Mold Removal Guide:
Step 4 - Mold Removal and Anti-Microbial Treatments
After mold containment is complete, it's time for the next step of the mold remediation process: physical removal of mold and the application of anti-microbial treatments. During mold containment, professionals take steps to limit the potential spread of mold spores throughout the building. By essentially sealing off the affected area, they ensure that other areas won't be exposed to mold when affected materials are treated and removed.
At this point, the most intensive part of mold remediation process begins.
Targets of mold removal and anti-microbial treatments
The goals of this part of the process are to remove and kill all existing mold within the affected area. Mold is physically removed, while antimicrobial chemicals kill any remaining spores and provide a new protective barrier that will prevent future growth. In other words, you will be left with a surface that doesn't just look clean - it will even be free of microscope mold spores and other pathogens.
What kind of equipment is used for mold removal and anti-microbial treatment?
Professional mold removal services use several types of equipment and tools to safely take care of this step, including:
- Personal protective equipment: To minimize the risk of exposure to toxic mold spores and other hazards, mold removal professionals wear eye protection, masks, and gloves. For more extreme mold outbreaks, reusable respirators and protective clothing that covers the whole body may also be used. Disposable protective equipment is discarded immediately after use.
- Air movers, air scrubbers, vacuum filters, and dehumidifiers: These pieces of equipment are used to reduce moisture levels below 50% and help trap airborne mold spores. This helps keep mold from spreading during removal.
- Heavy-duty plastic: Plastic sheets are taped over doorways and air vents to keep mold spores from spreading during remediation. Heavy-duty plastic bags are used to transport contaminated materials outside the building.
- Antimicrobial chemicals: These specialty cleaners kill mold and other contaminants. They also help prevent future growth.
Steps for discarding moldy materials
Once mold containment is complete, Mold KO technicians begin the process of discarding moldy materials. This process requires careful attention, as a less-than-vigilant approach could spread mold to other areas.
Cutting out and disposing of contaminated materials
Materials such as drywall and carpet will often need to be removed and replaced as part of the remediation process. Our technicians will assess the status of moldy items to determine which can be cleaned and which should be thrown away. Contaminated building materials will be cut out so they can be removed for disposal.
Double packed using 6-mil polyethylene film
You don't want the removal of moldy items to spread mold spores throughout the building! Contaminated items are double packed with 6-mil polyethylene film to prevent any mold spore leakage from materials that need to be thrown away.
HEPA vacuum cleaner to clean the outside of each bag
After contaminated items are packed away, we clean the outside of each bag with a HEPA vacuum filter. This ensures that there aren't any mold spores on the outside of the bag that could spread as we remove them from the building.
Wetting the outside of the package and removing it from the containment area
To further reduce the risk of spreading mold spores, we wet the outside of the package before removing it from the containment area. Wetting the surface helps trap any remaining mold spores to the plastic packaging, making them less likely to get airborne.
Repeating the process for each bag of contaminated material
Our team undergoes this rigorous process for each bag of contaminated material until all affected items have been removed from the treatment area.
How does the mold removal procedure happen?
After moldy materials have been discarded, we being the physical removal of mold from the building's surfaces. This is an intricate cleaning process that requires several steps to ensure that all mold has been effectively removed.
- Manual scrubbing and scraping. We start by manually scrubbing and scraping areas of heavy growth to eliminate the majority of mold from affected surfaces.
- HEPA Vacuuming. Running a HEPA vacuum over moldy surfaces can help remove mold spores after scrubbing and scraping. The extremely fine mesh used by HEPA filters is designed to capture 99.97% of mold, pollen and other particles of 0.3 microns. It is even more effective for bigger and smaller particles.
- Apply concentrated chemicals. Once the majority of the mold growth has been removed, we apply concentrated chemicals to the affected areas. Even after the majority of the mold has been physically removed from surfaces, it could still come back. To address this, we sanitize surfaces with anti-microbial solutions that kill any remaining mold spores while also creating a barrier that prevents future mold growth.
- Wet-vacuuming. While materials are still wet, we then use a wet vacuum to remove any excess moisture that has accumulated in the contaminated area.
- Sanding. When mold has affected wood surfaces, sanding is done to eliminate any mold that may have penetrated beneath the wood's surface. Wood surfaces must be sanded until there are no more signs of mold to prevent future outbreaks.
- Run HEPA-filtered negative air vacuum. A HEPA-filtered negative air vacuum is then used to clean the air by trapping any airborne mold spores that might have been generated as part of the earlier steps in the removal and cleaning process.
- Dispose of mold-infested protective equipment. Once mold removal is complete, our technicians dispose of the protective equipment that was used during cleaning, such as rubber gloves and shoe covers.
- Cleaning and sanitation of air duct systems. If necessary, cleaning and sanitation of the air duct systems with a HEPA air vacuum will also be performed. The application of plastic sheeting over the air vents before mold removal begins should reduce the likelihood that this will be needed.
- Replacing mold damaged materials. After the area has been completely cleaned and sanitized, we can begin the process of replacing mold damaged materials, such as carpet and wallboard.
What do we get as a result of mold removal and anti-microbial treatment?
Mold removal and anti-microbial treatments get your building ready for the next part of the mold remediation process: restoration.
The restoration process is designed to return the mold-damaged areas to their original appearance. Depending on the area that was affected, this could involve replacing carpet and drywall, fixing plumbing issues that led to the original mold growth, and so on.
By providing comprehensive mold removal and anti-microbial treatments before beginning the restoration process, you can have confidence that the mold will not come back after restoration is complete.
What can happen if mold is not completely removed and cleaned?
Failure to completely remove mold and sanitize the area can lead to several long-term issues. Mold causes health problems such as:
- Allergic reactions
- Lung infections
- Skin rash
- Stuffy nose
- Sore throat
- Eye irritation
- Shortness of breath
In addition, failure to completely remove and clean mold could allow spores to spread throughout the building, eventually causing growth and damage in other areas.
Why choose Mold KO for professional mold removal services?
Unlike some cleaning and janitorial activities, mold remediation isn't something you can do yourself.
DIY mold cleanup has several risks and disadvantages:
- Using inadequate equipment could result in lung problems and respiratory infections from mold exposure
- You might not be able to remove all the mold, making it more likely that it will come back
- Improper cleanup could actually spread mold throughout the building
- You might expose yourself to harmful cleaning chemicals
- You might not be able to fix what caused the mold growth in the first place
Using a professional service for a mold removal ensures that these hazards are properly dealt with so that the mold is fully eliminated in a safe and effective manner.
You can contact Mold KO online or by calling 888-253-4551. Our experienced technicians understand how to carry out the entire mold removal process in a safe and effective manner, providing timely work that protects your health and your property.
An essential part of the process
Mold removal and the application of anti-microbial treatments is perhaps the most intensive part of the cleaning process, playing an essential role in ensuring that all mold is truly eliminated from your property. By discarding moldy materials and taking steps to prevent future growth, your building is ready for restoration work to begin.