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Mold Remediation

A few years ago during the crest of the mold scare a particular insurance carrier asked if we could help them and wanted to know what our expertise and experience was. From our perspective, we were handling water damage and finding mold. Homeowners were freaking out because of the mold scare and didn't want to lose jobs because we couldn't handle the mold clean up effectively. When our mold division services section was established, we took a lot of time to research and make sure that we could accomplish the remediation without compromising the health of our customers and our employees.  We got educated on mold remediation and then hired competent staff from the asbestos industry to implement this process. Again, we quickly familiarized ourselves with the industry standards and how to carry them out effectively.

We soon discovered that the IICRC didn't have a standard and the insurance standards were not exactly figured out and therefore had to learn how to juggle and deliver the best mold clean up service and product to both the end user and the intermediary or insurance company. Once we finally figured it out, our division launched. It also felt like we had caught a tiger by the tail.

Now let's discuss the basics of mold remediation for those new to mold remediation or for those new to the restoration business. When a home has water damage, it needs to be cleaned up to prevent mold from growing as well as the dreaded and disgusting water damage odor from emerging. When it is not cleaned up in a timely manner you end up with mold. Often water leaks happen when owners are out of town and are unnoticeable until someone checks on it. Sometimes it's due to an ongoing leak on the roof, under the sink or shower.

Is testing or sampling for mold needed?

In most cases, if visible mold growth is present, sampling is unnecessary. Since no EPA or other federal limits have been set for mold or mold spores, sampling cannot be used to check a building's compliance with federal mold standards. Surface sampling may be useful to determine if an area has been adequately cleaned or remediated. Sampling for mold should only be conducted by professionals who have specific experience in designing mold sampling protocols, sampling methods and interpreting results.  The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health states that sample analysis should follow analytical methods recommended by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) or other professional organizations.

Once you know you have to do a mold remediation project, you need to set up containment and isolate the work area, including setting up negative pressure to ensure that no mold gets out of the work area. Employee protection is an OSHA requirement. You must provide this to your employees. You must have them fit tested and certified to do the work. With qualified and certified workers, drywall, flooring and other items that need to be discarded need to be double-bagged and taken out of the containment area after a thorough cleaning. A reliable process needs to be set up to remove trash and clean the outside of the bag before removing it from the containment area.

After large and intense removals, the work area needs to be sanded, vacuumed, wet wiped with the appropriate biocide and then HEPA vacuumed again. The technician should clean his way out of the containment. Based on the direction of the industrial hygienist, the area should scrub for 24-48 hours after the area is cleaned. Then he will come to sample and take an aero cell cassette to the lab and give you the results. Remember that mold is smaller than what the naked eye can see, so you must rely on the test results. To be the most profitable you must pass on the first try. It is accepted that if you don't the next test and re-clean is on you unless you can demonstrate it was not a work quality issue.

Contact us at (800) 684-0518 for the best ways to start or improve your restoration company and for the best advice and expertise on mold clean up.  Impact Restoration Supply stocks wholesale mold remediation and clean up equipment, air scrubbers, poly sheeting, tape, HEPA vacuum, disinfectant, air laid towels, at manufacturer direct pricing.

Click on the Account Log In tab on the left hand column of our website to register, create your own account and get started.  If you're still looking for more information, click on the 'Request more information' tab on the upper right hand side of the page. Our knowledgeable sales team is here to help.

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