Spring is here at last – and spring means a fresh start. Not only do we get to explore the great outdoors again, but we also get to see areas of our own homes that we haven’t seen in months. We pack up our winter things and dig out our spring wardrobes and decorations from attics, basements and closets – places we haven’t seen since we dragged out our winter coats and Christmas lights.
General mustiness and dustiness is no problem. A quick surface cleaning with a dust rag and mop and the house will be a lemon-scented paradise by the end of the weekend.
But sometimes in the damp, dark corners – areas that we might only see during the annual spring cleaning – we find something that we hadn’t expected:
A little mold is probably not a reason to panic, but it depends on the type of mold, the extent of the spread and the surface that it’s growing on.
Here is a quick guide to knowing when and why you should call in a professional for mold remediation.
Spring Cleaning: DIY Mold Clean Up
An example of a mold situation that can handled simply and easily during spring cleaning is mildew.
Mildew is commonly found growing in household bathrooms, and there are a variety of off-the-shelf cleaners with well-known brand names that will make the problem go away.
Hard surfaces – Mildew growing on a hard surface such as tile, grout or the side of a bathtub can be scrubbed off with a bleach-based solution.
Soft surfaces – Other molded areas such as shower curtains and bathroom rugs should be removed and replaced.
This will usually be sufficient for smaller mold outbreaks. When you’re done scrubbing, the mold will be gone and the bathroom will be clean.
However, surface mold or mildew might be the result of mold somewhere else in your home. Mold spreads through microscopic mold spores that flow in the air of your home. They can be drawn into your duct work and broadcast throughout your home.
But what if the mold is deeply rooted in the grout?
What about other kinds of mold in other areas of the house?
What if the mold is growing on and in the walls of a basement or an attic?
Are there high concentrations of mold spores in the air?
And while bleach-based solutions will kill the mold, they might not kill all of the mold and they won’t prevent it from returning for next year's spring cleaning.
These situations call for professional help.
Professional Mold Remediation
Professional mold remediation follows a similar process as the DIY approach – the hard surfaces get scrubbed and the soft materials are removed and replaced – but it’s on a much larger and more thorough scale.
But instead of a tub, we’re talking about floor joists and sub-flooring. And instead of shower curtains and rugs, we’re talking about dry wall, insulation and carpeting.
Here’s how it works:
First, we remove the nonstructural building materials such as the dry wall, insulation and carpeting. However, if you go in and start to remove affected dry wall or paneling that has mold on it without properly containing it, you risk disturbing the mold spores and spreading them throughout the house. Without professional training and experience, the clean-up effort can actually make an existing mold problem worse.
For a simple DIY spring cleaning, you might wear gloves and maybe an off-the-shelf respirator mask. However, a professional mold remediation process requires respirators, Tyvek suits, goggles and gloves because exposure to mold can be hazardous to your health.
Then, we scrub the affected area and chemically treat it using a high-end, professional-grade product. For example, if there is mold in a crawl space, we will focus on the floor joists and sub-flooring. The product that we use is specially designed to kill mold at its root and prevent it from returning.
After that, we HEPA vacuum off the excess, and then we…
Do it again.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
You have to get it all. If you don’t, it’s going to continue to regenerate and spread.
When we are finished with the cleaning process, we pull air samples – typically from inside and outside of the house – that we then send to a third-party laboratory to test. The job is only completed when we can present our customers with a laboratory-confirmed clean bill of health.
The Gladhill Difference
Once we have the lab results, and we have fixed any existing ventilation (Humidex) or moisture (Liquid Rubber and/or drainage system) problems that caused the mold in the first place (and will cause it to return), we back up our jobs with a one-year warranty with an annual renewable warranty after that. The warranty includes an annual visual inspection (with the option of lab-tested air samples for a fee) to ensure that the mold hasn’t returned.
A dry and well-ventilated basement is a happy basement.
Many of our competitors might do an okay job of cleaning things out and drying things out, but because they don’t specialize in mold remediation, they are more likely to fail to treat 100% of the problem – and in some cases they are beholden to what the insurance company will cover – which means that the mold might return.
Treating mold properly – and completely – this year can make sure that it’s not a problem during next year's spring cleaning.
Gladhill Services not only properly remediates mold in your home or business, but also addresses the root cause of the mold problem. Gladhill will identify the causes of the mold issue and provide solutions to help keep mold from returning. Contact us or visit us on HomeAdvisor to schedule and inspection.