Mold remediation is the process of removing and cleaning mold from your home or building. Mold removal is a term that is commonly associated with mold remediation. However, mold removal is just a step in the mold remediation process.
Beginning in July of 2011, the State of Florida requires that anyone performing mold removal or remediation services must meet certain requirements and be licensed by the state. This helps to ensure that the consumers are working with a company that understands the process for identifying and properly resolving mold problems. Before hiring a mold remediation company, you should perform a search to make sure that they are licensed. Less reputable companies will use the name of a licensed person, without them actually being a staff member. You should always meet directly with the licensed person who will supervise or perform the work. This can be verified at the State of Florida website for the Department of Business & Professional Regulations (DBPR):
There are four primary steps in the mold remediation process:
The first step can be the most critical. Disturbing mold can send spores airborne and spread to otherwise unaffected areas. This can be especially damaging if the area is close to the AC return vent, sucking the spores in and distributing them throughout the home. Containment is accomplished by sealing off the affected area utilizing plastic sheeting that is 6mil or greater in thickness. 6 mil is equal to 0.0006 inches. It is the thickness that will not allow any passage of microscopic mold materials.
With this step, the mold is physically removed from the affected areas. This step may include the removal of drywall, cabinets, and any other porous material where mold exists and may have grown in to. These items are bagged, sealed and properly disposed of.
This critical step is where most mistakes are made. To effectively clean, the affected area should be placed under negative air pressure. This will ensure that all of the contaminated materials are captured and filtered before the air re-enters the property. A thorough cleaning should be performed, based on the IICRC standards. This includes using HEPA filtration for the air cleaners and vacuums. The cleaning process includes surface area HEPA vacuuming and wipe down, with the HEPA air filtration. Very important...Never allow anyone to clean mold with a "shop vac" that has a HEPA filter on it. This is not effective and will end up causing cross contamination in the home. The final step of the cleaning process is to apply a sealant on the studs. This is only done in cases, where the cleaning process cannot get all of the roots out of the structural materials.
4) Post testing
Commonly referred to as the Post Remediation Verification (PRV) test or Clearance test. The PRV test will determine the success of the remediation process. Samples are taken in affected and unaffected areas, as well as the outside. A comparison is made and results are given. This is a test that should be performed by an independent, third-party Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH). It should NEVER be performed by the company who is doing the cleaning. This is a serious conflict of interest. Florida law now requires that a third-party perform the testing.
Mold Removal or Mold Remediation?
The question often comes up concerning the difference between mold removal and mold remediation. As you can see by the four step process outlined above, mold removal is merely a step in the remediation process. Each step in the mold remediation process is very important in order to return your home to a healthy living environment.
As with any mold remediation project, it is very important to make sure that you are using the services of a state licensed mold professional. Check the license, make sure that you are meeting with that licensed person, and make sure that person is supervising the job.
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