Mold has been a problem for thousands of years. The directions for handling mold were even mentioned in the Old Testament. The basic technique of handling mold hasn’t changed for centuries—you rip out everything that has been affected by mold and rebuild.
The first step of traditional remediation is to seal off the area where mold has been found with plastic sheeting. This is called “engineering control” and is done to prevent mold from spreading to other parts of the home. Air scrubbers are then used to remove mold spores from the air.
The next step is to remove materials in the home that may be affected by mold, plus about two feet of material beyond the affected areas to ensure all the mold is removed. This can include ripping out wallboard, carpets, cabinets, and sanding mold off the surfaces of wooden studs in the walls, etc.
Then the area is cleaned to removed any remaining mold. This is followed by spraying chemicals to make sure any mold that was missed is dead.
Since the AC system can provide moisture (especially if not operating properly) and can circulate mold spores throughout the home, it is normally treated.
The final step is to spray chemicals to prevent mold from growing in the future. These chemicals are often toxic to people and pets.
The homeowner then rebuilds the area of the home that was destroyed during remediation, replacing, walls, carpets, furniture, etc.
Fact: Mold remediation has been virtually the same for thousands of years, the primary improvements in the last 2,000+ years are protective equipment for workmen, power tools and air filtration devices.
There are a few problems with the traditional method of handling mold.
The initial estimate can be extremely expensive, often costing tens of thousands of dollars. Once work is started additional pockets of mold may be found that require additional work and increased costs.
The cost of remediation usually doesn’t include the cost of rebuilding area destroyed during remediation
nor does it include replacing furniture, clothing and household items that may have been contaminated by mold.
Despite efforts to contain mold during remediation with plastic sheeting and air scrubbers, mold spores may have spread to other parts of the home.
Also, mold growing behind baseboards, inside walls, under carpets, etc. and may not be found and included in the initial estimate of work to be done. These areas of mold may be found during remediation but if not found you may still have sources of mold that can causes the home to fail it’s final tests.
Fact: the idea that “once you get mold, you will always have mold” comes from the fact that a lot of times not all the mold in a home is found, and frequently not every source of moisture has been found and fixed, so the mold returns.