What is the Primary Goal of Mold Remediation?

Mold remediation is a process that seeks to reduce exposure to mold and the structural damage it can cause. It requires the use of efficient equipment and physical removal of mold to prevent ducts from suffering structural damage. The primary goal of mold removal is to eliminate mold growth and related spores, following the IICRC and ACAC care guidelines. To achieve this, engineering controls such as polyethylene containment, negative pressure systems, and HEPA filtration units must be installed.

Impacted materials that cannot be recovered must be removed, bagged, and discarded, and all surfaces must be cleaned by vacuuming HEPA, cleaning with moisture, and where appropriate, with aggressive or abrasive removal. Once surfaces are clean and free from mold growth, a coating may be applied to provide protection or strength to the cleaned wood surfaces. An external industrial hygiene consultant accredited by the ACAC such as CIE or CIEC must carry out an evaluation to verify the effectiveness of the cleaning before releasing the work area.Personal protective equipment is necessary to limit exposure to mold. The fundamental principle of mold removal is cleaning, with the elimination of the source as the intended objective of the work.

This means that a product containing a surfactant or detergent must be used to suspend contamination and achieve physical removal. A basic process for quickly solving mold problems includes installing necessary engineering controls, removing impacted materials, cleaning and decontaminating confined areas, and taking preventive measures to eliminate mold in inhabited areas. Mold growth in these areas does not usually pose the same level of health risks to building occupants and can be managed in a way that is not as invasive or expensive. Once an area has been effectively remedied and the moisture source controlled, mold growth should not occur again. Products intended to be used last after cleaning are available to remove or eliminate stains left by dematiaceous molds (pigmented in dark color).

Limited containment is generally recommended for areas involving 10 to 100 square feet of mold contamination, while full containment is used when areas larger than 100 square feet are to be remediated or in cases where mold is likely to spread throughout the building during the remediation. Only respirators approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) should be used during mold removal. The most important aspect of eliminating mold is to prevent the repetition of the conditions that caused it to grow and then ensure that the recipe offered achieves true elimination. Documentation can help manage liability or point to more important trends in mold growth. Customer complaints demand that homebuilders have a quick action plan both to solve the mold problem and demonstrate that they are watching out for their health and safety and for the durability of their home. Following an immediate and comprehensive remediation plan is essential to eliminating mold and demonstrating commitment to acting quickly.

The standard uses conditions because a contractor might think that a job has been completed because there is only a small amount of visible mold growth while overlooking hidden growth in wall cavities, floor sets, and substructures.

Cassie Ulery
Cassie Ulery

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