Structural Mold Damage and Contents Remediation
How Do I Know if I Have a Mold Problem?What is the Safest Response When Mold is Present?
Act quickly. Preventing mold from spreading is critical. If building materials are professionally dried within 24 hours of getting wet, the chances of preventing mold growth are excellent. If building materials remain wet, it is nearly inevitable that mold will start to grow. Therefore, addressing and eliminating moisture problems is the most important first step.
When the Contents of Your Structure Are Contaminated by Mold
Once mold is present, drying is not enough. Affected materials must be either removed or decontaminated. ServiceMaster Superior Cleaning and Restoration is trained in proper remediation procedures for the size, scope and nature of each mold contamination.
We Have the Experience to Help
ServiceMaster Superior Cleaning and Restoration has helped to define the industry, providing the latest, state-of-the-art intensive mold remediation training for decades. We are experts at working with your insurance company and have the proper procedures for handling mold claims.
We are prepared to handle small or isolated areas affected by mold that may be encountered in the course of normal water damage mitigation services. We are also trained and certified to perform extremely large mold remediation projects.
Mold Remediation Checklist
ServiceMaster Superior Cleaning and Restoration uses this list as a valuable tool in helping document and evaluate what work is actually required to solve your mold problem.
If you are comparing competitive bids to remediate mold, we suggest you refer to room-by-room details and insist on a fully delineated estimate from each provider.
Our checklist is designed for structural mold remediation. Contact ServiceMaster Superior Cleaning and Restoration for more information:
1. Verify mold/pollution insurance for any provider you consider. Nearly all contractors’ insurance policies exclude mold. Your contractor should provide proof of coverage with either an endorsement to his/her policy specifically stating mold remediation coverage or a separate pollution insurance policy. ServiceMaster Superior Cleaning and Restoration will gladly provide you with this information.
2. Prevent mold cross-contamination: Microscopic mold spores are very light. Attempted clean-up activities may actually spread the contamination should an untrained provider try to remove mold damage. Erect isolation containment barriers with negative pressure (i.e. a HEPA filtered vacuum pressure type environment) so that any contaminants will be drawn into the HEPA filtration, not spread throughout the structure.
3. Protect air quality with proper filtration: High Efficiency Particle Arrestors (HEPA) are top quality filtering units. These should also be employed along with containment barriers. These filtration units should be allowed to operate 24 hours per day during remediation, as well as not less than 24-72 hours after all remediation and final clean-up is complete. Do not assume that your filtration is a true HEPA filtering device unless it is certified.
4. Properly remove floor-covering materials: Remove affected floor covering materials under negative pressure and deploy double bagging.
5. Treat walls and ceilings: Remove affected wall and ceiling covering materials under negative pressure and deploy double bagging. Include a thorough inspection to remove affected gypsum, paneling or wallpapers.
6. Decontaminate: Thorough cleaning of mold inside wall and ceiling cavities is critical, as well as a detailed cleaning of the hard surface flooring. Within flooring or ceiling cavities, seek to remove as much as possible by washing and completing detailed cleaning. Attempting to seal over unclean areas invites trouble. Less scrupulous contractors may suggest spraying sanitizers as a substitute for proper cleaning. This practice is highly unsafe and should be avoided.
7. Complete detail cleaning: Areas should be cleaned as meticulously as possible since microorganisms and spores thrive in dust and dirt. Clean areas and materials thoroughly and follow with a complete HEPA vacuuming while the area is still under negative pressure.
8. Dry Completely: All structural materials must be thoroughly dried to within 10% (or less) of their normal moisture prior to applying sealants.
9. Use only approved encapsulants: Once thoroughly cleaned and inspected, seal areas with approved encapsulant; standard primers and sealers are not sufficient. Water based products are also inappropriate, since they may increase the problem by providing more moisture and thereby stimulating additional mold growth.
10. Clean and sanitize HVAC systems: Since mold spores are microscopic, they are easily drawn through heating and cooling system and the attached ductwork. Proper duct cleaning should be considered as a standard procedure for mold remediation (sanitizing may also be required in some cases).
11. Decontaminate the indoor air space: After all the above steps are completed, HEPA filtration should continue for AT LEAST 24-72 hours after all remediation and final clean-up is complete. Do not assume that your filtration is a true HEPA filtering device unless it is certified as true HEPA.
12. Complete clearance sampling: Sampling may be completed using cultures, air samples or swab samples. This step is often recommended. Since spores are microscopic, you may wish to verify and document that proper mold remediation and cleaning has been completed by using an independent third party. Ensure that this inspector is trained in mold remediation. They may take samples AND interpret the results. Samples should be taken with HVAC system in operation. Samples should be taken with normal movement or activity throughout the areas being tested. A reference sample should also be taken of outside conditions for analysis and comparison.
13. Begin reconstruction when the facility has been released: Reconstruction should not begin until a suitable clearance has been secured and the third party responsible for clearance sampling releases the facility. ServiceMaster Superior Cleaning and Restoration is an expert and will work with you, as premature reconstruction may only hinder full remediation and may even require the demolition or removal of newly installed materials.