What Are Some Mold Remediation Techniques?

What are some mold remediation techniques? Mold expert Kevin Bristol discusses the complex process of completely removing and preventing mold in a building. If your home is contaminated with mold you will...

If your home is contaminated with mold you will want to remove it as soon as possible so that the members in your household won't become sick. Mold can also ruin the structure of your home through decay and therefore removal is requisite. There are many different methods or techniques for mold remediation and removal depending upon the extent and type of problem you have.

Kevin Bristol is President of Advance Mold Remediation and is certified by the National Association of Mold professionals, International Association for Mold Professionals, and the Environmental Protection Agency. When he was asked what to look for in a mold removal company he explained, "As far as mold remediation, you have to be careful of fly by night companies that are not certified or just recently received their certification, but have no experience. There are a lot of companies that are entering the business to make a quick dollar and really don't know what they are doing."

Bristol uses many different techniques to remove mold. Some have been around for awhile and others are new and unique. "The technique that we normally use is getting rid of the water source and removing the contaminated area. If it's a cellulose material like drywall or insulation we would totally remove it. We go in, we take out the material, then [replace it with new mold resistant material]" explains Bristol. This process is done if the mold has grown into the drywall, carpeting, and ceiling or anywhere in the home.

If the mold is on the surface of cement or wood structure and you can't remove it Bristol and most companies use the following technique to scrape from the surface. "Hyper-sanding, or high efficiency air particle sanding, is used on the contaminated studs after you have taken down the drywall. We sand them first and once they are sanded we come back and treat it with a biocide or other chemicals. These are biocides that basically kill off molds, bacteria, or other pathogens. Then we normally hyper-vacuum the surface and floor area to remove any spores that may have fallen to the ground. We wipe down all the walls with an antifungal solution to make sure that the mold spores that were released are now eliminated and of course we put in the negative air machine and air scrubbers. A negative air machine basically is a machine that filters out contaminated air and is exhausted outside through a flexed tube. Then we put in an air scrubber that actually takes the air and exchanges it several times per hour. From there we also do what they call biocide fogging. The fog actually eliminates the airborne mold spores so that once they're eliminated in the air they fall to the ground and then we use a wet mop technique to finally get up all the mold spores and everything else. Of course, if its carpet that we are dealing with, we put down 6 mil poly on the floor to make sure that anything that falls while we are doing remediation falls on the actual polyethylene and we contain that area away from the rest of the home." This technique can be modified to do yourself if the area of mold is small. Barricade the room off by plastic so the mold spores won't float into other areas of the house. Clean the mold off by sanding or wiping. Spray with a mold or mildew cleaner. Clean all of the walls and flooring. Open the windows and doors to let fresh air in.

There is a new technique called dry ice blasting. According to Bristol, "Dry ice blasting is really revolutionizing the mold industry. We just go in and wire brush contaminated wood, then we use a dry ice blaster that actually uses ice pellets. When the ice pellets come out of the nozzle they turn into a CO2 gas." The Co2 gas kills the mold and removes it from the surface immediately.

Whatever method you use make sure you protect yourself with face masks and gloves when cleaning it up. OSHA or the Occupational, Safety and Health Act says this about mold, "As a general rule, simply killing the mold, for example, with biocide is not enough. The mold must be removed." Remember this in any remediation method you choose.

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