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The Cost of Mold Remediation - Mobile, AL

Mold remediation need not be expensive. If the customer has only a mild issue, confined to a small area, a simple clean may be all that is necessary. Conversely, if walls need to be removed and the requirement is that studs are to be remediated, the project can be akin to a small construction job. So the short answer regarding costs are, of course, it depends. We understand that this really doesn't help, so at the end of this article, we have, surprisingly, provided some guidelines and actually HAVE disclosed some expense guidelines. Needless to say, we don't want to scare anyone away, and every job is different. We would like for you to read the entire article; but if you must, you can scroll to the end of this article to get an idea of the cost.

 

The Mold Remediation Company that Informs - Mobile, AL, Baldwin County, Alabama and the Entire Gulf Coast. 

Before you read this entire article, remember just a few things. We are not trying to ''sell" you anything. NO one can tell you how severe your problem is without SEEING IT, and testing the AIR QUALITY. No one can take short cuts by simply removing affected drywall - the spores that remain in the air are what is potentially harmful. Finally, no one can tell you how the different types of mold will affect your health- (everyone is different - don't let anyone try to scare you); we can only give you advice. If we have your attention, read on. We are here to help and get you the best possible advice.

On the subject of mold remediation, and mold information in general, it is the duty and quest of ServiceMaster Advance Cleaning & Restoration, to educate our customers and the public as much as possible. There is a lot of information published about mold. We believe the consumer should educate themselves, and obtain information from a variety of sources. We believe that after the consumer has done their homework, they will clearly understand why our approach is one of extreme caution, with the health of the individual as our first and foremost concern.

Before You Hire A Mold Remediation Company, read this.

CERTIFIED Mold Remediation Requires Training & Knowledge

If you have a mold issue, make certain that you hire a CERTIFIED mold remediation professional. Ask to see their certifications. Ask to see their insurance. Mold can be a serious health hazard, and you shouldn't take a chance with anyone that says it can simply be torn out! The airborne spores left from the removal of affected drywall and contents, are typically the very thing that will cause health problems. If every square inch isn't properly cleaned and the air filtered, the resulting spores can be enough to cause serious health issues. We will not take a chance with your health. We only know one way to do the job - the right way. This involves total elimination and removal of all visible and airborne mold spores.  - ServiceMaster Advanced - The Master of Disaster (251) 653-9333, (251) 928-1028. 

In this posting, we have combined several articles. We hope you find them helpful. 

 

 

ServiceMaster believes in doing mold remediation the right way. This means calling in an independent Industrial Hygienist and having the customer hire them to do “before and after” air sampling, and write a proper mold remediation protocol. Typically, collection of air and or tape samples will be done. This is a air sampling machine:

The samples collected will be sent to an independent lab for analysis and a report like the following will be generated:

 

At this point, a proper mold remediation protocol will be written. This is an extensive, SPECIFIC document, detailing exactly what will be done. Specifically, which walls need to be removed, which areas can be cleaned, the duct work to be cleaned and where containment should be set up. Since these documents are quite lengthy (often several pages), we have elected not to include a sample document in this article. We will gladly provide one for a prospective customer. 

 

After the protocol has been followed to the letter, and the remediation has been completed, then the structure is retested. Here is an example of the same structure as above, after mold remediation is completed:

 

Close examination of the air samples collected and the report issued, are indicative of nearly complete removal of all mold spores. In fact, the air inside is now cleaner than the outside air!

 

 

Large air scrubbers to filter airborne contaminants are often used in mold remediation. Suited mold remediation technicians with full face respirators.
This type of PPE is absolutely necessary in cases of extreme severe infestation. 
 
 
 

Why is mold remediation important?

Please read the article below.

How Many Remediation Customers are

Susceptible to Mold Illness?

It's important restorers understand the health

consequences some customers face in their homes.

posted by Sanjay Gupta

April 27, 2016

One of the biggest challenges faced by people sick from mold is the fact that doctors,

friends, and other family members dismiss their symptoms simply because they,

personally, do not get sick when exposed to mold.

Many victims of mold sickness are labeled as hypochondriacs and are accused of not

being sick at all.

This is tragic because many people that get sick have no control over their sickness

because their bodies have a genetic pre-disposition to mold illness.

The purpose of this article is to explain why contractors, particularly mold remediation

professionals, should know why some of their customers get sick from mold and other’s

do not.

There is actually a scientific reason, and understanding of that science will not only help

you serve your customers more effectively, but also increase sales by addressing the

needs of mold sensitized individuals.

