Do you smell something?
If you detect a musty odor, a mold community is expanding in your home. Mold can take root anywhere there is organic matter, such as wood, and can manifest in new construction as well as old homes.
Mold, part of the fungi family, is all around us. When mold counts are elevated, they are reported in the weather forecasts. We bring mold spores inside our homes by carrying it on clothing and shoes. The spores can take hold in carpets, upholstery, walls, etc. It becomes a problem when moisture inside the home provides a conducive environment for mold growth, such as a leaky pipe under a sink, which then propagates mold through cabinets, flooring, walls, etc. and creates an air quality hazard.
If you suspect or see some mold in your house or business, a mold assessment is a good first step to getting a handle on the situation. The mold assessor performs a pre-assessment, checking for moisture and taking an air sample to see if key indicators point to a potential mold problem. At Green Star Eco Services, we urge people to get a mold assessor to document the problem before we start.
WHEN YOU NEED A LICENSED MOLD REMEDIATION PROFESSIONAL
In the state of Texas, if there are more than 25 contiguous square feet of mold in a space, it should be examined by a licensed mold assessor and then treated by a licensed mold remediator following a protocol. Anything less than that you could theoretically DIY, but here’s three reasons why you should not go it alone: equipment, proper cleaning solutions, and licensed expertise.
The first thing we do is secure the moldy area. We seal off the affected areas with plastic containment sheeting and then use negative pressure so mold doesn’t escape into other areas while we are working. When you touch moldy areas, the spores spew out. That’s why we are wearing protective suits, respirators and gloves.
“When you start cutting mold out, it goes into defense mold and spores come out,” explains Marc Patel, owner of Green Star Eco Services and Licensed Mold Remediation Contractor (License #MRC1310). “You can see it. When we spray, it’s like clouds of dust.”
After we perform demolition on and remove the moldy areas, we start cleaning with our sanitizer. This kills the mold and deters future growth. We use HEPA-filtered vacuums to remove spores, sanitize more and wet wipe all surfaces.
Once clean, we can turn off the negative pressure and turn on our HEPA air scrubbers. These are specialized units. For example, the 2000 CFM unit has the capacity to change out the air in 12’ x 12’ room 100 times per hour. For tighter spaces, such as bathrooms and closets, we also have 600 and 750 CFM units. These modular units can be stacked to gain the same kind of performance and results as the larger 2000 CFM units
You are not going to find the proprietary solutions and activators we use at the big box hardware store. We use the Caltex System, which are formulated for professional use and are organic, non-toxic, biodegradable, environmentally safe and USDA approved. This type of sanitizer kills bacteria and mold, and renders them inactive. This makes it difficult for the mold and bacteria to grown back on a treated surface.
Other products don’t really solve the mold problem. First instance, bleach breaks down and becomes snack food for mold. Biocides vary and are not always effective against mold as they may have been developed to kill bacteria or viruses. Even if it is a dedicated fungicide, some spores might survive and then you get regrowth.
Encapsulants will cover a surface but not kill the underlying bacteria and/or mold. If an encapsulant is going to be applied, it should be used after a proper mold remediation process.
The Caltex sanitizer kills the mold without introducing chemical hazards. It will retard regrowth. We use this as a key part of a thorough mold remediation process. The mold is out, the space is clean and we do not introduce anything toxic.