What Does Mold Remediation Include?

What Does Mold Remediation Include?

Step 1. Initial Mold Inspection

One hundred percent of mold remediation projects begin with the initial inspection.  This step cannot be skipped as the initial mold inspection is what provides the mold removal expert with details needed to begin.  Critical information about areas effected is gathered during the initial mold inspection such as: primary and secondary mold contamination.  Primary areas affected are often visible & are what prompt a customer to call for a mold inspection; however, secondary areas & or items effected are usually not discovered until a professional mold inspection is conducted. 

Sometimes mold testing is conducted to identify secondary areas or items with mold contamination.  Industry standards do not require mold testing when mold or what appears to be mold is present.  Two examples of when testing before the removal of visible mold may be used are cases of high health risk and disputes between tenants and property owners.

Step 2. Create Mold Remediation Protocol

During the initial mold inspection measurements, and a minimum of ten photos will be taken, but is more common for a mold expert to capture 20-30 photos, plus 1-2 videos of the area effected.  These photos and video are used both as evidence to support mold remediation recommendations and as notes used to create a mold removal protocol.  Pictures of what is affected and what is not affected will be taken, both inside and outside the home or office.  The main reason for these types of photos is damage liability. 

Measurements, photos & videos are used primarily to reconstruct the effected zones.  Sketches of the contaminated areas are computer drafted and included with the estimate.  Organizing this information allows the mold inspector to present it to a customer in the easiest to understand way.  Communication with a customer is key and helps to establish expectations for the completion of a mold remediation project.

Step 3. Containment

Taking the time to apply floor protection, move the customers’ belonging to safety and setup mold containment measures is key.  In fact, no mold remediation project should begin unless these preliminary actions have been taken.  Not only does this make the mold remediation safe as possible, it also puts the customers’ mind at rest.

Step 4. Air Quality Control

Air quality control is the number one safety concern of all mold remediation projects.  For example, there are two mold concern classifications: structural & health.  Until air born mold levels become elevated above 10% of the air born mold outside, the mold concern is structural damage.  This remains true, unless the customer falls into a high-risk group.  Spreading mold contamination to non-effected areas is the majority of mold remediation liability.   Therefore proper air quality control measures must always be used in mold remediation.

Step 5. Demolition

Demolition is the mold removal aspect of mold remediation.  This involves surgical removal finishing construction such as drywall, cabinets, and shelves.  Content manipulation can also be itemized as part of demolition is mold removal projects.  Examples of this would be removing and discarding moldy books, furniture, or other related items.

Step 6. Decontamination

After moldy materials have been safely removed from the work zone, structural decontamination can begin.  Simply “fogging” the air with a mold killer is a violation of industry standard.  Surfaces must be wiped down and HEPA vacuumed, wooden surfaces must be exfoliated, mold staining addressed, all while maintaining air quality standards under negative pressure.

Step 7. Structural Drying

Structural drying is half the battle of mold remediation quality assurance and is where many mistakes are made.  After all the moldy material have been removed and the area has been decontaminated, the area must then be dried.  If this important step is skipped or done improperly, the mold infestation will continue, and the mold remediation will fail.

Step 8. Post Remediation Inspection and Testing

A mold remediation project manager should always thoroughly inspect a project upon completion for quality assurance.  All dry goals such as moisture content levels and relative humidity should be met.  In certain cases, post mold remediation clearance testing is conducted and can be covered by most insurance carriers.

In mold removal projects where post remediation testing is requested, testing must be conducted while containment remains in place.  Air samples taken after containment has been broken down can not reflect the true microbial levels within the remediation zone.  Samples may be collected by the hired remediation company but should be tested by an independent laboratory. 

Step 9. Final Mold Cleanup

The final mold cleanup is not a “white glove maids cleaning”, it is a final “construction cleanup”.  IICRC standard S520 states that the goal of this step is to achieve a clean dust free environment.

After the last cleanup is finished, the area can once again be inspected, and a certificate of mold remediation completion can be issued.

What to expect from a mold inspection in 2022

What to expect from a mold inspection in 2022

What To Expect From A Mold Inspection in 2022?

Much has changed in the service industry since 2020 when the Covid 19 pandemic first began.  Now on top of the pandemic, we have the Russia vs Ukraine war and skyrocketing gas prices.

Video conferencing has become a working standard since the beginning of this decade.  In 2022, people are not only more “germ conscious” but are also more “shopping conscious” as prices for goods and services continue to rise.

Video chat will continue to be integrated into the service industry business model.  In 2022, customers should expect to receive an initial mold estimate via video chat.  This way customers and contractors can gain more insight to their projects with less risk of exposer.  Both contractors and customers are also able to save valuable time and money by connecting first via video chat.  This in turn, helps businesses keep costs low allowing customers to save more money.