Lessons Learned From Interviews With Mold Sensitized Individuals

In 2015, Wonder Makers Environmental, a company based in Michigan, launched a new

website with the mission of educating consumers, contractors, and health professionals

on the health concerns caused by mold. The website’s goal is to be the ultimate resource

of mold information and contains many articles written by the CEO, Michael Pinto.

Since launching the website, numerous mold sensitized individuals have been

interviewed and many lessons can be learned from these interviews.

1. In general, there is a lack of appreciation among the medical community of the

impact mold can have on certain individuals.

2. The symptoms from mold sickness are broad, leading to multiple misdiagnoses of

patients by many doctors.

3. It is quite common for mold sensitized individuals to seek help from multiple

medical practitioners and still not get healthy.

4. Eventually, the individual learns mold has been the cause of the sickness.

5. Mold sensitized individuals frequently are forced to seek alternative shelters

because traditional remediation approaches are not adequate to address their

sensitivities, even assuming that the current standard of care is followed.

Anecdotal Data Versus Scientific Data On Mold Illness

For more than a decade, people have tried to use the courts to sue for compensation from

sicknesses caused by mold. During the early stages of these legal battles, the court system

tended to side with the defendants citing a lack of scientific evidence that mold actually

makes people sick.

Despite the lack of scientific evidence, anecdotal data from thousands of contractors

working with occupants of water-damaged buildings documented the health challenges

many faced.

In the 1980s, the World Health Organization, coined the term “Sick Building Syndrome”,

which people believed was caused by poor indoor air quality caused by water damage to

the buildings.

According to Erik Johnson, a mold expert and survivor, it was not until the 1990s, that

the World Health Organization, acknowledged “Sick Building Syndrome” could be

caused by toxic mold.

The medical community is beginning to acknowledge the health impact that waterdamaged

buildings can have. This recognition was made very public in 2015 with the

release of the MOLDY documentary which featured health professionals and people who

have suffered mental and physical health issues after moving into moldy houses.

In a presentation at the PLR Expo in Toronto, Canada, in November, 2015, CEO of

Wonder Makers Environmental, Michael Pinto presented “13 Future Trends in the

Restoration Industry“ and has since also written an update to several of his points.

One of the most notable trends he cites is a “A Tighter Connection Between Medicine

and Environment.”

Pinto cites new diagnosing techniques to identify an illness called Chronic Inflammatory

Response Syndrome (CIRS), which legitimizes the tie between water-damaged buildings

(WDB) and sickness. He also cited research that has identified a genetic component to

this condition, a screening test (VCS), and most importantly, a treatment regimen.

Pinto also believed the Environmental Relative Moldiness Index (ERMI) demonstrates

the important ties between medicine and the environment. ERMI is a scientific test that

analyzes dust samples for 36 mold species. This test provides base information to identify

CIRS because 26 of the mold species are considered to be water damage indicators.

This test is important because one sample can be analyzed to identify the extent of water

damage in the building that could make someone susceptible to CIRS sick. Importantly,

this test provides an ERMI score, i.e. a HERTSMI-2 score that can be given to physicians

and will help them assess whether a building will make their patient sick.

Because of growing medical awareness and the fact that there are now medical tests and

drugs to diagnose and treat mold illness, Pinto believes one of the other outcomes of this

acknowledgement will be a more active justice system where plaintiffs will now be able

to get compensation because they now have science to back up their claims.

25% of the Population is Susceptible to Mold Illness

The most interesting aspect of the research on the effect that Sick Building Syndrome has

on patients pertains to genetics.

One of the biggest problems with mold sickness is that it impacts everyone differently.

Some may experience minor allergies, and other health conditions like asthma and

chronic sinusitis, while other mold sensitized patients may suffer severe illnesses.

One physician documented the health symptoms of 227 patients who lived in waterdamaged

buildings during a three year period and found 98% of his patients had one of

the gene types where their immune systems were not able to effectively deal with

contaminants from water-damaged buildings.

As stated by Pinto:

“In layman’s terms, two different genes have been isolated, which keep some people’s

immune systems from functioning properly when they have been exposed to contaminants

from water-damaged buildings. Instead of properly identifying and eliminating the

foreign invader, those body defense mechanisms increase the problem. When viewed with

a basic understanding of genetic distributions, this research made it clear that up to a

quarter of the population (25%) is at increased risk from exposure to water-damaged

buildings.”

This research is very significant because it demonstrates that up to 25% of the population

has a genetic pre-disposition that makes them more susceptible to mold illness and the

condition known as Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS).

