Mold can be found almost anywhere. It simply needs oxygen and moisture to flourish. Mold gradually destroys the things it grows on. Controlling moisture and mold minimizes damage to building materials and furnishings, saves money and avoids potential health risks. During mold remediation, it is necessary to clean up mold contamination, not just to kill the mold. Dead mold is still allergenic, and some dead molds are potentially toxic. If a building develops a moisture problem – including roof leaks, landscaping or gutters that direct water into or under the building, and un-vented appliances – it is early detection and the addressing of the moisture problem that aids in controlling mold growth. Mold can ever cause structural damage to a building if the problem remains unaddressed for a long time.
Identifying the source of the moisture problem is the first step in the mold remediation process. Delayed maintenance or insufficient maintenance can be associated with moisture problems in schools and large buildings. Performing regular building / HVAC inspections and maintenance is an essential part of a prevention plan.
Once the source of the moisture problem is identified and fixed, the following actions are critical in executing an effective mold remediation plan:
• Completely clean up mold and dry water-damaged areas. Mold can hide on the backside of drywall, wallpaper, paneling, the top of ceiling tiles, the underside of carpets and pads, etc.
• Select appropriate cleaning and drying methods for damaged / contaminated materials. Mold can damage building materials and furnishings. Materials and furnishings being saved must be completely clean and dry.
• Carefully contain and remove moldy building materials. Mold-contaminated materials should be placed in a sealed bag before they are removed. This minimizes the dispersion of the mold spores throughout the building.
• Use appropriate Personal Protective Equipment. In the mold remediation process, actions that stir up the mold or spores, such as breaking up wallboard or stripping wallpaper, should only be taken while using protective gear. The airborne spores should not be inhaled or have contact with skin.
• Arrange for outside professional support if necessary.
When managing office buildings or schools the important decision of whether to relocate the occupants must be made. If the building occupants are reporting serious health concerns, consult a health professional. It is best to conduct the mold remediation tasks in hours when the building is not occupied.
Mold remediation is an important investment in the health of the building, its contents and its occupants.