MOLD REMOVAL VS. REMEDIATION


Mold removal is completely removing mold. Completely removing mold is often promised, but it is not possible. Mold is everywhere. Mold has microscopic spores that float through the air and will seed everything It touches. Mold exist in our everyday life.
Mold remediation, in common language, is returning the mold to its normal natural levels. Mold remediation is defined as “the removal, cleaning, sanitizing, demolition, or other treatment, including preventive activities, of mold or mold-contaminated matter that was not purposely grown at that location.”
**Quoted from: Tradewinds Envtl. Restoration, Inc. v. St Tammany Park LLC, 578 F.3d 255 (5th Cir. La. 2009)




WHAT ARE THE HEALTH RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH MOLD?


According to this article published in WebMD – Moisture and Mold Problems: Preventing and Solving Them in Your Home For people sensitive to mold, inhaling or touching mold spores can cause allergic reactions, including sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash. People with serious mold allergies may have more severe reactions, including shortness of breath. In people with asthma who are allergic to mold, breathing in spores can also cause asthma attacks.
In addition to people with allergies and asthma, others who may be more sensitive to the effects of mold include: • Infants and children • The elderly • People whose immune systems are compromised due to HIV infection, cancer, liver disease, or chemotherapy • People with chronic lung disease




CAN I CONTROL MOLD?


Inside your home you can control mold growth by:

  • Controlling humidity levels
  • Fixing leaky roofs, windows, siding, and pipes
  • Install proper attic ventilation
  • Ventilating showers, laundry, and cooking areas
  • Thoroughly cleaning mold surfaces and let them dry if they are less than 10 square feet. If more than 10 square feet call a professional.




DO I HAVE ATTIC MOLD?


No testing is needed to determine if you have attic mold. All attics have mold spores and will show up on a test. Look in your attic and look for the presence of a black gray or white powdery substance on the roof near the eave of the home.




WHAT TYPES OF MOLD ARE BAD?


Mold is a fungus, and it grows almost everywhere. Molds have caught everyone’s attention because of potential health risks. As we have made our homes more air tight, we are seeing more mold in attics. Professionals do not know how many mold species there are, but estimates range anywhere between tens of thousands to over a few hundred thousand. Some of these different types aren’t dangerous to human health, while others lead to chronic and severe health conditions. Quick visual identification is not possible. Some of the nasty looking molds are not harmful to your health while a simple black mold can make you sick. Harmful molds can be any of the following classifications:

  • Allergenic: Molds that cause and produce allergies and allergic reactions such as asthma attacks.
  • Pathogenic: Molds that cause health problems in those suffering from an acute illness.
  • Toxigenic: Molds that produce toxic substances that can lead to dangerous or even deadly health conditions. This is sometimes referred to as “toxic mold.”
BEST PRACTICE: Treat all mold you find in your home quickly and thoroughly!




WHY ARE WE SEEING SO MUCH MOLD IN HOMES?


Since the early 1980’s when home energy costs started to soar, homeowners have worked to cut down any air drafts or ventilation coming in through the walls. They replaced windows, doors, sealed electrical outlets, and in many cases wrapped their homes in non-breathable house wraps before replacing their siding. Because homeowners saw the rewards of making their homes air tight, they worked on more areas to seal such as crawl spaces, leaks at foundations and sealed where pipes and electrical wires entered the home. Our homes have become so tight that we now need to bring outside air into the home to safely operate our furnaces. Because we no longer have the benefit of natural ventilation through the walls of our home, all the home ventilation must be handled by the attic. Simply stated the vents used in our homes attics have never been upgraded to handle this increased moisture. As the moisture levels could not be handled by traditional attic venting, moisture levels climbed to the point mold began to grow. Many homeowners have been unaware of the problem and the mold has exploded in growth.




DO YOU OFFER EMERGENCY SERVICES?


Yes – Water needs to be stopped as fast as possible and the drying out or remediation process to begin.




WHAT ARE THE SIGNS I MAY BE AFFECTED BY ATTIC MOLD?


People will generally feel lethargic, run down, have headaches, runny eyes, chronic cold symptoms, itchy skin and tightness in your chest are a few.




WHAT'S INVOLVED IN CLEANUP?