Because of this research, the scientific community and legal system is now taking much

greater notice because diagnostic tests, lab tests and treatment tools are being developed

to help these patients. In short, the data is no longer anecdotal, but based on objective

measures.

What Is Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS)?

According to Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker, CIRS is:

“An acute and chronic, systemic inflammatory response syndrome acquired following

exposure to the interior environment of a water-damaged building with resident toxigenic

organisms, including, but not limited to fungi, bacteria, actinomycetes and mycobacteria

as well as inflammagens such as endotoxins, beta glucans, hemolysins, proteinases,

mannans, c-type lectins and possibly spirocyclic drimanes, plus volatile organic

compounds.”

Listed below are the 37 symptoms associated with CIRS.

1. Fatigue

2. Weakness

3. Aches

4. Muscle Cramps

5. Unusual Pain

6. Ice Pick Pain

7. Headache

8. Light Sensitivity

9. Red Eyes

10. Blurred Vision

11. Tearing

12. Sinus Problems

13. Cough

14. Shortness of Breath

15. Abdominal Pain

16. Diarrhea

17. Joint Pain

18. Morning Stiffness

19. Memory Issues

20. Focus/Concentration Issues

21. Word Recollection Issues

22. Decreased Learning of New Knowledge

23. Confusion

24. Disorientation

25. Skin Sensitivity

26. Mood Swings

27. Appetite Swings

28. Sweats (especially night sweats)

29. Temperature Regulation or Dysregulation Problems

30. Excessive Thirst

31. Increased Urination

32. Static Shocks

33. Numbness

34. Tingling

35. Vertigo

36. Metallic Taste

37. Tremors

For 75% of the population, when exposed to biotoxins caused by mold, the individuals’

immune system responds by binding with the invading poison that allows its cells to filter

the biotoxins through the liver, kidneys, and other organs.

In contrast, 25% of the population who have the genetic susceptibility to mold illness get

sick because their body’s immune system does not bind to the biotoxin, meaning it is not

eliminated and therefore continues to circulate, causing the many symptoms, documented

above.

The “C” in CIRS refers to the term “Chronic” because individuals exposed to poisons

from mold are unable to eliminate the toxins from their body, resulting in on-going and

escalating sickness, particularly if the person is continually exposed to mold. This is the

primary reason that the first priority of medical practitioners treating mold sensitized

patients is to begin the detox process which also must coincide with movement away

from the building that is constantly exposing the person to the toxins.

The “I” in CIRS refers to the term “Inflammatory” because the constant exposure to the

toxins creates a cycle of sickness, meaning the individual’s immune system is constantly

trying to fight the toxins, leading to inflammation.

The “R” in CIRS refers to “Response” because the human body is designed to respond to

invading toxins. In the case of patients suffering from mold sickness, the immune system

is constantly trying to fight the toxins causing a stress on the complete immune system of

the individual, which in turn leads to other health conditions.

As stated by Pinto, the “S” in CIRS refers to “Syndrome” because:

“The symptoms are a result of many factors, including external exposures and internal

responses. The contaminants from water-damaged buildings should trigger the activation

of an immune response, but some people’s genetic structure does not allow the proper

recognition of the biotoxin. Since this combination of circumstances inhibits the

clearance of the poison from the body, these harmful substances continue to circulate and

create continual damage. With such individuals there is no linear dose/response

relationship, meaning that even trivial exposures can create severe problems.”

Is CIRS Life Threatening?

The major problem that individuals with CIRS face is their bodies immune systems

become severely compromised and weakened from the vicious cycle of invading poison,

immune response, and inflammation.

The end result is many of their bodies systems are damaged, leading to a wide range of

health conditions, some life threatening.

For this reason, many mold survivors have reported that they have abandoned the primary

residence that initially made them sick; instead, seeking shelter wherever they can find it,

especially very dry areas, with dessert like conditions where moisture is limited. These

drastic measures were taken by these individuals because their bodies have become so

sensitized to mold that even minor exposure triggers severe reactions.

Fortunately, the continued research on mold sickness is creating hope because treatments

been have developed that help individuals detox and eliminate the poisons, followed by

rebuilding the immune system so that it regains strength.

How Can This Knowledge Help Your Business?

At PLR Expo in 2015, Michael Pinto asked the audience of about 400 contractors if they

had heard of Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome? Very few raised their hand.

Honestly, I was a bit surprised. Keep in mind, one of the trends that Pinto identified was

“Growing Public Awareness.” If consumers are getting more educated, you should also.

