The dangers of mold have become widely noted on a public scale over the last few years. As homeowners realize that certain molds can result in respiratory issues and even death, they are relying more and more on their home builders to access and remedy the problem.
Taking all preventative measures to avoid mold development in the first place is the best thing any home builder can do for their client. If the mold has already developed, immediate action is necessary to ensure the homeowner is safe from unwanted illnesses. Let’s take a look at the five-step process that should be followed when getting rid of mold.
1.) Understand The Role Of Moisture
It’s no surprise that for mold to grow, moisture needs to be present. You should realize that mold growth typically occurs in more areas than just the area in which the homeowner noticed. It’s very likely for mold to develop behind walls and other inconspicuous areas in which the homeowner was unable to see.
By properly understanding how moisture can leak into a home, you can better trace back the start of the mold growth. If mold is growing in a home, there is a moisture leak somewhere. The job of the warranty representative is to figure out where that may be.
2.) Documentation And Creating A Plan
Once you understand where the mold is and why it developed, it’s time to document the problem. You should write down a detailed description of the mold problem and accompany that with photos and video of the damage. Next, the warranty team supervisor will look at this documentation.
They will create a mold remediation plan. This plan will include:
- When The Work Is Starting
- When The Work Will Be Finished
- If The Homeowner Needs To Relocate
- Any Testing That Needs Done
- Who Will Be Specifically Doing The Remediation
3.) Figure Out Contamination Extent
It’s very common for mold to develop in multiple areas. This will require you to figure out how much contamination your team is really dealing with within the home. The contamination extent will impact the approach you take to remove and clean up the mold. Your goal should be to remove the mold safely without exposing the homeowners to large amounts of spores.
4.) Remove The Mold
The goal of the whole remediation process is to successfully remove all of the mold growth while avoiding exposure to the homeowners and yourself. As part of the removal process, you should be addressing all the moisture issues to prevent future mold growth from occurring. If at any point during the remediation process your team finds additional mold growth, it’s important to have the warranty supervisor update the plan.
There are multiple levels of contamination and some require different approaches. Level 1 remediation is one of the most common, with an isolated area of mold growth up to 10 square feet. Level 2 is any area from 10 to 30 square feet. Anything above Level 2 contamination is typically remedied by an outside firm that specializes in mold removal.
Level 1 And 2 Mold Remediation Process:
Repair The Water Problem
Taking care of the moisture source should be the first step in remedying the mold problem. You want to ensure you block off the extra moisture from getting in the home and creating mold spores.
Isolate The Contaminated Area
Mold has spores that can float through the air and contaminate other rooms of the home and cause respiratory issues for humans. Take precautions by closing all the doors and windows in between the contaminated area and the non-contaminated area. For added measure with Level 2, you should cover all the doorways and openings with 6 mil polyethylene sheeting with slits for entering the room.
Using a garden sprayer or something similar you want to mist the contaminated area to keep the dust, probably containing mold spores, to a minimum.
Remove Moldy Materials
Any mold damaged and wet materials should be removed from the contamination zone and thrown out. If you are not sure which items to remove, be sure to check out this guide from the EPA. All materials being removed should be placed in 6 mil thick plastic bags and tied closed.
All of the non-porous material should be cleaned with a wire brush, disposable wipes, and detergent solution. If your mold remediation is Level 2, you should use a HEPA vacuum on all the surfaces before using a damp cloth to wipe them down.
Do a visual examination and ensure all the mold is gone. All materials that were cleaned should be dried thoroughly, as you don’t want them to retain any moisture that could create another mold infestation.
5.) Make Sure Your Mold Remediation Was A Success
This last step may take a few days to be completed. The homeowners should be able to return to the contaminated environment without any sort of aggravated health complaints. You can perform additional testing if you would like to ensure all the mold growth is completely gone.