If you see spots of mold, have signs of chronic moisture and/or detect a musty odor in your home or business, you should contact a mold remediation company before you spend money on mold testing. The company will give you a free evaluation of the situation and have the experience to tell you whether you have a problem or not. If they indeed do advise you to get further testing, you would then need to hire a certified mold assessment consultant to inspect and collect samples from the area for mold testing.
In many states, the company that tests for mold can’t be the same company who does the eventual mold removal work, because the mold inspection company will also re-test and clear the area once the cleanup is completed. It’s important to have two companies do the individual tasks of inspection and removal to ensure one company doesn’t clear their own work. You need the mold inspection company to protect your interests, not theirs.
Also in most states, both mold inspection and remediation companies must be licensed by the state to protect you and ensure the work is done according to accepted standards by companies in good standing with the state. Once the work is done, you will get a Certificate of Mold Remediation stating that your property has been successfully remediated.
The mold assessment company will give you a protocol describing what work needs to be done and specifically the remediation company will need to do to clean up the mold problem. That work generally consists of removing mold contaminated materials, using HEPA vacuums to remove mold spores, heavy cleaning and sanitizing of the area and sealing affected materials. All of this work must be done in a walk-in containment with negative air pressure to make sure mold spores don’t escape the affected area and contaminate other places. Without the containment, the spores would become airborne and eventually land on other places inside the home or business during the demolition process. Those could not only be inhaled and cause health problems on their own but also start mold growth in places not currently contaminated. That would increase your expense and risk down the road.
Dehumidifiers will also be used during remediation to remove the moisture that caused the mold to grow. HEPA air scrubbers will be used to continually remove mold spores from the air. All debris removed from the area will be protectively bagged and the outsides of the bags will be vacuumed before they are removed.
When all the mold is removed and the cleanup and disinfecting has been completed, the inside of the containment area will be HEPA vacuumed and sealed, and air scrubbers will be used until the mold assessment consultant takes samples for clearance testing. If any part fails testing it will be reclined under the same containment. Once final clearance is given the containment is removed and the certificate of mold remediation is filled out by the consultant and the mold remediation company.
By: David A Selter