Mold Remediation as A Solution to The Growing Mold Problems

Molds are types of fungi that usually grows on surfaces inside one’s property due to water interaction or excessive moisture. 

However, although some types of mold are normally harmless, there are some types that can cause severe health issues in anyone. According to the EPA, one of the most common causes of molds are allergies and can be a top reason for asthma symptoms. Furthermore, molds in one’s property might also lead to irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat and, worst can also cause serious lung issues even if the person involved is not allergic. In line with this, mold growth in the house or property should be treated as a serious issue and should not be, in any way, ignored.

As for the fact that molds can be found everywhere, the problem of its growth arises, most especially when the growth begins inside the house. This is usually caused by the moisture that the mold spores found to begin to grow. The extremely common reasons for mold growth inside one’s property are roof leaks, pipe leaks, high humidity levels, and floods.

Mold requires spores (serves as their ‘seeds’), favorable temperatures, nutrient supply, and moisture. Molds, like plants, grow by spreading and releasing its mold spores. However, if the conditions for the molds are unfavorable, mold will be dominant and release spores into the air to find a suitable environment for their growth and survival.

Moreover, these conditions can lead to mold growth subjected to water damages within the span of 24 to 48 hours. The affected materials or appliances should be dried as quickly as possible to prevent germination and subsequent mold growth. This mold growth can result from inadequate design, installation, and operation of materials and appliances used, maintenance of the structure and lack of adequate ventilation in the building. Among the conditions mentioned, moisture is the only condition a homeowner can really control.

Mold Remediation: The Basics and Process

Molds should be removed by a trained professional accredited by organizations such as RIA, IAQA, and IICRC. However, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) any area subjected to mold growth less than ten (10) square feet (or about 3 feet by 3 feet) can be remediated by the homeowner. If the affected area succeeded the 10 square feet policy, the homeowner or the building administrator must contact a mold remediation contractor.

On the off chance that the mold growth occurs inside a homeowner’s property that requires larger immediate removal or mold remediation, it is important for the homeowner to know the basics of mold remediation.

Basic Mold Remediation Directions:

  1. Determine the size of the area that will need to be contained. Set up your containment using zip walls and 6-mil poly sheeting.
  2. Determine the size of air scrubber needed (4-6 air exchanges per hour).
  3. Install air scrubber into containment, duct clean air from the scrubber out of the containment area to keep the containment under negative pressure.
  4. Vacuum all surfaces in the containment area using a HEPA vacuum.
  5. Remove all porous surfaces (drywall, carpet, etc.) with mold contamination. The material that is being removed should be placed in contractor bags and disposed of in normal garbage receptacles (e.g., dumpsters). Bags should be sealed before leaving the containment area.
  6. Vacuum all surfaces in the containment area using a HEPA vacuum.
  7. Physical mold removal:
  1. Using a cleaner, all surfaces with visible mold should be scrubbed or sanded to remove some of the mold stainings. Without heavy sanding, some of these stains might not be removed. Staining is not an indication of active mold growth.
  2. Using a disinfectant, wipe or spray all surfaces to ensure any remaining (hidden) mold is dead. This will not preclude any health problems from the mold, but it will keep it from further growth.
  1. Again, vacuum all surfaces in the containment area using a HEPA vacuum.
  2. A mold-preventative coating can/may be applied to further ensure no future mold growth.
  3. For larger jobs (over 32 sq ft of contamination) it may be required to:
  • Have a controlled egress area.
  • Have an independent hygienist write a protocol.
  • Have an independent hygienist do post clearance testing.

With regards to the increase of mold growth in the house, EPA provided the necessary simple steps or process of mold removal or mold remediation.

Process: Steps to Mold Remediation

  1. Containment and Ventilation. This is the first step, and probably the most important step in the process of mold remediation. The installation and use of adequate ventilation and air filtration devices (AFDs) including air scrubbers are required to keep and ensure that the existing mold spores that are disturbed and become airborne will not be spreading to any uninfected area through the air.
  2. Cleaning and Disinfection. Next is the stage that includes the actual remediation, removal, and disposal of materials subjected to molds—the cleaning and disinfection stage. Where the trained professional or technicians will apply biocide, fungicide or moldicide solutions to the infected areas.
  3. Fixing the Source of the Mold. This is where the technicians will address any moisture or humidity concerns that cause the growth of molds within the property or area. This includes a loose bathroom fan duct that is running into an attic, in this case, the broken fan duct may be fixed. For cases with more involved repairs, the mold remediation company could hire a sub-contractor to recommend to the homeowner.
  4. Encapsulate the Unremoved Molds. Molds that are not removed through the process of mold remediation should be encapsulated by paint or a similar material. The encapsulation process is an approved method for dealing with mold in a house.