One of the goals of this article is to explain why some of your customers are sick from

mold and others are not. Now you know the answer: 25% of the population has a genetic

pre-disposition to mold illness and may suffer from CIRS.

Learn about CIRS and know the symptoms. In fact, when you meet with a prospective

client who has health issues that could possibly be caused by mold, ask them how many

of the 37 symptoms of CIRS they have.

If you suspect they have CIRS, ask them to consult with a physician who can verify the

diagnosis and prescribe a treatment plan.

The next step is to work with your customer to properly remediate their home. It is no

longer just a matter of dealing with mold in just one part of the home when you are

dealing with a mold sensitized customer. You need to understand the big picture,

meaning you need to work on a plan that addresses spore deposition throughout the home

and also understand that the HVAC system could also be contaminated.

Addressing The Needs Of Mold Sensitized Individuals Will Increase Your Bottom

Line

Recently, one of my clients began working on a mold project that was referred to them by

Wonder Makers Environmental. The mold sensitized homeowner was no longer living in

her home because her health kept getting worse as she suffered from CIRS and was

advised to move out until her home was properly remediated.

Wonder Makers referred this homeowner to a contractor who understood how to deal

with mold sensitized individuals. The mold remediator’s work plan addressed the source

of contamination, i.e. the moisture source. Once this problem was fixed, the scope of

work addressed the areas of the home that had mold growth. The work plan had three

goals:

1. Use proper standard of care, containment, negative air, air scrubbers, etc. to

remove porous mold contaminated content. The contractor also implemented

their mold prevention system backing it up with a 25 year guarantee.

2. Create a work plan to address the spore contamination in the HVAC system by

sub-contracting the clean up with a reputable firm

3. Address the spore deposition in the home by setting up a clean room where

contents could be cleaned with an effective solution, like Mold-B-Gone, and

HEPA vacuumed could be stored. It should be noted, the use of chemicals to

clean the contents is not necessary, though this contractor chose to use this

chemical because the ingredients are all natural, EPA approved, and on the FDA

Gras list.

The total price tag for this project was more than $20,000.

The customer is happy because the fungal ecology of her home is at normal levels and

she can live in her home again.

How many customers can you help if you simply ask the right questions?

How might your business grow if you position it as the expert on CIRS and begin

educating consumers?

How many jobs will you win from competitors if your education efforts build more trust

with customers?

Bottom line, there is a need for contractors that understand the needs of individuals

adversely affected by mold. The science of mold is advancing. The fact that up to 25%

of the population could be genetically pre-disposed to mold illness, means that

contractors that want to grow their businesses exponentially should begin preparing

themselves to service this market demand. How prepared are you?

 

 

Mold Overview - Types of Mold Explained - ServiceMaster ADVANCED - Mobile, AL

We are the original ServiceMaster Restore disaster restoration company operating in Mobile and Baldwin County in South Alabama, serving the area for over 30 years. We have handled some of the largest fire damage, water damage and mold remediation cleanup jobs ever performed on the Gulf Coast and we would be honored to serve you. (251) 653-9333, (251) 928-1028 and (866) 653-9333. 

 

Below is an article posted on LinkedIn by Mr. Sanjay Gupta. it is an overview and gives the reader some basic information. Another great site is http://www.epa.gov/mold/. There is a link to his site included below.

 

BEGIN ARTICLE

Mold Facts and Information

Originally published on June 5, 2015.  by Sanjay Gupta 

The purpose of this article is to answer the following questions about mold:

1. What causes mold growth?
2. What are the most common types and species of mold?
3. Why should I be concerned about mold?
4. How can I detect mold?

What Causes Mold Growth?

 

Mold is a fungus, as are mushrooms and yeast, and has a biological purpose in our eco-system: to consumes dead organic material. Understanding it’s biological importance is essential to understanding why it poses health hazards.

Problems occur with mold when it begins growing in an enclosed environment such as a home. Mold found inside homes and buildings originates from the outside. Mold spores enter buildings and homes through open doorways, windows, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. Spores in the air outside also attach themselves to clothing, animals, shoes, bags and more!

The key ingredient mold needs to thrive and grow is moisture and a food source.

Sources of Moisture

Since mold is everywhere, it will only start growing when the spores settle on surfaces with excess moisture. The key to preventing mold growth is to control moisture. Maintaining an interior humidity level of between 30 to 40% will prevent mold growth.

