The Five Steps of Professional Mold Removal
Toxic black mold – better known to scientists as Stachybotrys chartarum – probably won’t reduce your home to a pile of splinters. It won’t migrate to your car and cut your brake lines. And chances are, it won’t evolve into a higher life form and reprogram your TiVo to record nothing but Ron Popiel infomercials.
But it can cause some pretty serious health issues for you and your family. And that’s nothing to laugh at.
When left unchecked, black mold can cause a variety of symptoms of escalating severity. It might start with allergic reactions that don’t seem triggered by anything in particular. Then the headaches begin. In its most extreme forms, black mold sickness can cause intense coughing complete with bloody phlegm.
Black mold is attracted to the moisture in your home’s crawlspaces, but wet basements are favorite breeding ground. If you’ve got a substantial amount of basement moisture, or if you’ve got a leaking basement, it’s a good bet black mold is present in some form. If that’s the case, you need to call a qualified professional mold removal company.
They’ll follow a protocol for determining whether there’s toxic mold present, eliminating it if it is, and taking steps to make sure it doesn’t come back. Here are the five basic steps:
Good mold removal companies won’t start to remove mold unless they know it’s there, so be sure to hire someone who can prove to you that there’s black mold present. Mold remediation contractors might have to do a little bit of intrusive work to determine if it’s there or not, so prepare to have furniture moved (or boxes, if the source is a leaking basement) and, possibly, rugs pulled up. But if your contractor finds it, he can show it to you. It’ll be black or greenish black, wet and slimy to the touch.
Once a full-blown mold removal and remediation program begins, the contractor will need to completely close off the affected area. Black mold reproduces – and harms humans – by releasing spores into the air, and the mold removal process can involve blowing a lot of those spores around. So they’ll use lots of plastic sheeting and tape to avoid contaminating the rest of your home. If more than one room is contaminated, they’ll clean one room at a time.
To scrub the air clean of mold spores and particulates matter, your mold removal contractor will use air filtration machines with HEPA filters (the types of filters found in high-end consumer vacuum cleaners). For their own good, they’ll also need to wear goggles and air filter masks to avoid absorbing too many of the particulates.
This is the rough part. Cleaning materials like glass and hard plastic is simple, since the mold has no nooks and crannies to hide in. But if the infestation is severe, your remediation contractor may need to remove a good deal of porous material, like wood or concrete. Sometimes this is because the mold has visibly destroyed the material in question. Like all things that are alive, mold wants to survive and reproduce, and the best way for it to escape certain death at the hands of a mold remediation contractor is to hunker down in the pores of a concrete basement or wooden windowsill. So prepare yourself: If the mold is deeply ingrained, you may lose some stuff.
The good news: If the mold damage is extensive enough that your home has suffered structural damage, a good basement waterproofing contractor will probably be able to repair the damage. He’ll also be able to fix it so that the black mold doesn’t rear its ugly head again.
Black mold removal is no easy feat, and the health problems cause by mold shouldn’t be taken lightly. The best way to avoid an expensive black mold removal job is to make sure black mold can’t thrive in your home; for this, you’ll need to make sure your home has a dry basement and clean cupboards and cabinets. So think dry thoughts, and inspect your home regularly.
Right Way Waterproofing serves clients with basement waterproofing, basement remodeling and mold remediation needs throughout the Delaware Valley: In Philadelphia, Delaware and New Jersey, throughout Bucks County, Montgomery County, Chester County, Burlington County, Mercer County and Delaware County, including Langhorne, Newtown, Yardley, Bensalem, Warminster, Morrisville, Lower Makefield, Trenton, Newark, Wilmington, King of Prussia, Newtown Square, the Main Line and Bala Cynwyd.
We perform all our basement waterproofing, basement finishing and mold remediation services in the following ZIP codes:
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