Contain Your Mold Problem
Article by David Selter
In a climate like we have it is common to find low levels of mold spores inside homes. But if you find you have an issue with high levels of mold in your house, and plan to hire a mold cleanup company or attempt to do the mold cleanup yourself, make sure the mold contaminated area has been properly contained first. If mold removal is begun before proper containment is established, the disturbed mold spores will become airborne and contaminate a much larger area. Invisible mold spores can get carried on the air currents in your home and through your air conditioning system. Mold spores in a high concentrations are allergens in their own right. And wherever they settle, if they find a little moisture and organic material like dust or the paper that coats your drywall, they will begin to grow and multiply your original problem. And just because the problem area was treated with bleach or some other antimicrobial, that doesn’t alleviate the problem. Antimicrobials don’t penetrate the surface of the building materials to get to the inside where mold may be growing, and even dead mold spores can cause irritation or toxigenic reactions. The only safe way to perform mold remediation is under proper containment.
In Texas, mold remediation is regulated by state law for your safety. Typically a licensed mold assessment consultant would perform mold testing and write up a protocol describing the damage, the source of the problem, directives on how it is to be remediated, and do the final testing at the end of the remediation. Then a licensed mold remediation company would do the actual work. By law the same company cannot do the testing and the remediation as this would be an inherent conflict of interest since they would be testing their own work. Before the remediation commences, containment is put in place.
Containment usually consists of framing and 6 mil plastic, and is large enough to accommodate the registered mold workers and their equipment. And it typically has a decontamination chamber for removing protective clothing before exiting to the unaffected areas. Dehumidifiers are used to remove the mold causing moisture, and hepa air scrubbers are used to remove airborne mold spores in the contained area while the work is in progress. It is also critical that the containment be under negative air pressure so that air may enter the contained area but contaminated air cannot leave the area and spread mold spores to unaffected areas. Of course air has to be pulled out of the contained area to produce the negative pressure, but this is done using hepa filtered negative air machines. The air being pulled out of the contained area has been scrubbed of the mold spores by the hepa filters before it is released to unaffected areas. So although air can enter the contained area, only clean air can exit.
Containment under negative air pressure is critical to preventing the cross contamination of the rest of your house. If a company ever offers to do any but the most minor mold cleanup without using proper containment, DON’T DO IT! Besides it being unlawful for a company in Texas to expose you to that kind of risk, the little money that you might save up front could likely turn your moderate mold problem into a large costly one, and threaten your health in the process.
Need more help? Contact DryMore Mold Removal today for your mold removal Houston needs.