Listed below are the most common sources of moisture. If you suspect mold growth, before the mold can be cleaned and removed, the sources of the moisture issues must be addressed first.

1. Flooding.
2. Backed-up sewers.
3. Leaky roofs and/or water leaks.
4. Humidifier which is not regularly cleaned and disinfected.
5. Damp basements or crawl spaces.
6. House plants and their debris.
7. Steam from cooking and showers.
8. Wet clothes hung to dry indoors.
9. Inadequate air exchange.
10. Excessive humidity.
11. Condensation, which is especially a problem during the winter, on poorly insulated surfaces.

Sources of Food

Mold is like a parasite because it will only grow if there is an ample mold source. Under the right conditions of temperature and moisture, mold will continue to feed. The problem with mold lies in the fact that most homes and buildings are made from dead organic material, which is the type of food that mold thrives on. Food sources for mold include the following:

1. Wood & wood products.
2. Paper and other paper products like cardboard and wallpaper
3. Leather.
4. Fabric and upholstery
5. Grout.
6. Painted walls.
7. Cement
8. Plaster (drywall).
9. Ceiling tiles
10. Insulation materials.
11. Carpet.

What Are The Most Common Types and Species of Mold?

 

Not all molds are the same; consequently, it is important to understand that identifying the types and species of mold is important because it helps you and the mold remediation professionals assess the potential health hazards that the growth poses.

Types of Mold

Of the 100,000 types of mold that have been identified, the three most common types have been identified as:

1. Allergenic Molds.
2. Pathogenic Molds.
3. Toxigenic Molds.

Allergenic Molds

 

Allergenic molds are not usually life-threatening but do cause health concerns for individuals with allergies or asthma. Children and the elderly are most likely to experience health issues if there are allergenic molds present in the property.

 

Pathogenic Molds

 

Pathogenic molds are of particular concern if your immune system is weak or compromised because these can cause infections. This type of mold can cause hypersensitivity pneumonitis, an acute response resembling bacterial pneumonia. An example is Aspergillus fumigatus, which can grow in the lungs of immune-compromised individuals.

Toxigenic Molds (aka “toxic molds”)

 

Toxigenic molds are the worse types of molds because they produce mycotoxins that will make anyone exposed to them sick. Mycotoxins are chemical toxins present within or on the surface of the mold spore, which can be inhaled, ingested, or touched. An example of this is an aflatoxin, one of the most potent carcinogens known to mankind. Aflatoxins grow on peanuts and grains, and on some other foods.

Species of Mold

Mold inspectors and indoor air quality professionals use various methods to identify the mold species.

Testing could be done with a tape or swab sample on visible mold.

Air quality samples may also be recommended because air borne mold spores are not visible to the eye. Air quality samples are advantageous because they can identify the concentration of indoor spores.

Once samples are taken, they should be sent to accredited laboratories to analyze them to determine the exact species of mold.

The five most prevalent species of mold are:

1. Alternaria.
2. Aspergillus.
3. Cladosporium.
4. Penicillium.
5. Stachybotrys.

Alternaria Mold

 

Alternaria mold is commonly found in your nose, mouth and upper respiratory tract and can cause allergic responses. 

Aspergillus Mold

 

Aspergillus mold is usually found in warm, extremely damp climates, and a common occupant of house dust. This mold produces mycotoxins which is a poisonous chemical compound. This mold variety can cause lung infections including aspergillosis.

Cladosporium Mold

 

 Cladosporium mold is a very common outdoor fungus that can find its way indoors and grow on textiles, wood and other damp, porous materials. This mold triggers hay fever and asthma symptoms.

Penicillium Mold

 

Penicillium mold is a very common species found on wallpaper, decaying fabrics, carpet, and fiberglass duct insulation. It is known for causing allergies and asthma. Some species produce mycotoxins, one being the common antibiotic penicillin. 

Stachybotrys Mold

 

Stachybotrys mold is extremely toxic “black mold” that produces mycotoxins that can cause serious breathing difficulties and bleeding of the lungs. This mold can be found on wood or paper.

We are the original ServiceMaster Clean (janitorial) & ServiceMaster Restore (disaster restoration) company operating in Mobile and Baldwin County in South Alabama, serving the area for over 30 years. We have handled some of the largest janitorial, fire damage, water damage and mold remediation cleanup jobs ever performed on the Gulf Coast and we would be honored to serve you. (251) 344-5105, (251) 653-9333, (251) 928-1028 and (866) 653-9333. 

 

 

END OF ARTICLE

 

 

 

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How To Clean Mold Contaminated Contents!

