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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

What's the Difference Between Mold Removal and Mold Remediation?

8/22/2022 (Permalink)

If you are unsure about the difference between mold removal and mold remediation, you aren't alone. Because the two terms are often used interchangeably, many individuals are confused about the difference, and may not realize that one might be better than another in solving their mold issue. Here's what you need to know about both processes and how to determine if it's time to call a mold remediation specialist.

Something many people don't realize is that complete mold removal isn't possible in most residential and commercial environments. Mold spores are everywhere, indoors and outdoors. They are microscopic, and they drift through the air. So mold removal companies cannot really remove all the mold, they only clean up visible mold, not the spores.

Mold remediation, however, is more than just the removal of visible mold. Mold remediation eliminates current mold growth and minimizes the potential for future growth in your space. Instead of cleaning only the visible mold, remediation takes a "big-picture" look at your mold problem to find the best solution to eliminate the current mold problem, prevent future mold growth at the site, and limit the release of spores during the cleaning process so that the mold will not easily spread.

The Remediation Process

Although each mold problem requires individualized treatment, most mold remediations follow the same general procedure. At SERVPRO, we have proven methods of mold cleaning and containment that we adapt to fit the needs of your unique situation.

Step 1: Call a SERVPRO Mold Remediation Specialist

The first step in addressing any mold issue is calling for help. Since mold releases spores into the air when disturbed, you don't want to DIY mold cleanup. When you call our emergency hotline, a SERVPRO team member will ask you questions about your mold problem so that we can arrive prepared to address your issue.

Step 2: Mold Inspection and Assessment

Determining the scale of your mold problem is essential to addressing it appropriately. Once we arrive at your home or business, a remediation specialist will evaluate the extent of the damage, the type of mold present, and the moisture source that is feeding its growth. This inspection goes beyond simply looking for visible mold. Our professionals use cutting-edge technology to find concealed moisture issues and gauge the amount of spores present.

Because mold can present a serious health hazard, there are laws regarding the proper inspection and handling protocol based on the affected area's size. Our team will inform you if your situation requires additional inspection or documentation.

Step 3: Containment

Preventing spores from traveling to other areas of your home or workplace is a top priority during the remediation process. Equipment such as negative air chambers and physical barriers will be utilized throughout the cleaning to prevent the spread of spores. In addition, you will have to turn off any HVAC units in the affected area, so that air does not flow through ducts to other parts of the building.

Step 4: Air Filtration

Since mold releases spores when disturbed, removing mold without air filtration is ill-advised. Services that only remove visible mold may clean up the mold you can see but can compromise your family's or staff’s health by triggering the release of millions of spores. Consequently, the next step is to run HEPA filtration equipment that pulls microscopic spores from the air throughout the process. 

Step 5: Mold Elimination

The best mold cleaning method will be determined by the material that has been affected. Some materials may need to be disposed of if they cannot be restored. For example, porous materials such as carpet and drywall are virtually impossible to clean thoroughly. Items that can be cleaned will be cleaned thoroughly and treated with antimicrobial solutions to prevent future growth.

Step 6: Disinfection and Odor Removal

Once your mold issue has been addressed, the last thing you want is a musty odor to remind you of the problem. Our professionals will use fogging equipment to deodorize the space. They will also clean and disinfect other items exposed to the mold.

Step 7: Restoration

Sometimes the mold remediation process will require the removal of structural elements, such as paneling, drywall, flooring, and subflooring. So the final step in remediation is rebuilding and restoring the areas affected by the remediation process to their previous condition – but this time, without the mold.

If you see mold or smell a musty odor in spaces of your home or business, it is important to address the issue quickly. But do not try to handle the problem alone without the know-how and proper equipment. Since mold problems will not resolve themselves, contact a professional mold remediation team at the first sign of trouble. Call SERVPRO of Coeur d'Alene today.

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