High quantities of mold can be a significant safety hazard to your home and family. While mold is a natural part of the environment, excessive mold growth indoors can cause unwanted allergies and infections. Long term exposure to mold indoors can be a severe threat to your health, leading to complications such as asthma or more serious ailments for immuno-comprised individuals. Long term exposure to toxic mold can even be life-threatening. For your health, it is crucial to find the right mold remediation company to address the problem head-on and stop the growth of mold in your private residence or business as soon as you notice it.
Mold remediation is the process of returning mold levels in your house to a safe point. Mold remediation encompasses a variety of practices that focus on getting mold levels back to their natural levels. To eliminate mold, most people choose to hire a mold remediation company with expertise in the practices of removing mold. When searching for a mold remediation company, you should seek out a reliable business with trained employees who are well-equipped to remove mold safely and mold-infested materials.
The main things you should look for in a mold remediation company are:
- license and certification
- well-trained technicians
- proper PPE (personal protective equipment)
- adequate containment for mold
Before contracting a mold remediation company, check that a company meets these requirements to ensure a safe, reliable, and effective service.
A Mold Remediation Company Should Have License and Certification
When choosing a mold remediation company, you should make sure the service you hire is trustworthy. Check for any licenses and certifications. If a company is licensed and certified, it will meet regulations and be appropriately insured. A reputable company will likely have certifications from IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) or NORMI (National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors). Unreputable, unlicensed companies may be engaging in unsafe practices that could put their employees or clients at risk.
Licensed companies should show proof of certification on their website or brochure. Licensing requirements may vary by state. For example, New York, New Jersey, Louisiana, Florida, Texas, and Tennessee are the only states that officially require a mold remediation license. If you are located in one of those states, you should check that the state has licensed the company. If hiring an individual contractor, ask for proof of certification. A certified firm has passed through mold remediation courses that give them special expertise on mold removal. Training courses help inspectors understand the nature of mold and teach them how to contain and clean mold-affected areas. Proper training prepares inspectors to address the hazards of the job, keep themselves safe around toxic substances, and be informed about structural remediation methods.
A Mold Remediation Company Should Have Trained Technicians
Mold is a complex problem and our understanding of it is always evolving. Mold remediation companies need to keep up with the latest practices to be most effective at the job and account for new changes in construction, engineering, and cleaning technology. Mold remediation inspectors should be trained in the latest practices of identifying and preventing mold growth. They should understand the methods of identifying air quality hazards, understanding how the local climate interacts with mold or bolsters mold growth, and be familiar with engineering features such as proper insulation, which can prevent mold growth indoors.
A knowledgeable mold remediation technician should also be able to offer sound advice to clients on improvements they can make to a building’s mold remediation system. Technicians should be familiar with the construction of mold remediation systems and help customers better understand preventative measures they can take in their homes. For example, mold is more likely to proliferate in old, unkempt buildings with out-of-date insulation systems. Company employees should be able to offer suggestions on how to update your building to prevent mold such as cleaning air ducts regularly.
A Mold Remediation Company Should Use Proper PPE
A good mold remediation company should be willing to invest in keeping their employees safe. Proper PPE (personal protective equipment) like suits, masks, and goggles is an indication that the company prioritizes its employees’ health. Mold remediation workers should cover their noses and mouths to protect their lungs from mold and the dust and debris that collect when removing mold-affected areas.
Gloves protect the skin from contact with mold. The EPA recommends mold remediators wear long gloves to limit contact with toxic substances.
It is also recommended that inspectors wear properly fitted goggles, such as safety goggles, or full-face respirators, for eye protection. Proper goggles should be designed to keep dust and small particles out and not contain any vent holes. Finally, the EPA recommends that mold remediation workers wear disposable clothing for medium to large mold remediation projects.
Disposable clothing includes non-porous full-body suits, boots, and head coverings.
A Mold Remediation Company Should Use Proper Containment
When removing mold, it is critical to isolate contaminated areas in “containment chambers” to prevent cross-contamination. A mold remediation company should ensure proper containment. This means that workers can safely remove mold in the work area and keep airborne contaminants from spreading to other areas of the household.
Proper containment requires workers to set up plastic sheeting to contain the work area. This should also include an entryway into the work area. Inspectors should also isolate the HVAC system from the rest of the building. Negative air machines (NAMs) should be used to remove mold spores from the contaminated area. NAMs should include HEPA filtering.
Removing mold is a big project. When choosing a mold remediation company, the most important thing is to do your research. Carefully select a company that seems reliable, offers a good value, and practices standard safety procedures. Make sure the company you select is licensed and certified, that its employees are well-trained, that inspectors are given proper PPE to protect themselves, and that appropriate containment is practiced. Keeping these requirements in mind will help you make the best decision for your home and safety.