Mold, sometimes called mildew, is an airborne fungal infection that grows on damp, wet objects. Common areas where mold can grow are in the bathroom, basement, kitchen, and on carpets and upholstery. Although they are most commonly found in the home they can also be found in the office building, retail store, school, shopping mall, and others. Most people are very alert to any mild odors or mildew in their homes and are very quick to notice if there is evidence of mold or mildew.
Mold or mildew is usually a harmless fungus that can be taken care of by vacuuming and wiping down surfaces on a regular basis. However, if the situation is allowed to get out of control or worsens, mold may have other symptoms such as black spots on fabrics and dyes, water stains on fabric, and peeling paint. This is when it is time for mold remediation. Mold or mildew is a natural element of the air and plays a vital role in our ecosystem by breaking-down dead organic matter like fallen trees and leaves; inside, mold develops as a result. Mold remediation is done by professionals who are trained and equipped to detect the exact location of mold growth and then eradicate it from the air by using high efficiency air scrubbers. Mold can grow on nearly any type of surface and in areas that are moist, warm, and dark; it can be particularly hazardous to those who have asthma or allergies.
Mold remediation or abatement begins with the first step, which is to find and eliminate the source of moisture or any source of indoor humidity so that it does not become a breeding ground for mold spores. The second step is the removal or extraction of the affected material. If the source of excess moisture or humidity is plumbing fixtures or piping, for example, there are special techniques used in the removal process. Mold abatement experts work closely with experienced plumbers and mold technicians to perform this process safely and efficiently.
High efficiency HEPA filters, which are becoming more widely available in residential homes and businesses, are an essential component of mold remediation. An air purifier containing a high efficiency HEPA filter removes the majority of airborne spores before they ever reach a room where people spend time or live. In addition to the HEPA filter, air scrubbers are also needed during this process. Air scrubbers remove and dispose of the majority of airborne spores that fall to the floor, out of reach of a vacuum cleaner, or otherwise are not filtered by the high efficiency HEPA filter.
Once the air has been cleaned, the next step is mold removal. Mold remediation experts can use a variety of techniques to make the indoor environments safe again. They will commonly make use of dilution to reduce the mold spores that are airborne and present a smaller challenge. Once the space is cleaned and safe, mold removal professionals can perform the final step of removing the contaminated objects.
Many property owners do not feel comfortable with calling a mold remediation company because they feel that they can clean the mold themselves. This is often the case when mold contamination has already been discovered on the inside surfaces of walls, ceiling tiles, baseboards, ductwork, or similar areas inside the house. In these cases, it is generally not possible to clean the surfaces completely to remove all traces of mold. If mold spores still end up in the drywall or insulation, property owners should consider using a drywall protector to shield the wall surface from future damage. The drywall protector will prevent moisture from reaching the wood frame of the home, as well as stop mold from growing through small crevices in the drywall. Mold removal may be necessary if the mold spores are found in cracks in the drywall, especially if water is leaking in the home.