The Difference Between Mold Removal and Remediation

  • Written by: Killingsworth Environmental
  • January 24, 2020

Mold and How to Remove It

What is mold and how does it get there? Originating from a spore and carried through the air, it will land on a damp surface and begin developing quickly (in as little as 48 hours!). According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “molds are a natural part of the environment and can be found almost anywhere that moisture and oxygen are present.” It doesn’t just grow outside, though — it’s pretty common in most indoor areas as well. 

Because it can easily enter a building through windows, doorways and vents, any place that has excessive moisture or water build up is most likely going to have a mold problem at some point or another. No surface is safe – the fungal growth thrives on wood, carpet, foods, etc. – so it’s important to keep indoors dry and clean. 

Why You Should Be Concerned

Mold can have some pretty negative effects on your health if left untreated. Mycotoxicosis refers to the “acute and chronic toxic diseases caused by mycotoxins (the toxins produced by mold)”. Mold can have a wide range of effects on your health ranging from headaches to chronic inflammatory issues. If you’re already sensitive to respiratory problems like allergies or asthma, you are more prone to experiencing symptoms of mycotoxicosis. 

On top of affecting your health, it can also do some significant damage to infrastructure. Mold feeds on the materials that quite literally make up your home — wallpaper, drywall, wood and carpet. These can be some pretty pricey fixes if you don’t nip it in the bud as soon as possible. 

Mold Removal

Mold removal refers to the step of physically removing the mold itself. This could be done a number of ways, but it more than likely will not eliminate the existence of spores in the air that would eventually come back as mold. If the infestation isn’t too severe, you can try some home remedies for mold that may be enough to get rid of it. 

Home Remedies for Mold:

1. Soap and Hot Water

Believe it or not, sometimes this simple combination is enough to rid yourself of your mold problem. However, this will only combat surface-level problems. Anything that has seeped into your walls or floors will need a more thorough cleaning.

2. Bleach 

Oftentimes bleach will do the trick if it’s a surface that won’t be ruined, like tile in a bathroom. Unless you like big, ugly stains on your surfaces, keep it away from wood and carpet. Be careful when bringing bleach around children and pets, as it can be very damaging if ingested.

3. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil has been known to have anti-fungal properties, making it a natural solution for fighting mold. Although natural, it can also be toxic if ingested in its purest form, so keep it away from children and pets! To create a cleaning solution, mix one teaspoon of tea tree oil with one or two cups of water (depending on how strong you’d like it.)

4. White Vinegar

Mixed with water, a white vinegar solution is actually a great way to clean hard surfaces. Bonus: it’s also very effective in getting rid of the smell of mold, as long as you don’t mind the smell of vinegar. 

Mold Remediation

Remediation is the entire process in which you remove the existing mold, clean the infected areas thoroughly, demolish any structures that are too far gone and implement preventative action. If the mold is severe enough, it’s likely to have made its way deep into the infrastructure of your home. These more serious issues will require more attention than a spray bottle and a sponge.

The remediation includes water mitigation, or the restoration of your home after significant water damage. Remember, mold thrives in wet conditions! If you’ve had flooding recently, it’s a good idea to look into a water mitigation service. It’s recommended that you hire professionals for this part – you’re going to need that extra help. 

What to expect during mold remediation:

1. An assessment/inspection

At Killingsworth, thermal imagery cameras, moisture meters, and heat chambers are used in an inspection of all affected mold areas to tell the severity.

2. Disposal/removal of affected materials

Get rid of anything that was damaged by the water. If it is salvageable, remove it from the area. 

3. Drying 

E-TES heaters should be used for optimal drying power.

4. Cleaning 

Make sure any affected areas are thoroughly cleaned so that there are no spores left that could potentially grow back. 

Prevention

Now that your home is dry and clean, the best way to prevent mold from coming back is to keep it that way. Moisture meters are a great tool for testing the humidity inside your home and can be found at local home improvement stores. We recommend your home have a reading of anywhere between 30-60% depending on the region, so monitor the moisture levels regularly to make sure it’s not too humid. 

Mold Removal Services

When home remedies for mold aren’t enough to tackle the big jobs, there are plenty of mold remediation services that can help. If you’d like to learn more before making a decision, check out our free, downloadable guide, Insiders Only: A Behind The Scenes Look at Our Mold Removal Process

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