Mold belongs to a family of fungi with over 100,000 species. With a little bit of water or moisture, the growth will attach itself to and consume nearly anything organic. Included are plant products such as wood, paper, drywall, furniture, clothes, flowers; and animal products such as leather, bone, hides, meat, and pet feces. Mold tends to avoid concrete, plastics, resins, glass, and ceramic tile - unless there is an abundance of dust cover and moist conditions. Mold's bi-product is a gas that emits a foul smell. Some molds release gas that has proven to be toxic for humans to breate.
Molds are microscopic multicellular organisms that for years were thought to be a plant, despite its consumption of other organic matter. It was then discovered that mold lacks the essential plant ingredient, chlorophyll. Mold (sometimes spelled mould) can live dormant for hundreds of years. For this reason, scientists consider it to be a little more plant than animal.
Mold is nearly everywhere, yet it remains unseen to the naked eye until it gathers in colonies. Its growth rate under optimum conditions is fast and exponential. Visible mold easily represents over one million spores per square inch. Disturbing mold, even slightly, can send tens of thousands of spores into the air. Often, they will colonize and infect other areas after such migrations. This is why mold removal and remediation is done under such strict containment.
Homeowners often wonder whether they should test or sample mold to identify its type or count. While many will offer a hand in this task, and many do-it-yourself testing kits are available on the market, consumers are warned to take great care in encountering mold - especially in instances where a doctor is calling for a report due to medical concerns. Contact a local mold removal expert that provides a free inspection and let them advise you.
The purpose of containment is to prevent mold from spreading during removal. Protective masks, goggles (without holes) and long sleeves should always be worn. If contamination becomes extreme, then a complete body suit should be utilized to protect skin, pores, hair and mucous membranes from mold contact.
Once the location of the mold is accurately identified, containment is created with plastic sheeting designed to seal off the area from floor to ceiling and wall to wall. Sealing includes an area that is five to six feet past the contaminated area. This allows movement inside, to and from the work area. If the area is large, then containment should be completed in sections.
All vents (including holes in the floor or walls that lead to other rooms) should be sealed with plastic and tape. The HVAC should be switched off. Water heaters, washers and driers should be sealed with plastic and taped. Upstairs windows should be closed to prevent mold's entrance back into the house. Thorough containment requires negative movement of air from the contaminated space. This requires fans and special negative air movement equipment that forces air from the containment area to the home's exterior.
The process of eliminating mold before removal is often called moldicide. As cautioned earlier, attempting to move live mold will send spores into the air where they would otherwise inundate containment. There are many products on the market that are designed to kill mold. Any of these will help do the job. The important thing to remember is to apply the product generously. Application must be done in an organized, geometric fashion prior to removal. This dampens the mold and prevents it from becoming airborne during removal. All items and areas within containment should be treated.
Remove all items from containment that showed signs of visible mold - clothes, boxes, furniture, paper, carpet, drywall, etc. All porous articles that have been infected and cannot be wiped or professionally cleaned (eg. pillows, clothes, etc) should be disposed of entirely. All items should be bagged inside the containment area and then removed from the property. Do not leave these contaminated articles near any entrance to your home. Take them to the curb or load them into a truck for their final destination.concrete roof waterproofing
Treat the moist conditions that promoted mold's growth in the first place. Often, this involves some measure of basement waterproofing with a professional waterproofing company that specializes in sump pumps, french drains, exterior wall coatings, or other waterproofing measures. Furthermore, you might want to consider a local expert, who understands the local properties of soil, hydrostatic pressure, and the rest of the science behind why basements leak. You can either prevent water from approaching your home or manage conditions underneath it. The key is to ensure that moisture retreats from the foundation or crawl space. Without moisture, mold will not return.
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