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Mold, also known as mildew, can be a very destructive and unsightly fungus growing on moist, wet areas. Mold is a vital part of our natural ecosystem and plays a significant role in nature by breaking-down dead organic material including fallen trees and leaves; inside, mold growth can cause health problems and impact negatively on air quality. Mold removal can help prevent damage to your home and eliminate health risks. For those with allergies, mold allergies can cause breathing issues, red eyes, nasal congestion, skin rashes and more.

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The third step in removing mold involves detection. If mold has not yet started to grow or is not present, an inspection of visible mold or mildew can be performed using standard household tools, a visual observation of portions of walls, ceilings, floors, doors, windows, cabinets, basement walls, or other suspected mold-sensitive areas; or for deeper mold contamination, a device called a “glass cutter” can be used to cut holes in the suspected areas. This step can be quite costly, so if visible mold is present, a mold removal company will often use an infrared camera to identify specific areas. With advanced mold detection technology, the results are quick and easy.

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Next, a professional mold removal company will often perform an air quality test, to determine the presence or concentration of mold within a building or office space. The test will typically look for visible mold spores in an area where air flow is not freely available, such as a ceiling or other ventilated area; if visible mold is detected, then an air cleaning technician will need to be called to take action. While visible mold can be identified, there may be unseen mold spores or mold residue that will need to be cleaned up or treated before an air quality test can be performed.

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After the air quality test has been performed and mold detection has been ruled out, the mold removal team can begin to disinfect the contaminated area. Typically, mold remediation experts will use a high-pressure water extraction system or a dehumidifier to dry out the contaminated area. Once the area has been sufficiently dried, the dehumidifier or water damage restoration contractor will make sure any moisture is removed and replaced with drywall or similar materials, preventing future mold outbreaks.

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Mold remediation companies also commonly use disinfectants or antimicrobial sprays to kill any remaining mold spores after the initial disinfection process is complete. For many people, a musty odor still lingers in the air, even after all the dust and mold removal is completed. However, mold removal professionals will often utilize ozone air generators or UV light machines to dry the air. Ozone air generators use ultraviolet (UV) rays to destroy airborne contaminants, killing or preventing the growth of mold spores in air ducts, water systems, and air conditioning systems.

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Mold remediation companies may also perform additional mold removal procedures to clean up the contaminated area and to remove any contaminated building materials as well. They may have to rip out insulation and boards to reach the basement or attic, but once they’ve done that, they can often reach extremely high levels of contamination. In order to safely clean up any contamination, indoor air quality specialists require that teams use protective gear including airtight masks and gloves. They also must wear breathing masks and filters to prevent them from inhaling any hazardous air contaminants.

Any cleanup team should also perform spot checks to determine if they’ve covered all possible sources of contamination. If you live in a high-risk environment, such as a school, workplace, church, or other building, you should also request that your mold remediation company perform spot checks every thirty square feet for the duration of the project. This not only helps to ensure that no new contamination has been overlooked during the clean-up process, but it helps to also prevent future occurrences by making sure that your building is mold free.

Even though there are many steps involved in mold removal, the last step is often the most difficult. As soon as an infestation has been found, you should consult with a mold remediation expert to determine the best course of action. Your professional team will make recommendations including the use of protective materials and cleaning solutions as well as offering advice on how to prevent recurrence. After the initial cleanup process has been completed, you should allow the area to dry for a day or so, then apply an outdoor mold treatment. After the treatment has killed mold, your next step may include sealing the area, removing carpet and furniture, and cleaning the area with a garden hose.