Mold Damage Cleanup
Cougar Restoration offers full-service mold remediation and repair. What does remediation mean? It’s just a fancy word for clean-up. Whether you know you have a mold problem or think you might, we can help. The solution may be as simple as wiping it away or as involved as tearing down walls and re-building them again.
We understand you didn’t want this problem and the mere thought of mold may freak you out. Fear not! We will walk you through the process from start to finish. It is important to understand what may be causing the mold. Sometimes this might be obvious like from recent water damage. Other times the source may not be so easy to pinpoint such as in a dry attic or crawlspace. In these instances, we’ll look for possible red flags and recommend corrective action such as adding more ventilation, replacing ducting, or repairing flashing on roofs.
Our goal is to minimize any further damage by assessing first if a cleaning approach may be successful rather than demo and rebuild. If demo is necessary, we take every precaution to make sure that all who are involved including our team and your family are safe throughout the process.
For example, I am a certified AHERA Inspector. AHERA stands for Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act. This training is crucial for anyone doing projects involving the removal of building materials. Our entire team is also trained to know which building materials should be tested for asbestos or lead paint before we remove them. We have several different local labs we use for this, and we will provide all documentation to you for your records. Our teams are also trained on how to build professional negative air containments which are designed to isolate work areas from non-working areas.
If you are already working with an IEP (Indoor Environmental Professional-a mold inspector who can perform a pre-inspection before cleanup and a post-inspection after cleanup), or you need a referral for one, we will communicate closely with them on our progress and coordinate when they may return to do a post inspection. You are not required to hire an IEP, but some people prefer the third party inspection. There are times where we recommend it as well and we’d be happy to discuss in detail what that looks like for you.
Curious about how this all works? Here is a basic protocol for different mold remediation scenarios…
– We will create a containment around the attic access point protecting your flooring and surrounding areas.
Note: If your access is located in a closet be prepared to remove all contents out of that closet. We may have to remove shelving in some cases if it’s a tight fit to get up into the access.
– We will hepa vacuum and/or brush down any bulk mold from roof sheathing and truss boards/rafters, treat all surfaces with a hydrogen peroxide mold cleaner.
– If there is very dark stubborn mold staining, we may need to follow up with a mold stain remover to remove the remaining stained areas. The alternative would be to apply a mold-inhibiting encapsulate paint. Another cleaning strategy is to use media blasting such as soda-blasting or dry-ice blasting. Be warned however that these methods are very messy and much more expensive.
– We are not big believers in the use of fogging only. The best practice is always source removal which means hepa vacuuming, scrubbing, cleaning, and repeating. It is our professional opinion that fogging alone is ineffective and a waste of money.
– In most cases we can perform an attic mold cleaning in 4-8 hours. In other scenarios it may take multiple days. Sometimes it requires complete removal of all insulation before cleaning and then re-insulation after cleaning. We will recommend the best course of action as it pertains to your specific situation.
– Common causes of mold growth in the attic:
- Ongoing standing water in the crawlspace below your home
- Roof Leaks
- Bathroom, Laundry, HVAC or Kitchen fans exhausting directly into the attic
- Sprinkler system leaks
- Inefficient or blocked ventilation
– More often than not this will require the complete removal of all insulation, mold cleaning, and then re-insulation after cleaning.
– We will create a negative air containment from the crawl access to the nearest exit point, separating the work area from the rest of the home. It is important to protect any non-working areas from cross-contamination.
– Cleaning typically includes hepa vacuuming and scrubbing all posts, beams, joists, and subflooring, treating with hydrogen peroxide mold cleaner, following up with mold stain remover, or encapsulate paint
– If it is necessary to install drying equipment for a few days we will do that as well, before re-insulating.
– Common causes of mold growth in the crawlspace:
- Standing water from either a plumbing leak, sewage leak, or ground water infiltration.
- Blocked or no ventilation
- HVAC or Dryer Vent exhausting directly into the crawlspace
- Water damage from flooding in living space above the area
– In some cases, such as in a bathroom where there is higher humidity, we can simply treat the surface of the walls and ceiling without removal. The key here however is to keep moisture and humidity levels low in order to keep mold from coming back
- DO NOT USE BLEACH/WATER SOLUTION!! It may look pretty on the surface, but you basically have just fed the roots of the mold below the surface which may lead to a worsening mold problem before you know it.
– There are other scenarios where mold is growing as a result of previous water damage which was not properly cleaned up, or a slow leak was hidden behind a wall, base trim, or under flooring and you weren’t able to identify the leak before mold set in. Regardless of the cause, these are cases where building materials will require complete removal.
- We will create a negative air containment separating the work area from the rest of the property, demo all mold/water damaged materials, bag inside containment, haul offsite for disposal. All exposed framing and subfloor will be hepa vacuumed, wire brushed or sanded and hepa vacuumed again. Then we will hepa vacuum the entire contained area thoroughly. All areas will be treated with hydrogen peroxide mold cleaner and the entire containment will be wiped down with an anti-microbial.
- We will run a hepa-filtered air scrubber inside the containment and one outside containment for at least 48 hours after all demo is complete. This continues to capture any remaining floating contaminants in the air.
- We will also install any drying equipment if needed until all exposed materials are dry.