Even a small patch of mold in your home can quickly become a huge issue. Mold spores can start to form in just one to two days in the right conditions, and if left alone, the spores will soon spread onto any surface they can grow on. If you’ve found a large amount of mold growing in your home, you’ll need to start the mold remediation process as soon as possible. But just how long does mold remediation take?
Well, let’s explain why mold remediation is necessary in the first place. Mold can not only be harmful to your family’s health, but it is also quite destructive. If too much mold gets into the carpets, flooring, drywall, or furniture, it will have to be removed completely from your home.
While you can clean small patches of mold with household bleach and water, the fact of the matter is that the mold will likely grow right back. The real secret to getting rid of mold is determining what is causing the mold to grow in the first place.
That’s where mold remediation comes in.
1. What’s the Difference Between Mold Removal vs Remediation?
People mistakenly think that mold removal and mold remediation are interchangeable terms. On the contrary, these are two different types of services – and it’s very important to understand the difference.
Mold removal focuses on killing mold spores and cleaning up the mess behind the mold growth. First, inspectors will determine exactly where the mold is growing by measuring moisture sources throughout the home. Next, they will use industrial-grade cleaning solutions to kill the mold at the source.
On the other hand, Mold remediation is about establishing a plan to determine the moisture source and eliminate it. The goal is to return the moisture and mold levels in the home to an acceptable level. The EPA states that the indoor relative humidity in a home should be lower than 60%, with the ideal range being between 30-50%. Since mold thrives in moist environments, keeping these levels low will prevent mold from growing back.
So, how long does the mold remediation process take to decrease these humidity levels and solve mold infestations?
There is no clear-cut answer here, as the process is dependent on several factors. Homes with large amounts of mold growth will take far longer to complete. Mold remediation is more difficult in homes with high humidity levels and low ventilation. But depending on the size of the home, the severity of the infestation, and moisture sources, remediation should be completed over several days to a week.
2. What Can You Expect During Mold Remediation?
The mold remediation process involves several steps. At GreenWorks, we follow a set of remediation protocols and guidelines to ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible. Of course, there may be unexpected issues that arise. For this reason, we always assign a Project Manager who will communicate with our clients directly regarding any changes that need to be made in the remediation plan.
That being said, these are the typical steps in the mold remediation process:
First, inspectors will conduct a moisture intrusion assessment. This determines the starting levels of moisture in the affected area and finds the source that creates such high levels. In some cases, a drainage specialist or engineer may need to inspect the area and discover the source.
Mold specialists will also collect samples to determine the mold species growing. Toxic mold may require additional safety precautions during the removal process.
The next step will be to devise and outline the remediation plan for mold removal and treatment. Technicians will create a step-by-step plan of what will be done, along with estimated timelines and costs.
The mold remediation team will then prepare the affected area(s) before the work begins. They will first section off the area with containment barriers such as a plastic barrier over the door. A negative air machine or air scrubber may also be installed to start removing excess moisture and pollutants from the room.
To stop mold spread, technicians will also place protective structures like ram boards and padding throughout the home. This ensures that the flooring and entry points throughout the home are not damaged. It is also recommended that the homeowner turns off the HVAC system or closes the ventilation to the affected spaces. Recycled airflow can spread the mold spores to other areas, so shutting this off will help contain the mold.
If needed, any structures completely ruined by the mold will be safely removed. This may involve breaking down drywall or pulling up flooring and carpets. Any porous materials like cardboard, insulation carpet, drapes, and other fabrics will likely need to be thrown away. Non-porous materials like treated wood, ceramic tiles, and glass can stay, as the chemicals will kill any remaining mold spores.
The remaining contents in the room that are unsalvageable will also be disposed of. Technicians will set up a debris disposal area to safely remove mold-infested items.
Once the area is cleared out, the remediation team will get to work. The first step will be to deep clean the entire area using professional cleaning solutions. Next, an antimicrobial solution is applied to large surfaces like walls and floors. Any highly concentrated areas may be treated with additional chemicals or techniques such as fogging, UV light, ozone, or blasting.
This may take several days to complete. During this time, no one beyond the mold remediation team should enter the affected areas. These chemicals can be quite strong and harmful, so be sure that the containments are kept sealed.
An encapsulant may be applied once the area is thoroughly cleaned and stubborn spots are treated. This is a mold inhibiting paint that can be used on walls and ceilings. Clients are always advised of this ahead of time.
The final step will be to dry out the area by running dehumidifiers, air scrubbers, or fans. Most technicians recommend leaving these for about three days to ensure that the area is adequately dried.
Once all areas have been thoroughly cleaned, and the space is ventilated and dried, it will be time for clearance. This ensures that the moisture levels have decreased to a safe level and that there are no remaining signs of mold, damaged materials, or odors.
An environmental testing company will perform a final moisture, odor, and mold assessment. A post-remediation report includes a visual inspection, odor detection, and environmental sampling. This will confirm if the space is at a normal fungal ecology or Condition 1 level.
Once this test is completed and clearance is given, occupants may return to the area, and all remaining structural protections and containments will be removed.
If any structures were demolished during the remediation process, they could be renovated after clearance is given. However, this is not a service provided by the remediation company.
3. Can You Ever Get Rid of Mold Completely?
This is a tricky question to answer. With proper remediation, you can get rid of mold growth in an affected area. Eliminating the moisture intrusion source should resolve the issue, as mold cannot grow without moisture. For some homes, this may require installing ventilation or running a dehumidifier.
However, if precautions are not taken after remediation, there is a chance that mold will grow again. For instance, if a pipe breaks and the water damage is not cleaned immediately, mold will likely start to form.
The best advice here is to keep an eye on areas that tend to have mold growth, such as dark cabinets, and window seals, and moist areas, like kitchens and bathrooms. If you suspect that mold has started to regrow, schedule a mold inspection right away!
Do You Need Mold Remediation?
There’s no reason to hesitate if you’ve got mold growing in your home. The sooner you start the remediation process, the better!
If you’re dealing with a mold issue, give GreenWorks a call at 732-223-2073. We offer mold inspection, testing, and remediation services in the New Jersey area. Contact us online today to connect with a building biologist and learn more about our offerings!