Musty smells can often indicate the presence of mold from a recent water leak, humidity or excessive condensation build up. If you think that you may have a mold problem, we recommend contacting one of the individuals from our Resources section for a free consultation. They are fully licensed mold remediators and can properly identify areas of elevated moisture that can lead to microbial growth and give you advice on having air testing performed and whether or not mold removal and remediation is necessary. Note, the only way to identify species of mold and spore counts is through testing(see mold testing).
Certified Industrial Hygienist's (CIH) and Licensed Mold Assessors are different from licensed mold remediators and they carry a separate license.
Proper mold testing should involve the process of taking and evaluating air samples as well as visual inspection. Testing is typically performed by an independent third party licensed mold assessor or CIH. The air samples the assessor collects will provide the information necessary to determine the mold levels and types of mold present. These samples are shipped to a testing facility for analysis. Once the analysis is complete a report will be generated that will show the type(s) and amounts of mold that were found. The licensed mold assessors protocol would dictate the scope of remediation work to be performed.
The mold remediation process can be broken down into 4 steps.
1) Containment-keep affected room(s) and area(s) contained to prevent cross contamination to unaffected areas.
2) Removal-contaminated items (drywall, cabinets, etc.) are removed and properly disposed of.
3) Clean-up-this critical step is more than just a vacuuming. The room should be placed under negative air so that all the air is captured and filtered by an air filtration device. A thorough cleaning will be performed to S520 guidelines using HEPA vacuums (note, these are not shopvacs with a hepa filter!). Possible sealant on studs and/or framing and remaining structural items that are not discarded.
4) Post testing-as noted above, an independent third party testing firm should confirm that the area has been properly remediated.
For more detail on our process please visit the Mold Remediation page.
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