contained and then properly disposed of according to your area’s recommendations. Professionals will complete this step as a part of the mold remediation process.
7.Sanitization of Affected Areas
Once all visible mold, as well as any possible mold spores, have been safely removed from an area, it will then be sanitized. This will include any walls, furniture, wood, ceilings, fabrics, or anything else that may or may not have come in contact with the mold.
Sanitizing will be done with either a spray or a single use wipe, depending on the size of the area.
8.Preventing Further or Repeated Mold Growth
Preventing mold from growing back is another way that the mold remediation process differs from mold removal.
When all the mold has been removed, sanitized, and completely cleaned out, it is important to add one more layer of protection to make sure that the mold will not come back.
This prevention step could be spraying a mold inhibitor on and around the affected areas, painting walls or ceilings with a mold blocking paint, or making certain changes to the humidity and temperature so that mold will not be able to grow.
What is The Difference Between Mold Removal and Mold Remediation?
Mold removal is the process of removing and cleaning up any visible mold. It is generally very surface level and quick. It can also be done yourself with little risk. Be sure to wear the proper protective gear when doing so on your own.
The mold remediation process is taking mold removal a few more steps. It includes not only cleaning up and removing all visible mold, but also attacking and eliminating mold at the source.
Professionals will work to find whatever is causing the mold and where the mold began so that they can both be remediated and no further mold will grow.
When Is Mold Remediation Required?
Mold remediation is needed when your mold problem is covering a large area. Large quantities of mold are hard to eliminate and can spread to other areas of your home quickly. Mold remediation is required to stop the progression and ensure it has been completely taken care of.
Another reason mold remediation would be required is when the mold has been growing for a long, or unknown, period of time.
If you have recently encountered a large area of mold growing in or around your home, it has probably been there for a long time. This is especially common for crawl spaces, attics, or other locations that you do not utilize regularly.
Mold that has had more time to grow will grow deeper into the surface and be harder to take care of on your own. Professional mold remediation will be able to attack the source of the mold and stop it from causing further damage.
How to Prepare for Mold Remediation
While you should leave the actual mold for the professionals, you can look around and eliminate the source of any moisture. This is the first step in dealing with any type of mold.
Ask yourself: Is there a leaky pipe? Is there no ventilation for a bathroom? Is the moisture evaporating in my crawlspace? If you can determine the source, then take any steps needed to stop any moisture that is continually present.
Once you have made an appointment for a mold remediation process, prepare for your appointment by considering the following:
- Is the mold in one of the main rooms in my house that I will need during the mold remediation process? This could be a kitchen or a bathroom. You may need to find other arrangements for yourself if the mold remediation process leaves you without a kitchen for a number of days.
- Are there children or pets in the house? It is best to take them elsewhere during the mold remediation process as they are more susceptible to airborne illnesses that can be caused by mold.
- Are there any valuables that I need to put away? Like with any services done in your home, it is smart to protect the things you care about and put them out of sight. This is especially important if they are located in the same room as the mold as they might get damaged accidentally during the mold remediation process.
How Long Does Mold Remediation Process Take?
Depending on the size and extent of your mold, this could take anywhere from 1 – 5 days. The containment precautions in the mold remediation process take time to set up as well as take down and are important in eliminating further spread of the mold to other areas in your home.
Plan ahead to make any arrangements needed for family or pets during the mold remediation process to limit their exposure to airborne mold spores.
Can You Stay in Your House During the Mold Remediation?
We recommend leaving your house during the mold remediation process.
If that is not possible, the professionals working to remediate the mold will contain any areas that have mold present, so depending on the location and severity of the mold it may be possible for you to stay in your home during the process.
Mold spores are the most active and dangerous during the mold remediation process because they are inadvertently brushed into the air. The mold remediation professionals wear sufficient protective gear during the mold remediation process to protect them from health hazards.
This protective gear includes glasses, gloves, booties, and face / breathing masks.
The professionals will filter the air in the home when finished, so it will be completely safe to return to your home after the mold remediation process is completed.
Will Mold Come Back After Remediation?
Mold should not come back after the mold remediation process has been completed. One important step during the process is to treat the area with a mold inhibitor to prevent the mold from coming back.
The mold removal professionals will treat the area that contained mold as well as the surrounding areas. This will ensure that spores that have accidentally spread are also taken care of and no new mold will start to grow.
How Much Does Mold Remediation Cost?
Depending on the extent of the mold growth, mold remediation costs between $1,200 and $3,500, or between $15 and $30 a square foot on average.
This could also vary depending on how quickly the mold needs to be remediated or what type of mold is present.
In some situations, home insurance can cover part of the cost. This will depend on how the mold was started, when it was found, or the reason you are having it removed.
Can You Do Mold Remediation Yourself?
Depending on the size and location of the mold, it is possible to do mold remediation yourself.
If the mold found is small and has not been growing for a long period of time, mold remediation could be done yourself with the proper protective gear and careful disposal of mold.
Generally professional mold remediation is recommended. There are many health risks that could happen if mold is not taken care of properly and so it is best left to the professionals.
Mold that is found in airways, crawlspaces, or attics are difficult to reach and have a high potential of spreading mold spores to other locations of the house if not remediated properly. These areas should be left to the experts that have sufficient protective gear, are able to completely isolate the mold, and can filter the air when finished.
When To Call a Professional
Mold can be a pretty daunting and tricky situation to handle. While you may be able to handle small spots on your own, you should always call a professional to take care of any mold problems that are large or growing too deep to handle without proper knowledge and equipment. Professionals will be able to handle any size of mold growth and get it at the roots.
Any mold growth that covers more than 5 square feet should be handled by a professional.
Additionally, any mold that has been growing for an unknown amount of time or you just want to make sure is eliminated should be handled by a professional.
A professional mold remediation process will take care of your mold growth effectively and efficiently while limiting health risks to yourself. They have the proper equipment and know how to dispose of mold safely to minimize health risks or further spreading of mold.