Article originally published on August 22nd, 2015 at www.moldsensitized.com

The Contents Conundrum*

This article was originally published by Contents Industry Review, Your Source for the Latest Contents Restoration News, Trends and Developments. Many thanks to David Gavilanes for his assistance. Image courtesy of Contents Industry Review.

Deciding if contents from structures with mold growth are contaminated, and what to do about them

Too often, contents are the forgotten stepchild of a mold remediation project. Inspectors and Indoor Environmental Professionals often focus on identifying the source of water intrusion and the subsequent fungal contamination with little regard for the furnishings and contents in the areas surrounding the contamination. Many project specifications talk about isolation of contaminated area with brief instructions (or the assumption) for movable contents to be repositioned so that they are not inside the isolated work zone.

Unfortunately, improperly assessed or addressed contents can be a source of significant cross-contamination to areas where considerable effort and expense has been expended to deal with mold contamination. This is an especially crucial issue if any of the occupants aresensitized to mold (or have Lyme disease or chemical sensitivity, either of which can result in cross sensitivities to mold). Therefore, regardless of whether the contents are addressed in the work plan of a third-party, cleaning and restoration contractors need to have some basic guidelines for attending to them when dealing with water damage and mold remediation projects.

The Initial Assessment

Even if contents are only being moved from one area to another as part of the setup for a mold remediation project, close attention should be paid to each and every item. Any material that has visible fungal growth (or anything that resembles fungal growth), a musty odor, or a “light fuzz” that could be dust deposition or mildew should immediately be segregated from the other materials. Of the items with visible contamination, nonporous materials can generally be cleaned satisfactorily. In contrast, the current standard of care calls for the disposal and replacement of soft, porous contents that are supporting fungal colonies.

Even if the contents do not have visible growth on them, they could still be reservoirs of fungal contaminants like spores, hyphae, and mycotoxins (chemical poisons that can be released from some fungal types). This microscopic contamination is characterized as Condition 2 by the IICRC’s S520 standard related to professional mold remediation. The S520 notes that dust from impacted items does not reflect the “normal fungal ecology” in terms of fungal types present and amounts. However, the good news is that the S520 document explains that contents contaminated by deposition of spores from adjacent growth can be cleaned.

Standard of Care versus the Doctor’s Recommendation

While many professionals in the cleaning and restoration industry are used to cleaning contents that at first glance seem to be unsalvageable, the reverse thinking often takes hold of occupants who are dealing with a mold contamination situation. Even in cases where the contents do not have visible fungal growth, they are concerned that the materials cannot be thoroughly decontaminated. Indeed, we have talked to several individuals, diagnosed with mold sensitivities, who were told by their doctors that the contents of their homes could never be cleaned well enough. The medical professional basically told them that all of those items needed to be disposed of.

In contrast, our research and experience confirm that contents acting as a reservoir for fungal contamination generally can be cleaned. However, from a practical and financial standpoint the general rule of thumb that we use when offering advice to clients is that the more contents that can be removed from the house, the more thorough the cleaning of both contents and the structure can be. Nevertheless, there are practical limitations. Large bureaus, beds, couches, and appliances are difficult to move, even to a cleaning station in the garage. Large pieces that are left in the house need to be thoroughly cleaned and then moved multiple times during the process of cleaning the structure. We do not recommend that they be covered and left in place because this hinders the proper cleaning of all surfaces.

Another important consideration is that the more consistent the occupant and cleaning contractor can be with surfaces and contents, the better the result for sensitized individuals.For both surfaces and contents, the process should begin with a HEPA sandwich method of cleaning. Additional activities for both the structure and any remaining contents can include air scrubbing, air washing, and fogging.

Using a Logical Process

As most cleaning and restoration contractors understand, once the decision has been made to undertake cleaning of some or all of the contents, a number of other questions come into play.Probably the biggest variable that needs to be determined is where and how the content cleaning will be accomplished. There are a few options:

1. Clean them on the way out of the house. This typically involves setting up a cleaning station in the garage or other area where contaminated contents from the house are staged, cleaned, and packed in clean containers. Although we prefer that plastic tubs with tightfitting lids be used as storage containers, cardboard boxes can be used as long as they are lined with plastic to protect the contents from moisture. Generally, the packing containers used on the way out of the house are not an issue—even old grocery boxes can be used, but after the items have been cleaned they should be stored and moved around in new boxes or plastic containers.

