What Cleanup Methods Does My Mold Removal Contractor Use?

If you’ve hired, or considered hiring, a mold removal contractor, you may be wondering exactly what he’s going to do when he arrives at your home. If he’s already tested for mold, and you know it’s a problem, there are a variety of approaches he can take.

Shop-Vac If excessive water has accumulated in the area affected by the mold — as is often the case, since a wet, leaking basement is usually the reason for a black mold infestation. In these cases, your mold removal contractor will be able to use a shop-vac to remove water from many of the affected surfaces.

HEPA Vacuum HEPA stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air. The term is usually used to describe a very specific type of air filter usually used in high-end vacuum cleaners. But while your standard vacuum may have a HEPA filter, it probably isn’t as effective as the one your basement waterproofing contractor will use to clean up a serious black mold infestation. Mold removal professionals use heavy-duty HEPA vacuums and air filters to remove not only black mold, but the spores it sprays into the air as it’s being eliminated.

Disposal If the problem is extensive enough, your contractor will need to dispose of some porous material such as wood and concrete. If that’s the case, he can discard of them as normal construction waste, but during cleanup, he’ll have to keep the infested materials sealed in closed containers until the job is done. If not, he runs the risk of further contaminating the area.

Biocides A biocide is a chemical substance capable of killing living organisms. Common biocides used for cleaning up black mold are chlorine bleach or ammonia (remember, these should never be mixed). Generally, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (an arm of the US Department of Labor) discourages the use of biocides in such indoor settings as mold removal. A contractor worth his fee will know if it’s smart to use these.

Damp Wipe This is exactly what it sounds like: Wiping a surface with a damp cloth. This method only works on nonporous surfaces like glass and smooth plastic; since the mold can’t get a good grip on a nonporous surface, wiping it off is a simple matter. If your black mold problem is limited to these kinds of surfaces, you may be able to perform this yourself. But a good mold removal contractor will wipe down any surface that may have been affected during the removal process.

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Angelo and Sandra Patiri

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