Discovering mold in your home can be frustrating and make your home unlivable. The priority for any homeowner with a mold infestation case is to get rid of the molds before things worsen.
However, various options are being offered when it comes to purging the home of mold, and these options can get confusing. This article explores the difference between mold removal and mold remediation. Knowing the difference will help you choose the right option for your home.
Recognizing Mold Growth In Your Home
The first step to purging the home of mold growth is to realize that the home is contaminated with mold. Molds can be highly toxic, and they can be dangerous to the health of your family and your pets. For example, some molds can cause allergic reactions, lead to respiratory problems or threaten the life of people with certain illnesses.
For people with asthma, molds can worsen their health. It can also increase the chances of pneumonia in babies. Besides, molds destroy whatever furniture or material they grow on. In the long run, this will bring down the value of your property and make it unsellable. This is why it's crucial to detect molds early.
Here are a few ways to recognize mold in your home:
- A consistent musty or damp smell in the home is a good sign that there's mold in your home. However, not all molds give off this smell.
- Walls are peeling or cracking severely.
- Presence of certain colors on wood or wallpapers in the home. Mold colors can be either black, white, green, orange, or even pink.
- Sneezing or coughing when within your home but having no symptoms when outdoors can be a sign of mold in the home.
- A consistent foul odor from your air conditioner.
Generally, damp surfaces can generate mold within just 48 hours. This can be spotted around plumbing systems close to walls.
Understanding How Mold Enters The Home in Boca Raton
First, you must understand that molds are invariably a part of the ecology. They are in the air, whether you are indoor or outdoor. They reproduce through tiny spores which are invisible to the naked eye. These spores grow in dark and moist places and may be carried around on surfaces and in the air. Mold spores usually build around wet or musty surfaces within 24-48 hours.
Mold spores are so tiny that they can also enter and exit the home through the windows and HVAC systems. They even cling to clothes and bags to travel around. These molds begin to form colonies when they get an adequate supply of moisture and oxygen in the home. The walls behind insulated pipes can also be a good location for molds to grow. Again, this is because of the condensation, which builds moisture.
Difference Between Mold Removal and Mold Remediation
Many restoration companies often use mold removal and mold remediation interchangeably. However, there are differences between the two terms. Mold removal and mold restoration have two different processes.
The first thing to understand is that mold removal does not translate to a total expulsion of mold from the home. Mold is always present in the air. Therefore, you should beware of restoration companies that promise 100% mold removal as they are only trying to lure you in. However, mold colonies are what you need to get rid of.
Mold removal is the simple process of removing the visible mold growth from the surfaces they are growing on. You can either do this yourself or employ the services of restoration companies. The general opinion is that you can remove mold of less than 10 square feet by yourself.
To remove mold, you may need strong bleach, vinegar, towels, and a brush. The visible mold growths will then be wiped off using these items. You also need to have the proper safety equipment to prevent absorbing toxins into your body. However, this is stressful and isn't always ideal. Certain things must be in place if mold removal is going to be effective:
- The mold growth should be visible.
- The mold should not be toxic. This is usually determined when professionals carry out a small test.
- You must have fixed the underlying cause of the mold growth.
- The mold growth should be small.
If all these elements are not present, it is best to opt for mold remediation. First, mold isn’t always visible, and the situation may be worse than you think. Also, testing for all the areas to wipe and toxicity of the mold requires professional services, so the full DIY option is hardly ever appropriate. Ultimately, this means that just removing the mold is only a small part of the larger scheme of getting rid of mold growth in the home.
Mold remediation centers on the entire process of fighting mold infestation and keeping mold within a safe limit in the home. This is known as a "normal fungal ecology."
Mold remediation involves identifying the source of the mold. It's all the steps of removal, demolition, cleaning, treating, and preventing mold from spreading in a place where it's not purposely being bred. Mold remediation is sometimes referred to as mold abatement or mold mitigation.
Steps Involved in Mold Remediation
Mold remediation is extensive and involves five significant steps. However, it is important to note that each mold infestation case is different, and it is usually up to technicians to tweak the remediation process to combat each case. Regardless, below are the general steps involved in mold remediation.
Source Identification/ Mold Inspection
For mold to be removed, all the sources of the growth must be detected to prevent the same issue from recurring in less than 48 hours after the cleanup. Some molds may be visible, but some lurk in hidden or dark places or may have colors that are harder to detect. A professional restoration company can do this.
A mold inspector will conduct an Initial Assessment to determine the moisture source. This also helps determine the building type of mold and the adequate remediation process. However, the initial inspection has its limit as all the issues cannot be fully identified at this point.
A second assessment will be carried out during the work. The removal technician team does this assessment to set up the necessary containment and closely inspect the reason for the moisture.
Containment simply means isolating the moisture areas and fixing the cause of the excessive moisture. Molds produce spores, and the spores move around in the air where they can settle on other surfaces to continue to grow. This is why professionals often contain each mold area and fix the cause of the moisture in that area.
This is an extension of the containment process. Air filtration involves using HEPA vacuums and other technologies to prevent the spread of the spores as mold remediation takes place. In addition, this helps to capture microscopic molds that may have escaped in the air.
This process involves treating the areas infested by mold and removing the molds. It involves the use of antifungal and antimicrobial treatments to eliminate colonies. Professionals often employ different methods, depending on the severity of the damage or infestation and the type of material that's been infested.
For example, for semi-porous and non-porous materials, technicians take extra care to ensure that spores are not accidentally released during cleanup. In addition, items that absorb moisture, such as carpets or rugs, may have to be disposed of.
Sometimes, certain materials may even have to be removed entirely and replaced. The entire process is usually carried out in line with the ANSI/IICRC S520 Standard. However, experienced technicians will ensure that this process is as safe as possible and the structural integrity of your home isn't jeopardized.
Sanitization is the last process to ensure that every surface in the house that may have accidentally come into contact with mold spores is thoroughly cleaned. Floors, walls, curtains, and even personal belongings must be thoroughly cleaned to ensure that molds don't build in another home area. The home will also be deodorized to eliminate any lingering smell.
Usually, you would have to wait at least 24 hours before moving back in.
Mold Removal Versus Mold Remediation
The difference between mold removal and mold remediation is clear. Mold Removal is cheap and easy, and it can be the straightforward go-to when people spot molds. However, these molds may be a sign that more damage is occurring within the material it's spotted on.
This is why mold remediation is the safest bet. It is more extensive and is the safest way to ensure that the mold level in your home is kept safe for you and your property. Besides, mold removal can be harmful if all the proper safeguards aren't taken. Thus, it is always best to consult professional mold remediation services.
Preventive Safeguards After Mold Remediation in Boca Raton
You must take some steps to prevent mold from growing even after remediation. A few of them are:
- Watch out for water leaks in your home and fix them as soon as possible.
- Service your HVAC systems regularly to get rid of mold growths that may be harboring in the vents.
- Clean and repair your roof gutters regularly.
- Invest in a good air purifier to help cleanse the home of mold spores.
- Keep indoor humidity low. You can invest in a moisture or humidity meter to help regulate this.
Contact Erica's Plumbing, Air Conditioning and Restoration in Boca Raton
Once you fully understand the difference between mold remediation and mold removal, it becomes clear which is the right choice. Mold remediation requires the right team of professionals to do an effective job.
If you are in Florida, our team of licensed technicians at Erica's Plumbing, Air Conditioning and Restoration can help you get rid of dangerous mold levels in your home. We also provide HVAC cleaning services and repair all kinds of water leaks. We are a women-owned business in Boca Raton and we respond 24/7. Contact us here to get a quote immediately.