Some clients have even gone so far as to set up a washer and dryer in the garage with temporary water and power sources so that methodical cleaning can be conducted. We recommend, however, that any soft contents being saved be cleaned using the Esporta Wash System rather than regular washers and dryers. This is because that is the only system that we are aware of that has published data on the efficacy of cleaning mold reservoirs (as well as actual visible contamination) from soft goods.

2. Pack them and have them cleaned at a separate facility. The benefit to this approach is that the contents can then be cleaned utilizing a wide variety of specialized decontamination processes. In particular, this allows materials to be moved to a facility that has specialized laundry equipment, ultrasonic cleaning tanks, proper cleaning equipment for electronic components, and even areas for specialty cleaning of papers and books. Also available at some facilities, household contents can be subjected to other cleaning and decontamination procedures as appropriate, such as controlled exposure to ozone or hydroxyl radicals.

3. Pack the contents, store them until remediation has been completed, and then clean them on-site as they are moved back into the clean residence. While this approach has the benefit of the items being cleaned immediately before their reentry into the remediated structure, it does limit the cleaning methods that can be used. The biggest drawback to this approach is that many of the specialized cleaning procedures mentioned in the previous option are not practical at temporary locations.

Once a decision has been made as to how and where the contents will be cleaned, it is much easier to proceed with packing. In all cases, it is best to view this situation as an opportunity for the clients to de-clutter their lives. Content cleaning gets progressively more expensive as the number of items increases. Also, it is important to educate the client that, from a mold perspective, paper goods are the most difficult to clean properly and, therefore, are the most expensive. But for almost everything else, studies have shown that cleaning contaminated items costs only 20–25% as much as replacing them.

Selection of Cleaning Products/Processes

Regardless of whether it is hard goods or soft goods, a decision needs to be made about the particular cleaning agents that will be employed. While a good HEPA vacuum should always be used to remove loose particles from contents, a damp or wet cleaning method is also recommended for materials from a mold-contaminated structure. One of the primary reasons for this washing is the debate in the industry about what role residual mycotoxins play in the development of adverse health symptoms. Research over the past seven years has shown that some of the more noxious mycotoxins can not only be spread through the air, but when they settle on surfaces they tend to cling to that surface until the attraction is broken through chemical and physical methods. (This means that if there are sporting goods, such as a croquet set, in a mold-contaminated environment you could have a real sticky wicket on your hands!**)

For this reason antimicrobials that are formulated from quaternary ammonium compounds (quats) are often recommended for cleaning contents and surfaces in mold contamination situations. Quats are recommended for mold work because some research suggests that they are better than regular cleaners at removing mycotoxins from surfaces. Nevertheless, the oxidation potential of hydrogen peroxide based cleaners would, theoretically, also work to break that sticky bond between the mycotoxins and the surfaces.

Essential oil cleaners are another frequent choice for mold work. While their effectiveness against microorganisms is well documented, there is little available evidence about their ability to remove mycotoxins. Another class of cleaning products being used for mold remediation are salt-based products. However, once again, there is little available evidence about their ability to remove mycotoxins.

Cleaning Contents May Not Be a “Do It Yourself” Proposition

People who are considering cleaning household contents related to mold contamination situations for the first time rarely think that there is any sort of conundrum associated with the work. The reality is that cleaning these contents can pose a variety of unexpected difficulties and needs to be well thought out.

 

While this article contains a lot of information to digest, it also points out that the cleaning and restoration industry is blessed with a great variety of good products that work well in specific aspects of the mold remediation business. Contractors and occupants just have to choose wisely based on their particular situation. For sensitized individuals, this may mean that what at first appears to be a simple task of cleaning dust and fungal reservoirs from contents is actually something that they should leave to the professionals.

 

Another great source of information is: http://www.epa.gov/mold/.

END OF ARTICLE

 

 

Finally, at the risk of being redundant and providing too much information, we have put together a printable quick-start mold remediation guide and posted it below:

 

COST OF MOLD REMEDIATION

Please bear in mind that mold remediation companies absolutely do not like to post rates. EVER! They want to come to your home or business and "sell" you on the project by exaggerating the severity. We take the opposite approach. Often times, we send you directly to an industrial hygienist for testing, simply based upon the situation you have described. We are interested in helping people, and building a long-term reputation as the company you can rely on for honest answers.  

Mold Remediation Expense Guidelines (In Order of Severity). Please bear in mind that these are only guidelines and every situation is different. Again, EVERY SITUATION IS DIFFERENT. We will not do any remediation until you have assurance that you have addressed the cause of your issue, as we do not want you to waste money with us, for a problem that will reoccur. We have not included the cost of rebuild, or mold testing in these guideline figures. 

