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Cleaning is one of the most important phases of mold remediation… but it’s also one of the most overlooked.
Why should you care? Because what causes most of the health reactions and allergies to mold comes from the mold spores and fungal fragments that go airborne when you touch, scrub, spray, or disturb a mold colony.
And most people think killing mold with chemicals is going to save the day. Guess what? Since most people have allergic reactions to mold, you’ll have the exact same allergic reaction to dead mold as you do to living mold. It would be like “killing” peanuts to make someone with a peanut allergy safe.
Sound crazy? So is spraying mold with chemicals!
How many spores and fungal fragments float around? There are 1,000,000 spores per square INCH of visible mold. And the number of fungal fragments can outnumber spores by 320 times1.
We discovered this after using the InstaScope (our instant mold-testing technology) on a few active remediation projects. During the demolition phase, we found the airborne mold spore counts inside the containment chamber are always in the millions.
Don’t think this was at projects with a room full of mold either. What’s scary is these same million-plus counts happened with only a couple square feet of visible mold.
So that advice you read on the internet that you can tear out less than 10 square feet of mold yourself? Science has proven it’s very risky advice to take.
Bottom line: Cleaning up the microscopic, odorless spores and fragments is just as important to your health (if not more so) as tearing out the visible mold.
We Take 5 To 10 Times Longer To Clean The Mold From Your Home
Our cleanup process involves MUCH more effort than what most remediators put in. While other companies might spend 10 minutes cleaning a 10×10 room in your home, we take 2 hours… minimum.
We spend all our time meticulously vacuuming, wiping, and scouring every millimeter of the project area with special equipment. By the time we’re done, the project area is cleaned of excess mold spores—and safe for you and your family again.
Cleaning is the final phase of our Mold Remediation process, and it follows the demolition phase.
Demolition removes all visible mold colonies, but the process releases thousands of mold spores in the contained area. Like dust, these mold spores are airborne for only a few hours before they cling to ceilings and walls, and especially settle on floors and other horizontal surfaces.
We utilize a 3-step cleaning process to remove these spores from the area to prevent mold-colony formation.
We utilize the national mold standard (IICRC/ANSI S520) for cleaning—commonly referred to as the “HEPA Sandwich.” Here’s what it involves…
Mold spores are removed by vacuuming every square inch of the containment area using a HEPA-vacuum specially built for mold removal.
These aren’t like store-bought HEPA vacuums, which are more like leaf blowers when it comes to mold spores. While those pick up large particles, mold-specific HEPA vacuums filter out the smallest particles (you know, like mold spores!).
Next, we damp wipe the top of every pipe, wire, duct, door frame, baseboard, and window frame.
Mycotoxins are very sticky, so they remain behind after HEPA vacuuming. Their bond with the surface is broken by damp wiping every square inch with a 70/30 mixture of isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) and water with a splash of dish soap.
The soap lifts the spores off the surface just like it lifts grease off dishes. Isopropyl alcohol is the gentlest way to “denature” the proteins in mycotoxins (i.e., make them “un-sticky”) while creating no adverse reactions in chemical-sensitive people. And the overall mixture kills any bacteria or virus since they grow right along with the mold.
The damp wiping we perform in Step 2 releases the mycotoxins hold on the surface. So we perform a second round of vacuuming or wiping to clean up what we “freed.”
The cleaning phase is 1 of 2 critical tasks needed to do good mold remediation work (the other task is proper negative pressure). Yet many mold remediators get it flagrantly wrong… sometimes on purpose.
In fact, far and away the biggest complaint mold testers have about remediators is poor cleaning.
Why does cleaning go so wrong so often? A few reasons…
We remove mold the right way… and it would be an honor to hear from you.
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