There’s a lot of confusion around the differences between whether you should remediate mold or use mold sanitation. And we understand why–many times people use the terms interchangeably, even though they have different meanings. But which one is more effective and will help you get rid of mold for good? It actually depends on a few factors.
What does it mean to remediate mold?
First, we have to define what mold remediation is vs what mold sanitation is. These two terms are often used interchangeably, but they are actually quite different.
- Mold remediation:
- The removal of mold-contaminated materials in order to find and fix the moisture or water source that is actually causing the mold. This can often mean cutting away construction materials to find the underlying source.
- Mold sanitation:
- Using a biocide (a substance that can destroy a harmful organism, such as mold) to clean the surface from mold and lower the microbial count without removing materials
These are clearly two very different approaches to removing mold. You might be thinking, “Wait a minute. Remediation will remove mold at the source, and sanitation doesn’t. Shouldn’t you always remediate mold?” And it might surprise you to learn that no, remediation isn’t always necessary.
When should mold be remediated?
When you’re trying to determine if you should sanitize or remediate mold, you have to consider they amount of mold, the type of mold, and how much moisture is present in the underlying material.
Amount of mold
If there is more than 10 square feet of visible mold, you should remediate it. This is actually the industry minimum, but with mold it’s better to be cautious. Typically, 10 square feet or more of visible mold in one area typically means that the mold is spreading further throughout the environment (many times through air conditioning) and that there is more mold present that is not visible. In order to ensure that the surface and underlying mold are all removed, you must remediate.
Type of mold
There are 5 types of mold that automatically require mold remediation. We consider these “zero-tolerance” molds. The reason for this is that they are toxic. Toxic mold can work its way into your bloodstream and cause several health issues. It’s serious, and we treat it seriously.
The five zero-tolerance molds are: Chaetomium, Fusarium, Memnoniella, Stachybotrys, and Trichoderma.
Mold needs water in order to grow. So if the moisture content of the underlying material is over 17%, that gives the mold a reliable, constant source of water to use to grow. Because of this, you should remediate mold immediately. Remediation will remove or repair the source of moisture and prevent mold from growing in the future.
When should I sanitize mold?
While remediation is effective, it is also extremely expensive. And while mold sounds scary, many times sanitization will be able to remove all of the mold without using more drastic measures. If the mold isn’t widespread and doesn’t have any of the above three elements, you can safely use sanitation to remove it without worry.
Sanitation will remove the mold that doesn’t have any deeper or non-visible growth.
How do I know if I should remediate mold or sanitize mold?
When you discover mold, the first thing you should do is have a professional come out to perform a mold inspection. You can’t tell the extents of the mold damage on your own, and you never want to accidentally underestimate how much mold you have.
Professionals will also be able to perform tests to see what type of mold you have. This is extremely important since if you have a toxic mold, you’ll need to remediate mold immediately.
If you have mold in your home, ProCare Restoration can help you get rid of it. Contact us to schedule an appointment for as soon as tomorrow!