The Proper Practice of Mold Remediation for Homes in Manassas, VA
Mold can be found everywhere, indoors and outdoors; it is part of the natural environment. Mold is usually not a problem until it starts to grow indoors. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take much to set the conditions for mold growth in your home or office. Here are a few of the more common problems that can allow mold to get established, along with some notes about what you can do to minimize your risk:
Problem 1: Leaky air-conditioning duct joints, especially those running through a hot attic, create a moist environment for mildew.
- What you can do about it: Seal all duct joints with the special flexible mastic available heating and cooling supply stores.
Problem 2: Washing machine flooding or a bursting hose can soak into adjacent carpet, drywall, and insulation.
- What you can do about it: Always provide a floor drain near the washing machine. Install an overflow pan directly under the machine or install a 1-in. lip at the doorway to contain overflows in main-level or second-story laundry rooms.
Problem 3: Humidifiers (especially reservoir-type central units and portable units) provide both a growth medium and a distribution system for mold and mildew.
- What you can do about it: Clean and treat the reservoir often with an antimicrobial solution, available at most hardware stores.
Problem 4: The condensation pan directly under the coil of your central air conditioner can harbor mold.
- What you can do about it: Before each cooling season, clean the pan with a 1/2 percent bleach solution and make sure the continuous drain is working.
Problem 5: Poorly ventilated bathrooms allow surface mold to grow.
- What you can do about it: This is actually one of the most common causes of household mold. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to reduce your risk, including:
- Install a bathroom fan to exhaust moisture.
- Remove surface mildew by scrubbing the area with a 1/2 percent bleach solution. When the area is dry, prime it with an alcohol-based, white pigmented shellac, such as Zinsser Bullseye, and use a paint containing mildewcide.
- Use of a squeegee to scrape shower walls clean.
- Consider a watertight sealing for the grout. If this proves to be unsuccessful, remove and replace the grout.
While it’s possible to get rid of mold if the impacted area is quite small, the EPA recommends hiring a mold contractor trained in mold remediation for cleaning areas in excess of ten square feet. Below, we’ll give you a brief overview of the process we’ll use if you reach out to us to solve the problem.
Proper Mold Remediation Process
Locate mold—Inspect for all mold. This is our obvious first step. We’ll be performing a thorough inspection of your home using cutting edge technology that even enables us to peer into the walls of your home to look for both mold and its underlying causes.
Create a mold remediation plan— We’ll document our findings and give you a report which will include the next steps we’ll take, along with a free, no-obligation estimate. Assuming you’re comfortable with that estimate, we’ll proceed.
Repair the water problem—Finding and repairing the water source is the only way to prevent new mold spores from growing.
Containment—Among other things, this includes closing all doors and windows between the contaminated area and other rooms in the home, covering doorways and other openings with polyethylene sheeting and sealing seams with duct tape. During the mold remediation itself, advanced containment such as negative air chambers may be used to isolate contaminated areas with physical barriers and negative air pressure, which keeps mold spores from spreading throughout your home. Fans and heating and cooling systems need to be turned off to prevent mold from spreading.
Air filtration—During the remediation process, we’ll use specialized filtration equipment to capture microscopic mold spores in the air. These include “air scrubbers” and HEPA vacuums to prevent spreading mold spores while the mold remediation is in process.
Remove mold and mold-infested materials—We’ll use antifungal and antimicrobial treatments to eliminate mold colonies and prevent new ones from forming. We’ll also remove any mold-infested porous materials such as drywall and carpeting if necessary, in order to remove heavy mold growth.
Clean affected areas—Once that has been accomplished, we’ll vacuum all exposed surfaces with HEPA vacuum and clean surfaces with damp cloths or mops with a special detergent solution.
Dry—Using fans or dehumidifiers, we will speed up the drying process during the final stages of remediation.
Restoration—This includes things like replacing drywall, carpet, and other materials as needed, depending on the amount of damage to your home.
As you can see then, we have a comprehensive process designed to eradicate mold wherever it may be and prevent it from returning when we’re done. If that sounds like the help you need, don’t hesitate to give us a call. You’ll be very glad you did.