Metrix Inspection Standards

Metrix mold inspections are conducted per acceptable environmental hygiene recommendations as defined by The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), the New York City Department of Mental Health & Hygiene, Bureau of Environmental & Occupational Disease Epidemiology, the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, National Air Duct Cleaners Association, and other remediation techniques that are acceptable and used by professionals in the industry.

Further analytical testing may be required to find additional hidden mold infestations in areas not sampled or inspected; testing may be required for asbestos, lead paint, and other environmental hazards prior to remediation. The presence of such materials take precedence over mold remediation and removal of such regulated materials must be conducted in accordance with federal, state, provincial and local laws and regulations and require specific remediation protocols. The results of this analysis represent conditions only at the exact time and locations from where samples were taken. Thus, the report should not be relied on to represent conditions at any other location or date and does not imply that this property is free of contaminants in other areas.

Mold Inspections and Testing Disclaimer:

Do not depend on your mold inspector for any medical advice; that is the job of a medical specialist. If any illness is experienced that may be related to mold or other indoor environmental factors, a family doctor should be consulted regarding health complaints. In addition, the unhealthy person should obtain a referral to the appropriate medical professionals specializing in allergies, environmental medicine, or occupational health, as prescribed by the physician.

 If building related symptoms, such as allergy or asthma-like symptoms or other similar symptoms are experienced, then mold inspection & testing is often the logical starting point in an effort to locate, define and control the problem, as mold is often the culprit. One must keep in mind that occasionally other bioaerosols can result in symptoms or illness as well. Your inspector is unlikely to sample for, or locate mold which may be hidden inside walls, behind wallpaper, appliances, furniture or other inaccessible areas without conducting an invasive inspection.

Mold inspection and mold testing service is not intended to sample or report on what the inspector considers to be typical tiny amounts of expected mold. A mold test is not an environmental investigation for conditions, such as dust mite, roach, and pet allergens, virus, bacteria, lead-based paint, asbestos, radon, voc’s or any other environmental conditions. Mold testing is not meant to detect wood destroying organisms or termite inspection report for dry rot fungus or other fungus that causes wood decay.

Mold Metrix does not offer an opinion as to the advisability of the purchase or sale of property. Unless customer requests and purchases invasive mold inspection with sampling in every room, inner wall stud bay, AC duct, carpet, and all other surfaces in all areas, items or areas inspected and sampled will be chosen based on the inspectors’ judgement. Mold Metrix is not responsible or liable for the non-discovery of any water damage, mold contamination, or “problem conditions” of the inspected property in which Metrix has not been contracted to inspect. Mold Metrix is not responsible or liable for the non-discovery of any water damage, mold contamination, or any other problems that were not discovered due to inadequate sampling in specific areas where sampling was not requested and paid for.

INTERIOR INSPECTION

No destructive or disruptive testing or assessment will be performed unless contracted by client. Opening of walls, lifting of carpets, removal of ceiling panels, insulation, and vapor barriers will not be conducted unless contracted by client. The inspector will not check any area that poses a safety threat to the inspector such as walking on roofs. A roof inspector should be consulted in regard to any roof concerns. Attics and crawl spaces with low clearance may not be entered.  Client understands and agrees that inspection and testing can report only on problems that were present at the time of testing and inspection. The inspector cannot report on areas or locations in the building that have not been specifically inspected and tested. Appliances, furniture, office equipment, and other personal items are not moved during a non-invasive inspection.

AIR QUALITY SAMPLES

Though spore sampling and lab report analysis are common and are often an extremely helpful tool, there is always some degree of uncertainty regarding analysis of samples and the conclusions we draw from them. Non-viable samples only allow for spore identification to the genus and not the species level; thus, comparison of levels of similar types of indoor and outdoor spore types is not exact. Some spores that are reported to be similar are not at always from the same species of mold, they may just look similar under the microscope. This is especially true for some small, round spores, such as aspergillus and penicillium spores. Viable sampling only allows for identification and enumeration of molds that germinated from live spores. Thus, many dead yet still allergenic spores may be missed in the lab results when using this methodology, resulting in low estimations of the number of actual spores present.

INNER WALL SPORE SAMPLES

Your inspector cannot guarantee that hidden mold in a wall can be found even with the aid of inner wall spore sampling as hidden mold may not be producing large numbers of spores during sampling or the spores, if produced, may not have access to the spore trap because insulation or wall studs may block the pathway between spores and spore trap. Even if inner wall spore levels are elevated, it does not guarantee that the mold producing it in the wall will be excessive enough to be visible when or if the wall is opened.                                                                                                              

Such sampling is often a very helpful tool because mold hidden inside walls sometimes produce elevated spore levels that often show up during inner wall sampling. Mold levels in a wall may be high enough to produce mold odors, or may be implemented in health complaints, or may result in lab results showing elevated spore levels.  On the other hand, mold in that same wall may not have yet grown to levels where they would be visible to the unaided eye during remediation.

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