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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Mold Abatement in Old Homes

7/7/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold Abatement in Old Homes Toxic Work Area

Mold Removal in Older Homes in Henderson and Las Vegas

Before engaging with toxic mold lets first get to know a little bit about mold.

Understanding Mold

Some restoration companies advertise “mold removal” and may even guarantee to remove all mold. This is a fallacy because removing all mold from a house or business is impossible; microscopic mold spores exist almost everywhere, both indoors and outdoors. Here are the facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

Dealing with Mold

Here are some useful tips and safe practices for removing toxic mold from your home. If you're home is built prior 1978 you need to watch for a couple safety items which a lot of times can be overlooked in your abatement project.We will discuss later below in this blog. 

  1. Safety and health precautions are a must! Anyone involved in the mold remediation process must be protected from exposure through a combination of practices and controls. Hire a certified reputable mold removal firm to perform the designed abatement for you. 
  2. A post-cleanup assessment by an independent environmental expert should follow any abatement. It is highly recommended that appropriate documentation of the abatement process be kept.
  3. Eliminating mold at the source. Once mold spores gets airborne, it will be much more difficult to capture.
  4. Control the moisture in the affected area to limit future contamination. Moisture problems must be identified, located and corrected as soon as possible.

Generally as a rule it is not recommended for home owners to attempt any mold remediation on their own over a 10sq. ft. area. Call in a professional that is certified to handle toxic mold, know the correct procedures, have the specialized equipment and personnel to do the job safely. 

Common Mold Misconceptions

It’s easy to understand why many people struggle to grasp the facts and issues surrounding indoor mold because sensational news stories and advertising cloud and obscure the real issues. Educate yourself with the facts about mold and learn about the mold remediation process.

Ready, set... Test!

So no problem, you've got some basic helpful tips to combat that mold growth on your kitchen wall and you're ready to start your project? Not so fast. If you're home was built prior 1978 there may be some safety issues you should know about. 

Lead and Asbestos. We will touch on how to deal with Lead when removing mold from your older home here in this blog post. We will go over Asbestos in another blog post at a later date. Both however should be tested for prior to disturbing any materials. 

Lead Paint is still a problem

If your home was built before 1978, there is a good chance it has lead-based paint. In 1978, the federal government banned consumer uses of lead-containing paint, but some states banned it even earlier. Lead from paint, including lead-contaminated dust, is one of the most common causes of lead poisoning.

The EPA states these facts

  • Lead paint is still present in millions of homes, sometimes under layers of newer paint. If the paint is in good shape, the lead paint is usually not a problem. Deteriorating lead-based paint (peeling, chipping, chalking, cracking, damaged, or damp) is a hazard and needs immediate attention.
  • It may also be a hazard when found on surfaces that children can chew or that get a lot of wear-and-tear, such as:
    • Windows and window sills;
    • Doors and door frames; and
    • Stairs, railings, banisters, and porches.
  • Be sure to keep all paint in excellent shape and clean up dust frequently. Read about simple steps to protect your family from lead hazards (PDF)
  • Lead in household dust results from indoor sources such as deteriorating lead-based paint.
  • Lead dust can also be tracked into the home from soil outside that is contaminated by deteriorated exterior lead-based paint and other lead sources, such as industrial pollution and past use of leaded gasoline. Read more about lead dust.
  • Renovation, repair or painting activities can create toxic lead dust when painted surfaces are disturbed or demolished. Learn more about hiring lead-safe certified contractors.
  • Pipes and solder - Lead is used in some water service lines and household plumbing materials. Lead can leach, or enter the water, as water flows through the plumbing. Lead pipes and lead solder were commonly used until 1986. Read more about lead in drinking water.

Make sure who ever you choose to renovate your property that your home if built before 1978 that is get tested for lead as well as asbestos. 

Renovation, Repair and Painting Program

Your contractor should be aware of this program by now. If you ask them about this program and they say they never heard of it, politely send them out the door. You do not want them causing health hazards to you or your family. 

For your convenience here is a link of Lead Safe Certified Firms. I would start here. 

Once you find a certified lead safe contractor next see if they perform toxic mold removal.

Here are the next steps in choosing a safe Mold Removal Contractor

Make sure your contractor is IICRC certified and in good standing. 

You also might want to check their google reviews or Yelp reviews or Birds Eye reviws

Lastly make sure they are in good standing with the BBB in Las Vegas and Henderson area.

Regarding mold removal, the industry right now is generally guided by a standard of care rather than strict regulations. Even under the best of circumstances, mold remediation work can be difficult with the presence of Lead and Asbestos in the materials being removed. Call in the professionals that can safely take care your mold removal project in your older homes or buildings. 

To Sum it up

This is a brief article and cannot be construed as comprehensive. Insurance adjusters, general contractors, remediation companies and homeowners must consider lead on their mold removal projects. Do your part to learn the facts. Hope this article will help you the next time you have a mold removal project in an older home or building. 

If you need help with any toxic mold indoor air quality issues or need to speak to someone that can lead you in the right direction give us a call SERVPRO of Northeast Las Vegas anytime (702)785-0100 

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