Mold is a common nuisance in many homes and properties. In the past few decades, people have been using air
Most of us think of Colorado as a fairly dry climate and as such don’t expect to find mold.
BUT, there is mold, mold is actually very common in Colorado. Puroclean Disaster Response has dealt with mold problems in new construction, homes more than one hundred years old, condos, townhomes and mobile homes. We’ve found it in Firestone, Denver, Arvada, Longmont, Boulder, in the mountains and the plains.
We are often called in to help home sellers or buyers deal with a problem that is discovered during the inspection process. Mold is everywhere, it is a naturally occurring fungus that is a key part of our environment. Eliminating mold is not an option. What we have to do is control it. Don’t let it grow and spread. Mold requires four things to grow and spread; oxygen, a food source, the right temperature and moisture. If one or more of these elements are absent any mold spores will remain dormant. However, when all four elements are right the fungus will bloom and start to spread. When that happens the growing colony will produce and release even more spores. The microscopic size of the spores allows them to remain suspended in the air for a long time giving the HVAC system and other natural air movements plenty of time to spread it around.
Can you kill it? Yes, you can kill the active mold growth but it is much more difficult to kill the remaining spores. Even if you are successful in killing the remaining spores they remain on the surfaces and in the air. Dead mold spores still contain toxins and allergens that can be dispersed in the air. The only complete approach to deal with mold is to isolate it, stop it from spreading further, then to remove it. It has to be contained and removed.
On more complex and serious mold infestations PuroClean Disaster Response will be your one call to create a comprehensive plan that includes testing, laboratory sampling, a mitigation plan and final verification testing.
When we remove mold from a home or building we follow IICRC S520 Guidelines.
These are the industry standard for proper mold remediation. If you hire a contractor who doesn’t know about these guidelines, go find another contractor.
These guidelines specify a thorough protocol for mold remediation.
Containment, we create an air barrier to contain the infestation in a specified work area. Air in the work area is exhausted outside the house ensuring none of the disturbed mold and spores will escape into the home. We do this using HEPA class industrial air scrubbers.
Personal protection, all of our technicians are wearing full personal protective equipment throughout the entire process.
HEPA air filtration, both our air filters and our vacuum systems are HEPA certified. This means they will capture any spores down to .3 microns in size
Removal of contaminants and spores. We will cut out any contaminated wood or walls then bagged seal it before removing it from the house. We also use HEPA class vacuums to vacuum the entire are of concern to collect and trap any remaining spores.
Antimicrobial treatment and encapsulation, all areas that had been contaminated if not removed will be treated with antimicrobial compounds either a hydrogen peroxide base serum or natural plant based antimicrobial solutions, we normally use industrial solutions and quantities of Benefect. In some cases after all of these steps we may also use encapsulation. Raw wood structures are often treated this way. This is the application of an impermeable barrier that is applied to the exposed wood. This has the effect of sealing the wood trapping any remaining spores inside and depriving them of oxygen or moisture.
Testing and Clearance, When we begin a project we can partner with Environmental Engineering companies to complete the initial testing and to work with us to develop the recommended mitigation plan. Our certified technicians will then complete the mitigation plan and the Environmental Engineering company will return to test and verify the results. We will use independent laboratories to complete any required work. By having the Environmental Engineering company, the laboratory and the mitigation company independent of each other ensures an objective and thorough plan and result.
Documentation and reporting, If needed, this process will include complete a documentation package including the environmental Engineering assessment, test results, laboratory reports, the mitigation plan and the follow up testing.
This is not uncommon in damp areas and during the winter when the house os closed up and condensation around windows occurs. you can deal with small areas safely. Protect yourself; wear a mask, especially if you are sensitive, and wear rubber, latex or other similar gloves.
Contain it: Don’t take action that might spread the mold, clean it with a rag and keep it contained in the rag, don’t use a standard home vacuum. Most home vacuum filters will not contain mold but rather send the spores back into the air. Vacuums with HEPA class filters are the only ones acceptable for use in removing mold. These filters will capture the spores and contain them
Use Hydrogen Peroxide or a plant based antimicrobial solution designed for mold: Hydrogen Peroxide is the best commonly available cleaning agent to use on mold. It will starve the mold of oxygen and kill it. Other household remedies such as bleach are less effective; bleach will only affect the surface mold but not the underlying spores.
Dispose of everything properly: Put the used rags, masks and gloves into a plastic bag and seal it. Don’t give it a chance to further spread through the house.
Be diligent: if you see mold starting, clean it up as outlined above.
The best home defense against mold is to keep all areas of the home dry and clean.