From slimy black spots in your shower to the fuzzy white patches of mold in your basement, having mold in your home is more than a cosmetic problem. Molds can produce allergens, irritants, and potentially toxic substances. In extreme cases, mold can also result in structural decay and threaten the structural integrity of your house.
If you have a mold problem – act quickly and hire an expert in mold removal. The longer it grows, the more damage it will cause.
How Long Does Mold Take to Grow?
As part of the fungi family, you’re likely to find mold growing in your home’s darkest, dampest areas. Mold spores can always be found indoors, floating through the air and in house dust. However, mold spores cannot grow if moisture is not present.
Mold colonies can start growing within 24 to 48 hours of water exposure. These colonies can infest a number of surfaces, including wood products, wallpaper, carpets, ceiling tiles, drywalls, fabrics, insulation, and organic materials. Even worse, mold continues growing until you take steps to eliminate the source of moisture and deal with your mold problem.
Source: Wikimedia commons – RimmaKhaz
How to Prevent Mold from Growing
The key to mold control is moisture control. There are several types of mold, but none of them will grow without water or moisture. That’s why it’s imperative to dry water-damaged areas within 24-48 hours to prevent mold from taking hold.
Mold colonies can grow in your home if you have water damage due to:
- Plumbing or roof leaks
- Overflows from sinks or bathtubs
- Sewage backup from flooding in the area
You may also have issues with mold because of poor ventilation or a damp foundation. When it comes to mold, prevention is better than cure. It’s paramount to fix leaks when they occur and thoroughly dry surfaces after water exposure.
What’s more, mold tends to spread very quickly. If you find a patch of mold growing in your home, clean it immediately before it becomes a problem! If you’re dealing with a significant mold outbreak, it’s best to bring in a professional mold remediator.
Can I Stay in the House While Mold Is Being Removed?
It depends. If the mold infestation is limited to a specific area, your mold removal technicians may only have to seal off that specific portion of the home. They’ll clean the area while placing the infected zone under negative air pressure to prevent mold spores from escaping. By doing this, they will allow you to safely occupy other areas of your home.
On the other hand, it may be a good idea to leave your home for a couple of days. Qualified mold removal professionals are also air quality specialists and may recommend that you leave for your safety if you have a severe mold problem. Chemicals may also be sprayed during the process, and it might be a good idea to vacate the premises if you’re allergic to chemical components.
How Long Does the Mold Remediation Process Take?
That depends on several factors, including the severity of the mold infestation, where the mold is growing (behind walls, etc.), and the type of material with mold contamination. Generally speaking, the mold remediation process can take anywhere from 1 to 10 days.
Here’s what a typical mold remediation timeline looks like.
If you can see mold, it means mold is growing and spreading more spores in your house. Keep in mind that mold can also grow in between walls, inside ducts, and other places you cannot see. It’s therefore important to start the mold remediation process with an assessment.
The assessment will involve inspection and identification of mold type, where it is located, cause of mold growth, and extent of mold damage. If there’s a chance that mold is growing in an inaccessible space, it may be necessary to remove a section of drywall or paneling to get a better look.
A mold remediation plan will be created after assessing the size of the mold and moisture problem. It essentially details the scope of work as well as the associated costs. The following factors are addressed when planning remediation efforts:
- Necessary repairs or removal of the water or humidity problem
- Elimination of the mold from the contaminated space
The goal of sealing off the contaminated area is to limit the spread of mold and minimize exposure of mold to remediators and building occupants. Once sealed, the area is placed under negative air pressure to assure no air escapes to other parts of the home. Contaminated objects that cannot be cleaned, like carpets and insulation, will also have to be removed before remediation can take place.
Whether you need to leave your house will depend on the size of the contaminated area. The greater the area, the increased likelihood that someone will be exposed to mold, thereby necessitating the need for containment.
Selective demolition and removal of non-salvageable contaminated materials are necessary to address the underlying issue. Effective mold remediation necessitates the removal of every inch of the infected area to stop the spread.
Download Mold Remediation Process Timeline infographic.
Merely applying a biocide such as bleach onto a mold-infected surface is not enough to eliminate health threats. The first step is to clean the entire area using professional cleaning solutions and antimicrobial and antifungal solutions to affected surfaces.
Different techniques exist to remove mold including scrubbing, sanding, fogging, and dry ice blasting. Steri Mobile’s mold remediation process is not abrasive or labor intensive. Called the “3 Steps Liquid Process”, it does not involve scraping or using dry ice. Instead, the destruction of mold is carried out through fogging where an antimicrobial pesticide in aerosolized form is used to kill mold which can be embedded as much as 0.5 cm (3/16 inches) into the wood. It also involves the application of a borate-based inhibitor to reduce the chances of any mold growth and a high-level ozone shock treatment to destroy the mold spores in the air.
During the entire remediation process, remediation workers have to be equipped with proper PPE to ensure their safety. For this reason, no one other than the remediation team may enter the contaminated area.
Learn more about the pros and cons of different mold removal techniques.
Clearance and Repair
Once the affected areas have been cleaned, dried, and ventilated, clearance testing is necessary to ensure that moisture levels have decreased to safe levels.
As previously mentioned, mold remediation may involve a fair bit of dismantling and demolition. In situations like this, it’s important to work with a contractor who provides both restoration and repair services. The goal here is to restore your property to its previous pre-mold condition.
A third-party environmental testing company will perform a final assessment of the moisture, odor and mold in your house. This test will confirm the success of the treatment and ensure a safe return to your home.
Claiming and Home Insurance Coverage
Generally speaking, home insurance does not cover damage caused by mold unless it has developed as a result of a sudden or accidental event covered by your policy. Whatever your situation, your mold remediation specialist will provide you with an itemized invoice for the work done.
How Long Does Mold Remediation Last After Treatment?
Mold remediation only works to get rid of your current mold problem. Prevention is the only permanent remedy for mold. That said, mold remediation will be ineffective if the underlying moisture problem is left unaddressed. Any qualified mold removal specialist understands this and takes the necessary steps to address the root problem.
Fortunately, moisture problems are preventable. Here’s what you can do to prevent future mold outbreaks:
- Keep humidity levels in your home as low as you can – invest in a dehumidifier or two if you don’t have an air conditioner to keep your humidity levels no higher than 50%.
- Proper ventilation can help prevent future mold problems. Open bathroom doors and windows to ensure free flow of air and turn on the exhaust fan to allow moisture to escape.
- Clean up and dry out your home quickly and efficiently (within 24-48 hours) after a major leakage or flooding event.
- Remove and replace carpets and upholsteries that cannot be dried.
- Vent moisture-generating sources outside.
- Add mold inhibitors to paints before paintings.
- Fix any leaks in your roof, walls, or plumbing as soon as they occur.
Tackle Your Mold Problem Today!
Considering how fast mold spreads and how detrimental it can be to your health, it’s important to address your mold problem as soon as you notice it. Work with a contractor who has the knowledge, experienced and specialized equipment to nip your mold problem in the bud.
Trust the experts at Steri Mobile to help you eliminate mold in your attic, basement, and other places in your home. We’ll tell you the exact cause of your problem so you can take the necessary steps to say goodbye to mold for good.