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5 Must Knows Before Getting A Mold Remediation


Magnifying glass Investigating Home for Mold Remediation

As a Certified Indoor Environmentalist, I wanted to address some of the common things I often see and hear about when it comes to mold, air quality and remediation. It is important to know what works, what does not work and how to avoid a failed remediation. All too often when a remediation is finished and "passes" a post test, individuals are still left with more work to be done, worse symptoms and a difficult situation. There are many reasons for this. Let's look at a few things you can look into before you get your home treated for mold.


1. Fogging, products that kill mold, HVAC add-ons with UV, air purifiers ETC.


Nearly every remediation company will tell you why their product is amazing, kills mold, is safe for use around pets and people in homes. While some of this may be true, make sure you are getting the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for any product used to clean or treat mold within your home. No matter what product is being used, proper processes and procedures MUST be followed within the remediation protocols. This means that water damaged building materials have to go, proper containment with HEPA must be used, adequate air changes must occur and contaminated contents (furniture, books, carpet, etc.) must be addressed. Furthermore, surfaces within the treatment area must be cleaned using industrial grade HEPA vacuums and physical cleaning and/or abrasives to be successful. Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet that you can spray, gas or fog into an area rendering it an acceptable environment or acceptable remediation. These steps are a minimum in any successful remediation. Another note is to make sure you receive samples of the products used prior to remediation to ensure you personally have low or no reactivity. For those who are chemically sensitive, It is better to know how you may react prior to anything new entering your home.


2. Remediation expectations


In the majority of states, remediation is not a regulated process. Unfortunately, that means you have to do your due diligence. When speaking to a potential tester or remediator, you need to make sure that they are well versed on CIRS, chemical sensitivity, indoor environment root causes and, of great importance, make sure they are not just saying "we use botanicals". Also, make sure that they are not just fogging or electrostatic spraying an area and calling it complete. The remediators should be able to explain their processes and procedures as well as why it is important. If they do not understand why these procedures are important, they will likely fail at actually adhering to necessary guidelines.


3. Remediation/testing contracts

Prior to the start of any testing or work, make sure that the expectations between you and the IEP are understood in writing. This should include the processes they are using as well as what the proof will be. If they are planning to do a post remediation verification test, you need to know what the acceptable levels on any sample would be as well as at what point those samples will be taken. For example, If somebody is utilizing ERMI as a PRV, you must allow the space to return to equilibrium and generate normal dust levels prior to the test. If they are using an air sample, the space needs to return to normal air flow and equilibrium prior to testing. This means NO TESTING ON THE DAY OF OR DAY AFTER REMEDIATION, no matter what type of tests. Furthermore, the expectations need to be in writing to protect you and the remediator for what happens if these tests are failed and what the pathway forward is in case of a failed test or failed desired outcome.


4. Water/contamination source


No matter how good the processes, procedures, products or talking points of any IEP in your home are, if the cause of the mold is not identified and rectified, IT WILL RETURN. Make sure to understand this in your planning/contractual discussions as well as having a plan on who, how and when these issues will be addressed and solved.


5. Hope


It is extremely important for the well-being of you and your family that you maintain hope. Someone I used to work with had a great saying, "Without hope, there is no healing." and that rings true. Maintaining hope and a positive outlook while taking steps forward is an integral part of this journey.


The information above is in no way a complete list of things that you need to know on your journey in mold sensitivity and healing but this can give guidance to what to look for and questions to ask.

 

John Naumann Certified Indoor Environmentalist Headshot

John is an ACAC Board Certified Indoor Environmentalist that has helped thousands of people dealing with mold and air quality issues in the Greater Pittsburgh & Tri-State area. At Alpha Air Quality, we ensure that families are receiving accurate information, factual testing & assessments, as well as proper mold removal and remediation. John is a top mold expert in the area and serves the community with excellence and experience!

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