Molds are complex. It may start from a small area but can form larger colonies indoors under appropriate conditions. It is important to not ignore the significance of a proper building or house maintenance at all times.

Worried About Water Damage? Secure Your Crawl Space!

Water damage is not an easy thing to handle. It can cost you hundreds and thousands of repairs and could even affect your health condition. That is why protecting your home from any flood or standing water is really crucial.

Secure Your Crawl Space

Your crawl space is one of the areas in your home that is often overlooked, due to the thinking that this is not an important room of your house. Let us remind you that a crawl space is also a room for many important details of your home, such as electric wires and pipings. It is also important for any maintenance and helps in promoting healthy air circulation in your home.

What Makes Water Get Into Your Crawl Space?

  • Improper Grading on your Property  

One of the leading causes of water standing in your crawl space is the improper grading or slope surrounding your home. If the land is not properly sloped, the tendency is, groundwater or rainwater has its chance to enter to the bottom part of your home, ruining its foundation and will eventually travel to your crawl space, making it their home.  

  • Clogged Downspouts or Gutters

Gutters and downspouts are used to carry out water to the drainage, but if any of them are clogged, water will just travel at the base structure of your home. And, if a large quantity of water is collected, it will then penetrate to your crawl space.

  • Over-watering Your Plants and Shrubs

Aside from the fact that over-watering can kill your plants and shrubs, and when grading system is also poor, over-watering your shrubs and plants could lead water to overflow to your crawlspace. In the end, you will just notice that you’ve got a pond in your crawl space.

  • Broken or Leaking Water Lines

Your home is surrounded by different water lines. Wherever the location of the broken line is, water can flow down to the base part of your home, and will eventually live in your crawl space.

 

How to Secure Your Crawlspace

Remember that your crawl space is an important part of your home. Thus keeping it in its operational state is vital. Crawl space flooding can be prevented when certain measures are done. Such as

Outside of Your Crawl space

Make Sure Your Gutters and Downspouts are Working Properly

Your gutters and downspouts play an important role every time it rains. They are used to properly flow water away from your home and prevent water to damage your foundation, ending up pooling around your crawl space. Make sure that they are both properly working and installed. Check and clean them at least once a month.

For better drainage system, downspouts should be extended at least three feet from your home or you can bury downspout extensions six feet or deeper into the ground and cover it with topsoil.

Install A French Drainage System

French drains are one of the most effective ways of channelling standing water in the basement of your foundation to the street or a dry well. It may sound fancy, but in reality, it isn’t. Moreover, they are also useful for homes that are situated in a flat or oddly shaped lot, making water to flow directly to your home.

Properly Grade Your Lawn

Proper grading is vital in keeping the drainage of water away from your house foundation. Aside from the fact that proper grading can prevent water to sit in your crawl space, it can also prevent leaking, cracking your foundation and rotten any wooden structure of your home. And, even prevent you from costly foundation repairs.

Ideally, the soil around your home should slope away at least three feet from your home.  

Inside The Crawl Space

Install A Crawl Space Vapor Barrier

Though the vapor barrier doesn’t have anything to do in preventing crawl space to get flooded, it works in controlling moisture issues in your crawl space. Addressing the issue is important in the mitigation process. It is something you can do with your own hands, but if you feel like you can’t do it effectively, you may ask professionals to do it properly.

Install A Sump Pump

Sump pumps are useful in removing accumulated water in your crawl space and even in your basement. They collect the groundwater that is pooling around the area and pump out the water away from it. This machine is really effective in preventing water damage in your crawl space, that is why it is important to make sure that they can function properly when in need. Moreover, use alternative power supply and test it occasionally.

How Can Flooded Crawl Space Damage Your Home?

Below is the list of the downsides of a flooded crawl space.

  • The water that pools in the crawl space can get contaminated and could cause musty odor.
  • A flooded crawl space can damage fibreglass insulation. When the humidity level is high, the moisture will drench the fibreglass and will eventually lose its capacity as insulation.
  • A flooded crawl space, together with moisture and darkness can attract insects and pests to live in your crawl space, infesting and rotting wood and other materials.

Already has Water Damage?

Don’t take it for granted. Act fast. Ignoring the damage could not only result in severe water damage but could also lead to mold growth, which is really harmful to your health. Need help with the water damage recovery? Contact Superior Restoration Temecula.