Mold is one of the most unsettling things you can find in your home. It can appear anywhere in your home at any time, and it can cause severe property damage and health issues. The discovery of mold growth is frustrating and the thought of dealing with the problem can be overwhelming. However, our mold remediation professionals at ServiceMaster NCR can provide complete mold removal to restore your home and your peace of mind.
How Does Mold Appear in Your Home?
The reason mold growth can appear in your home at any time is because there is a natural concentration of mold spores in the air. It is impossible for homes and buildings to be completely free of mold because of this. The spores will form mold colonies when they have a source of water or moisture which is why basements, attics, bathrooms, and kitchens are common areas for mold growth to appear. The best way to prevent mold growth in your home is to control the humidity level, address spills and water damage, and ensure good ventilation.
The following facts about mold will help you better understand how mold growth forms:
- Mold spores are a constant, natural presence.
- Microscopic mold spores can enter your home through doors, windows, HVAC systems, and attached to clothing and pets.
- Mold spores need moisture to form into mold colonies.
- Addressing the moisture source is the first step of mold remediation.
- Water damage, leaks, flooding, and humidity can lead to mold growth.
- Mold can appear in hidden areas such as behind walls and ceilings and within HVAC systems.
- Mold has a strong musty odor that can help you find hidden mold growth.
The Dangers of Mold Growth
Mold growth is dangerous because it can cause extensive property damage if it is not addressed, and it can have a negative impact on your health. While moisture is necessary for mold growth to form, it also needs a food source to survive. The most common indoor food source for mold is cellulose, which is an organic material found in drywall, wood, insulation, carpeting, wallpaper, and other common building materials. This means that mold growth is literally eating the surfaces it affects which leads to damage. If given enough time, mold can cause serious structural damage to walls and ceilings.
The effect mold can have on your health is another major concern. Mold is a toxic substance and exposure to the mold spores can lead to a range of allergic reactions that include headaches, coughing, breathing issues, skin irritation, nasal congestion, and itchy eyes and throat. Mold exposure has also been linked to a higher risk of childhood asthma and respiratory infections and it can cause body inflammation. The risk of health effects increases the longer one is exposed to mold.
All mold has the potential to cause health issues, but some molds are more dangerous than others. Stachybotrys chartarum (black mold) is especially dangerous as the mycotoxins it produces can cause sick building syndrome and pulmonary hemorrhaging. No matter what type of mold is in your home, you need to avoid exposure to it to prevent related health issues.
Mold Remediation Process
Mold remediation is the process of removing mold growth and getting the natural concentration of mold spores in the air back to normal levels. This job is a hazardous job which is why it is highly recommended to hire a professional that is trained and equipped to provide mold remediation. These professionals can remove mold growth safely while protecting the unaffected areas of your property. They will also address water or moisture issues that caused the mold and repair or replace the materials that have been damaged.
You can expect the following from our mold remediation process:
Mold Inspection and Testing
The first thing our mold professionals will do is a mold inspection to find all mold growth on the property. This includes discovering hidden mold as well as visible mold and assessing the total extent of the mold growth and the damage. During the inspection, our technicians will evaluate the walls, ceilings, floors, and HVAC system to ensure that we locate all mold growth. We will also look for the source of moisture that caused the mold growth.
InstaScope Pre/Post Testing
For most mold remediation professionals to uncover all hidden mold in your home, they would need to remove sections of drywall and ceilings. This is an intrusive process that can increase the time and cost of the remediation. At ServiceMaster NCR, we use the InstaScope pre- and post-testing method to test for mold in hidden areas without causing damage to your home. This airborne mold assessment system provides immediate, accurate readings of the airborne mold levels.
With the InstaScope testing system, our technicians can test the airborne mold levels room by room to determine which rooms have normal levels, which rooms have slightly higher levels and may require cleaning, and which rooms have elevated levels that indicate the presence of an active mold source. This process is done in the following steps:
- Step one: We get a reading of the airborne mold level outside the home or building to use as a baseline for an acceptable level of airborne mold.
- Step two: We use cutting-edge optical detection technology to measure the airborne mold levels of each room.
- Step three: If we find a room with elevated mold levels, we will recalibrate and test the room again to locate the mold growth.
- Step four: After the mold remediation is complete, we will repeat this testing process to ensure that the airborne mold levels have returned to a safe level.
Once we have completed the pre-testing with the InstaScope airborne mold assessment system, we will begin the process of removing the mold growth. You can expect the following from our mold remediation process:
- Our technicians will follow our customer protection plan to keep you safe during the pandemic and we will follow the guidelines of the IICRC S520 standards for mold remediation.
- We will isolate the affected areas with plastic containment barriers and create negative pressure within the barriers to prevent mold spores from leaving the containment and spreading mold growth to other areas of your property.
- We will capture the mold spores using HEPA vacuums and air scrubbers within the containment.
- We will use an EPA-approved fungicide to treat surfaces affected by mold growth.
- We will test the affected areas with the InstaScope testing system to ensure that the airborne mold is at an acceptable level. You will be provided with a copy of the mold clearance test.
- Once the test shows that the treatment was effective, we will remove the containment barriers.
- We will use an EPA-registered disinfectant to clean and disinfect all touch surfaces in the work area.
Call ServiceMaster NCR for Mold Remediation
The mold remediation process is a multi-step process that includes testing, containment, removal, confirmation testing, and cleaning and disinfection. This job is best left to professionals who are certified, trained, and equipped to carry out the steps of the mold remediation process safely and effectively.
If your home or business in Alexandria, VA; Bethesda, MD; or the Washington, DC metro area is affected by mold, contact ServiceMaster NCR for our complete mold testing and remediation services. You can trust our technicians to provide accurate, non-intrusive testing with the InstaScope testing system as well as thorough and effective mold remediation.
You can reach ServiceMaster NCR at (202) 836-8502 for professional mold remediation.