Don’t Be Afraid by the Men in the White Suits!
As with any other hazardous material, like removing of lead-based paint or asbestos for example, mold remediation workers will fully suit up for action. They will have N- 95 masks, white suits, booties, and goggles. Truly looking like men from outer space. This does not necessarily mean that the mold remediation company will be removing toxic mold, but all precautions are taken. This is the standard operating procedure for any job where they are dealing with hazardous materials.
When dealing with Black Mold or any other color the remediation will follow a similar process to what is outlined below. Here is what you should expect:
Step One: We Need Access
We will have equipment, plastic, and tape everywhere. So please keep the animals somewhere else and move cars from the driveway or garage, and clear a wide access from the outside all the way to the mold area. The mold remediation company will park a vehicle as near as possible to doorway, lay down plastic sheeting, and run hoses through the house to the mold area. If the mold area is accessible from the outside (such as a crawlspace), it is so much the better. A quality mold remediation company will take care to keep your house clean while they do the work.
Step Two: Kill Mold with Biocide
The first step of this process is to isolate all infected area from the remaining rooms of the home. This is usually done with plastic sheeting and tape to make a barrier. The next step is to spray the mold area with biocide. Biocide is an EPA-approved liquid which kills mold. Please Note that bleach is not approved by the EPA for killing mold. Typically, this first step should take less time than the second step. After the workers leave, the biocide goes to work, killing the mold spores. The mold remediation company should spray well beyond the moldy area to ensure that no more mold grows. For example, if only a limited area of an attic exhibits mold, the mold remediation company will probably still spray down the entire attic. This is more desirable, and you should confirm with the company this is standard procedure.
Step Three: Remove the Mold
Typically the next day, the mold remediation company returns. Again, clear access is needed. They begin the task of removing the dead mold from its food source. This is usually part of your house. There are several different methods that can be used for this section. One crude and time consuming method is sanding, scraping and using a wire brush. Others include media blasting this would include baking soda, dry ice, sand, and other types of media.
Step Four: Clean the area
Here is where a lot of the clean-up begins. Once all the dead mold is removed from the substrate the area will need to vacuum with a HEPA (High Efficiency particular air) filter attachment. This will allow all the mold spores that were released when the mold was dying to be captured and disposed of alone with the Mycotoxins and allergens associated.
Step Five: Spray Sealer to prevent Mold from Returning
The second to last step in the process is to treat the previously affected area with a sealer to prevent new or re occurring mold growth. The remediation company should spray an area greater than the affected area to insure it is covered. If an attic or crawlspace is involved the whole area should be treated. This is a very important step in the process.
Step Six: Final Clean up
This is where the all the plastic comes down and tape is removed. These should be cautiously taken down as to not disturb were the mold spores may have landed. Once the all the plastic and tape is removed the area will need to be HEPA vacuumed again and a spore count analysis taken to verify that the home has normal levels of mold.
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