Being a potential health hazard with harmful effects to the human respiratory system, mold remediation requires a strict protocol for safety and proper cleanup. Mold remediation is a serious undertaking because mold contamination is harmful to the environment not only at home and around living spaces but also in school and office buildings.
Due to rising health concerns, mold remediation is best left to professionals who are sure to follow the prescribed methods for cleanup without comprising the safety of the inhabitants of the area. Mold contamination is a matter of public health concern and as such mold remediation requires a strict protocol for safety and proper cleanup. Although not governed by any state or federal laws, some common recommendations for remediation of visible growth of mold are as follows.
•There exists enough scientific evidence linking mold contamination to allergies, asthma symptoms, irritant and respiratory problems. Hence, any visible mold growth must be considered harmful to the occupants of the place and remedial action must be taken at the earliest.
•Even dormant growth or dead mold can be harmful due to spread of airborne pathogens that exist within the mold surface. Especially when mold exists indoors it needs to be removed at the earliest.
•Remediation workers must be equipped with proper personal protection to avoid developing allergic reactions due to inhalation of toxic dust while removing the mold growth.
•The extent of mold growth must be an important consideration during mold remediation. The norm is to perform a cleanup of area at least two feet beyond the extent of damage. It is also important to investigate the presence of mold that is not visible on the surface.
•The mold remediation effort should also determine the degree of contamination by examining the surface for the presence of mold colonies, strong mold odors etc.
•In areas such as schools or office buildings with a higher density of occupants, engineering controls must be employed to control mold exposure even as the moisture source of the mold and the extent of contamination is still being investigated. Occupants prone to respiratory allergies must be encouraged to either stay away from the contaminated sites or equip themselves with protective gear.
•Moisture control is the next step after identifying the sites of mold growth and degree of contamination. In the absence of moisture control, cleanup will continue to remain a short-term fix and the mold growth will inevitably recur.
•When investigating indoor mold contamination, it is extremely vital to inspect the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Systems for growth and moisture traps.
•After mold remediation attempts, a thorough evaluation of the site for effectiveness of the solution must be a regular activity that must be diligently monitored. Preventive maintenance with a goal of keeping moisture away from the potential spots for mold growth is an achievable target.
Some of the protective equipments used to ensure a strict safety protocol are filter masks for the face that filters micron-sized particles, goggles to protect the eyes from toxic dust, impervious gloves and anti-contamination garments. Use these depending on the degree of contamination. Rapid response, prevention of microbial damage, fixing the moisture intrusion sources, drying the mold affected areas after cleanup, securing the ventilation system, containment of exposure and protection of remediation personnel are all essential actions that form part of mold remediation, and the strict protocol and safety measures must be designed with these considerations as cornerstones.
Mold remediation is rarely a do-it-once-and-forget-it measure! Continuous and regular review of the affected surfaces and evaluation of remedial actions are vital follow-up measures in the mold remediation process. There is no doubt that mold remediation requires a strict protocol for safety and proper cleanup and any lapses in protocol will result in recurrence of mold contamination and related health issues.