Attic Renew uses a 3 step chemical remediation process to: 1. Clean and kill the mold 2. Disinfect the attic to kill microorganisms 3. Mist a botanical deodorizer to control smells and leave your home fresh Mold remediation utilizes harsh and caustic chemicals. It is important that these chemical odors are controlled so your home remains as pleasant as possible. To accomplish this we cut an access hole in your roof called a roof port. The roof port is used to force attic air from the attic out through the roof during the remediation process. This is accomplished with a commercial exhaust fan placed in the attic. The high volume fan pushes air out through a hose in the roof port removing harmful chemical odors. Without this exhaust system, the chemical odors would be extremely strong in your home. Many homeowners who have had attic mold remediation talk about collateral damage caused by bringing these harsh chemicals through the house. The Attic Renew system utilizes the roof port to bring spray hoses into the attic so you do not have bleached out areas on furniture and carpet, chemical burns and dirt in your home. When the job is complete the roof port is sealed and a vent cover is installed to conceal it.




WHAT DOES MOLD REMEDIATION COST?


The cost is dependent on how long the problem has been let go. You may find costs between $2,000 and $20,000 to remediate an attic. An attic that is caught early will be on the lower side. Costs start to escalate if all the insulation needs to be removed and replaced. There is always someone willing to give you a deal. They will show up with a garden sprayer and some bleach. Because most people do not know what needs to be done, these crooks are posing as mold specialists and take advantage of those people with a lack of knowledge. Getting rid of the mold is only part of the solution. If you do not fix the ventilation and moisture source the mold will be back in short order.




CAN I PAINT MY ATTIC AFTER CLEANING?


Removing the mold should leave your attic looking good. If you are painting to cover or kill mold, do not do it. This procedure is a lot of work and cost and is ineffective. Those people who paint attics create a decreased sales value for their home as it is a tale tell sign of past mold problems to potential buyers.




CAN I JUST WASH OFF THE MOLD WITH A BLEACH SOLUTION?


If you are going to attempt to clean mold be very careful you know what you are doing. You are putting yourself in close contact with the mold and could develop health problems. Always wear a disposable suit and a full face respirator with cartridges that filter mold. A good pair of goggles will also be needed. Many people try a bleach solution only to be disappointed with the results. Use professional mold cleaners being careful to spray low volumes of fluid. This added cleaner will add to the overall moisture level.




IF I FIX THE VENTILATION DO I NEED TO REMEDIATE THE MOLD?


Mold indicates the presence of water. Drying up the area that was wet with ventilation will stop the growth of the mold. It does not get rid of it. For most people there will not likely be a health risk. Even a small amount of mold can be problematic for people who are allergic. The actual risk will depend on quantity, location and how sensitive you are to molds.




WHAT CAUSES ATTIC MOLD?


Attic mold is caused by moisture build up in the attic. Once the moisture level gets to a threshold mold begins to grow more and more rapidly.




WHAT DOES ATTIC MOLD LOOK LIKE?


Attic mold generally starts in the area where the attic floor comes near the eaves of the house. Here it starts as a black, grey or white powdery looking growth. It may appear as spots or large evenly covered areas. As the conditions that caused the mold are left unattended, more moisture will build up and you will see changes in the color and type of molds growing. They may appear multi colored with spots and also take on a slimy appearance in the latter stages.




WHY DOES ATTIC MOLD BUILD UP MOISTURE?


There are many reasons. Some of the most common sources of problems are improper attic ventilation, humidifiers, bathroom and kitchen vent fans venting into the attic, clothes dryers venting into the home, leaky basements, indoor hot tubs and pools, uncovered aquariums, excess number of plants in a home getting constantly watered and too many people living in a small confined space.




WHY HAS ATTIC MOLD BECOME SUCH A BIG PROBLEM?


Mold has been around since the earth was formed. Attic mold has been getting increasingly worse over the last couple of decades. As we have made our homes energy efficient and eliminated all the wall ventilation now called leaks the ventilation is all done through the roof. Very little ventilation happens through the walls after we replace all the windows and doors and then wrap our houses in house wrap. All the moisture accumulates in the attic. The attic ventilation needed to be increased and balanced to handle this additional load. The ventilation was not increased and as a result our houses are rotting out unless we do something.




IS ATTIC MOLD DANGEROUS?


Not all attic mold is toxic or harmful. Not all attic mold will enter your home. Unless the source of moisture can be eliminated and proper ventilation installed to reduce the levels of moisture, the moisture level will rise and the mold can explode in growth. As the conditions continue for mold growth, the attic can become increasingly toxic. If this mold enters the living area it could cause problems for those in the building.




WHO IS AT THE GREATEST RISK WITH MOLD?


Anyone with a mold allergy or sensitivity to mold. The toxins from the mold will affect those people with a compromised immune system such as the elderly and the young, who‘s immune system is not fully developed, like babies.





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