Mold Removal Standards 2023

Responsible homeowners have questions whenever they discover mold for different reasons most commonly the concern revolves around health in general.  Homeowners understand that mold remediation is a important maintenance issue and should be addressed by a competent mold remediation professional. Homeowners also need to know who they can trust whenever such a problem arises in their home. Homeowners like to do research to find out which companies have information to help educate their customers.

At Mold Metrix we believe this is important because many states do not regulate mold remediation or mold removal projects.  States such as New York, Florida and Texas provide valuable guidance to the mold remediation industry with regards to practicing standards and each of these states rely on the ICRC S 500 water damage restoration and S520 mold remediation standards in addition to their respective mold decontamination statutes.

IICRC S500 and S520 Mold Remediation Standard

The IICRC has played a central role in the cleaning and restoration industry for many years by providing industry standards and best practices. The IICRC’s course on water damage is the industry standard for training on water damage mitigation.  After the famous Ballard mold lawsuit was decided, the IICRC decided that a working standard should be created for mold remediation. The standard produced by the IICRC for mold remediation is known as the IICRCS 520 standard and reference guide for mold remediation. Rather than focusing on visible contamination, the S500 focuses on the extent of mold contamination.

The ICRC S 520 defines a mold remediation project in terms of the following three conditions:

Condition 1: a normal living environment. This is the normal living environment that one would expect in a home, office or commercial building.

Condition 2: an indoor environment that is contaminated with settled mold spores and fragments. Condition 2 areas are located directly near or adjacent to a room with active mold growth.

Condition 3: an indoor environment contaminated with visible or active mold growth.

S520 Mold Removal Approach

From its introduction the IICRCS 520 approach has moved the mold remediation industry forward. to better understand the mold remediation standards there is certain terminology which must be defined.

In the S 520, the term “should” means that the practice or procedure is the accepted standard of care, and should be followed, but is not mandatory.

the term “shall” means the practice or procedure is mandatory due to laws or regulations. This use of shell comes from the legal terms used in the writing of laws and regulations.

The term “recommended” means that the practice or procedure is advised or suggested, again not mandatory.

The term “limitations” refers to restrictions that are placed upon the remediator that result in a limit on the scope or on remediation activities.

The term “complexities” means situations that cause the mold remediation job to become more difficult or detailed, but that the work can still be performed adequately.

The term “complications” means situations that may arise after the start of a mold remediation project which may change the scope of work.

mold remediation

Category 3 Water and Mold Remediation

Category three water is almost certain to cause mold growth. The IICRC S 520 mold remediation standard defines category three water as grossly unsanitary contaminated and containing parthenogenic taxonomy genic or other harmful agents. Category three water is any water that enters a home from beyond a sewer trap. Other examples of category 3 water include all water entering from outside the dwelling, ground water, river water, and or fish tank water.

When reporting water damage and mold remediation to your insurance company the proper way to create a claim is as a category three water damage. Category 3 water damage includes toxigenic or other harmful agents including, but not limited to gas, lead, asbestos, animal droppings and mold.









Unsalvageable Mold Category

A category three water loss will create a condition 3 mold environment in as little as 72 hours and sometimes faster than that depending on the contamination levels of the water. Moldy materials are generally classified as either salvageable or unsalvageable. Organic based materials are able support mold growth very easily are typically classified as unsalvageable due to mold growth and or contamination. Examples include books, papers, carpet padding, baseboards, drywall, vinyl plank, and wood flooring.

Salvageable Mold Category

Not all organic material is automatically classified as unsalvageable. For example; studs, floorboards, and joist systems are all structural components made of organic material. However, these materials are structural and are usually salvaged unless they have decomposed to the point where they are structurally sound.  Contents are defined as the personal property held within the dwelling or office.  Contents restoration is a separate, but related claim for mold contamination.  Concerns related to salvageability and cost should be discussed with the mold remediation manager.

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Personal Protective Equipment

Any project classified as a mold remediation project or classified as a category 3 water damage should be expected to use protective gear including, but not limited to rubber gloves, rubber boots, a Tyvek suit, mask and or respirator. In some cases a self-contained breathing apparatus may be necessary due to the level of mold contamination. Additional protective equipment may include lighting and lighting setup. Additional fees may be incurred for projects located in attics and crawlspaces.

Containment Standards For Mold Removal

Mold remediation projects with less than 10 square feet of mold do not require additional containment measures beyond HEPA air filtration.  Containment on a mold remediation project can be as simple as closing a room door and covering it with a containment plastic and zipper. In other cases, full scale containment is necessary. Any questions or concerns you may have about containment and your mold remediation project should be discussed with your project manager. They should be able to explain All decided courses of action as well as how they have applied the IICRC S 500 standard.

Air Filtration For Mold Remediation

Inhaling mold is one of the easiest ways to become affected by it. This is why mold remediation professionals must also include HEPA air filtration add negative air systems on all mold remediation projects. In this way we can improve and preserve the integrity of the indoor air quality.

Mold Remediation Cleaning Standards

The IICRC S520 mold remediation standard is to remove all affected materials and to remediate mold contamination. What this translates to is the safe removal of affected materials, including cutting out and bagging materials for removal. Mold remediation does not mean zero mold present. The goal of mold remediation is to restore mold levels to within safe acceptable levels.

If you or anybody you know needs mold remediation, Choose Metrix Over The Matter, because the Power to Change the Matter is in the Metrix.

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