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Mold Remediation: What Happens After a Flood?

IICRC Mold Remediation: What Happens After a Flood?

Have you ever wondered what happens when a mold
removal specialist gets called to a mold-damaged facility? The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration
Certification (IICRC) shares five steps a mold removal specialist takes when conducting mold remediation.
“Many people aren’t aware of the dangers, nor the difficulty level of removing mold from a facility,” said IICRC
Chairman Tony Wheelwright. “Mold remediation is a potentially hazardous process that should only be undertaken by a
certified professional.”

Five steps that each mold-removal specialist takes when conducting mold remediation includes:

  1. Determine the degree of contamination. The first step for a mold remediation specialist may be to bring in an Indoor
    Environmental Professional (IEP) to determine the extent of the mold damage and test for contamination within the
    facility. Because mold spores and other microscopic contaminants can travel easily throughout a building, the IEP may
    collect and analyze samples from affected as well as unaffected areas of the building. Once the IEP has finished the
    inspection they will develop a remediation plan for the mold removal specialist with steps to return the home to its
    pre-loss condition (Condition 1).
  2. Set up and verify containment. To make sure mold contamination does not spread to other areas of a facility, the mold
    remediation specialist will set up containment by creating isolation barriers. Once the barriers are set up, the
    specialist will need to verify the containment with a lower partial pressure differential (negative pressure) to ensure
    there is no air leakage between containment zones. Exit chambers would then be used to serve as a transition between the
    containment and the unaffected area of the building. Once the containment is verified and the correct amount of pressure
    is achieved, the removal process can begin.
  3. Remove unsalvageable materials. Porous materials and items that cannot be restored or cleaned effectively must be
    carefully discarded. Unsalvageable items include but are not limited to drywall, insulation and other items with visible
    mold growth. It is important for the specialist to wear the appropriate personal protective equipment which may include
    a full face respirator equipped with a P100/OV cartridge, disposable coveralls and nitrile gloves.
  4. Clean surfaces with a high-attention to detail. A mold remediation specialist will likely begin the cleaning process by
    thoroughly vacuuming the contaminated areas using a HEPA vacuum with a high-efficiency filter to catch mold spores. He
    or she will then begin a detailed cleaning process involving mold removal tools such as a HEPA filtered sander, followed
    by the damp wiping of surfaces with an effective cleaning solution.
  5. Verify remediation. Once cleaning is complete, the IEP will return to too to verify the remediation was successful. The
    area must be returned to the dry standard and should be visually dust free with no malodors. In addition an IEP may
    perform surface or air sampling as part of the verification that the area is back to normal fungal ecology (Condition
    1). “Mold remediation requires mold removal specialists to perform techniques that promote source removal rather than
    relying on chemicals, paints and coatings as a replacement,” said Rachel Adams, President of Indoor Environmental
    Management, Inc. “Understanding and managing air flow is also critical to the success of a mold remediation project.
    Working with qualified IEP can also help to reduce the liability for the technician as well as provide a final
    determination if the remediation was successful.

For more information on mold remediation or the latest in mold remediation standards, visit the IICRC website at
http://www.iicrc.org.