5 Steps to Proper Mold Removal

5 Steps to Proper Mold Removal

Over the past few years, mold has enjoyed its fifteen minutes of fame. Although the hype is over, mold and mold remediation in homes is still an important problem. Homebuilders must respond quickly to customer complaints. This is to ensure that the mold problem is fixed and show their customers that they are a good home builder.

Two important facts about mold to keep in mind:

1. Avoid it by starting things right the first step.

2. If you find mold on your skin, get it treated immediately.

The best way to prevent mold damage is to ensure that your warranty team follows the proper mold remediation and cleanup process.

These steps can be modified to suit your company’s policies. They are a quick way to quickly resolve mold problems.

5 Steps to Mold Removal/Cleanup

Step 1: Learn more about the role of moisture in mold growth

Mold growth assessment is more than simply looking at visible mold growth. Mold can hide behind what you see and grow around it. This devious behavior demands inquisitive thought.

Understanding that mold growth can be caused by moisture or water problems is key. Learn how moisture gets in your home and where it comes from. These two steps are designed to allow warranty agents to locate a source of moisture and help them find all mold growth.

Step 2: Document the mold problem, and develop a mold remediation strategy

Document the situation in writing, photographs, and video before starting mold cleanup and removal. A warranty supervisor will use the documentation for a remediation plan. This will answer questions like when work will begin, when it will end, who will perform the remediation, what testing will be performed, and whether homeowners will need to temporarily relocate.

The documentation can reduce liability and point out larger trends in mold growth.

Step 3: Determine the extent of mold contamination

Mold can grow in different areas, so it is important to determine how much contamination you are looking at. How you approach mold removal will depend on how much contamination is present. Mold removal is designed to remove mold from the home and avoid homeowners exposed to excessive mold growth.

New York City Department of Health has created guidelines to clean up mold contamination. These guidelines are used widely in the construction industry. They recommend six levels for mold removal, based on the area of the mold and whether the mold is within the HVAC system. The NYC DOH’s online guidelines will help you determine the level of remediation required.

Step 4: Remove mold contamination

Remediation and removal of mold will always include removing existing mold, avoiding any exposure to homeowners, and cleaning up the source of moisture. Based on the area of contamination, you can determine if the area is up to 30 feet in size (about the same area as a sheet of drywall). If you are, you will be following the guidelines below for remediation levels 1, and 2. You can use Level 1 for isolated, small areas of mold that are less than 10 square feet. Level 2 is for larger mould areas that span 10-30 square feet.

These steps are the same for both Level 1 and 2 mold remediation.

  • Fix the water problem. This will prevent mold spores and other contaminants from growing.
  • Remove the contaminated area. For both levels, close all doors and windows that lead to the contaminated area from other rooms in the house. Cover all doors and other openings with 6 mil polyethylene sheets for Level 2 remediation. To enter the contaminated area, seal all seams with duct tape.
  • Suppress dust. Mist the affected areas.
  • Discard all materials. Get rid of any mold-damaged or wet porous materials. If you aren’t sure what materials to remove, consult your supervisor or refer to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), documents on mold remediation.
  • Put materials in plastic bags. All wet or moldy materials should be thrown away in plastic bags at least 6 mil thick. Double-bag the materials and tie the bags shut. After the contamination has been removed, the bags can be disposed off as normal trash.
  • Clean. All wood surfaces and non-porous materials that are moldy should be cleaned. You can use a wire brush to clean any moldy surfaces. Then, wipe the area with disposable wipes. You can dispose of the wipes as regular trash by placing them in polyethylene bags 6 mil thick, then tie it shut. Use a damp cloth with a detergent solution to scrub any moldy surfaces. Rinse clean surfaces with clean water.
  • Cleanse the area and egress. Level 1 is a slightly different process than Level 2. Clean the affected area with a damp cloth or a mop and detergent solution. Level 2 requires that you vacuum all surfaces using a HEPA vacuum. After vacuuming, wipe all surfaces clean with a damp cloth or mop with detergent solution. Discard wipes as described above.
  • Accessibility test. All areas must be free from contamination and debris. No dirt or dust means there is no mold.
  • Dry. Dry any materials that have been cleaned to let the moisture evaporate. Fans, dehumidifiers, or raising the indoor temperature can speed up drying.
  • Replace. All materials should be repaired or replaced.
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To ensure that the plan is followed, refer to it during actual remediation. The warranty supervisor should change the plan if additional mold is found during clean-up.

Many builders use outside mold removal middlesex county companies to clean up areas larger than 30 feet. This is where you and your team will switch between actually doing mold remediation and supervising a qualified contractor. It is helpful to have a basic understanding of what procedures outside companies should follow. These procedures are for Level 3 and higher contamination.

Step 5: Check if the mold cleanup was successful

You don’t have to clean up the mold completely. The final step is to evaluate whether your cleanup efforts were successful. This is a judgement call. However, there are several options and guidelines you can follow.

The Mold Removal in Schools and Commercial Buildings EPA document is a great resource. It guides to help you with your cleanup efforts. These guidelines include:

  • The moisture problem is now fixed. You can verify this by returning to your home shortly after the remediation. There shouldn’t be any signs of recurring moisture damage.
  • There is no visible mold, no mold-damaged material or moldy smells.
  • The homeowner should be able to move into or out of the house without any health problems or physical symptoms.

An environmental testing company might perform additional testing after cleaning up moldy areas. This depends on the company you work for and the details of the mold problem.

Implementing a comprehensive moisture management plan is key to controlling mold growth. It is possible to reduce potential liability and health risks from mold by getting it right the first time. Following a process similar to the one above, cleanup must be done immediately and thoroughly. Although it may seem simple, the main reason homeowners complain about builders’ inability to respond quickly or urgently that the problem is serious is not clear.

Personal protection equipment that is minimal for level 1 and 2 remediations include an N95 respirator, non-venting eye goggles and rubber gloves that reach the mid-forearm.

Have you got mold? What next?

It is important to have a thorough and immediate mold remediation plan. Customers will appreciate your commitment to quickly act.

Ensure you have all the required personal protective equipment before entering a house to evaluate a mold situation.

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