1. Small area of mold, less than 10 square feet, no testing necessary. Simple cleanup. Cost: A few hundred dollars.

2. Larger area of mold, borderline over 10 square feet, one room, complete cleaning, no testing necessary. Cost: plus or minus $500.00

3. An even larger area of light mold, 1-3 rooms, over 10 square feet, compete cleaning, no contents cleaned, testing required, no protocol or post-testing required. Cost: Over $1,000.

4. A small house, 1,500 square feet, complete (light) mold infestation, mold visible everywhere but has not eaten INTO the sheetrock, no drywall removal, duct cleaning required, no contents cleaned or discarded. Testing and protocol required, post-testing clearance required. Cost: $2-3/square foot.

5. A small house, 1,500 square feet, full mold infestation, mold visible everywhere, drywall removal required in 25% of the area, suited and respirated technicians required, pretesting, protocol, and post-testing required, duct cleaning required. Cost: $2.50 - $4.00 per square foot. 

6. A larger home, 4,000 square feet, full mold infestation, mold visible everywhere, drywall removal in 50% of the area, suited and respirated technicians required, pretesting, protocol, and post-testing, required, duct cleaning required. Cost: $3.00-$4.00 per square foot. 

7. A larger home, 4,000 square feet, full mold infestation, mold visible everywhere, drywall removal in 50% of the area, suited and respirated technicians required, pretesting, protocol, and post-testing, required, duct cleaning required. Medium DENSITY CONTENTS CLEANING. Cost: $4.00 - $5.00 per square foot depending upon the amount and severity of the contents to be cleaned. 

8. Mold remediation underneath a home. Extensive mold eaten into wood structure. All wood sanded and coated. Suited and possibly forced-air, respirated technicians required. Testing, protocol and post-testing clearance required. $5.00 per square foot plus, for affected area only. Costs could be more depending upon the nature and toxicity of the specific mold being remediated and the danger to the employees. 

9. Small commercial mold remediation. Costs are roughly in line with the various homeowner cases above.

10. Commercial mold remediation requiring lift machines and scaffolding, full mold remediation, large-scale industrial project. Cost: Based upon time and materials at agreed-upon man-hour rates. 

Again, the above is only a guideline. Your situation could be much less expensive, or much more depending upon severity and the man hours required to completely solve your situation. 

 

About ServiceMaster ADVANCED Cleaning & Restoration, The Master of Disaster.

The owner of ServiceMaster Advanced is certified in mold remediation. It is absolutely imperative that you hire someone who is certified and understands both how to remediate mold, and the health consequences of mold. We have done many many residential and commercial mold remediation jobs and we always get a certified industrial hygienist to provide clearance testing.

Based out of Mobile AL and Foley, AL, we serve the entire local area including Mobile, Citronelle, Saraland, Satsuma, Chickasaw, Prichard, Eight Mile, Semmes, Theodore, Grand Bay, Irvington, Bayou La Batre, Dauphin Island, Bay Minette, Loxley, Stapleton, Spanish Fort, Daphne, Lillian, Fairhope, Silver Hill, Foley, Elberta, Seminole, Magnolia Springs, Orange Beach, Perdido Key, Gulf Shores and every community in Mobile and Baldwin Counties in South Alabama; and Pascagoula, Gulfport, Biloxi and every community in Jackson and Harrison Counties in Mississippi. 

Our web site is loaded with informative articles and videos on mold remediation. Please view our site at: http://www.servicemastermobilealabama.com. It will give you a good idea of our standards. Also, please check the EPA guide on mold: http://www.epa.gov/mold/moldguide.htm. You will find that we absolutely adhere to the guidelines in this publication.

When you call us, we will assess your issue, direct you to an independent testing company if necessary, and immediately contain the affected area if necessary. We only know one way to do the job - the right way. 

Remember that YOU AND YOU ALONE, decide who works in your home or business.  YOU decide who can most effectively handle your cleanup, of your home or business.  Tell your insurance provider WHEN YOU FILE YOUR CLAIM that you want SERVICEMASTER ADVANCED, Enterprise number 7027, or call us directly. Make sure that there is no confusion. There are other mitigation companies, and even others with similar sounding names. We are ServiceMaster Advanced, The Master of Disaster. "WE WOULD BE HONORED TO SERVE YOU."  (251) 653-9333, (251) 928-1028, or (251) 943-2230. www.servicemastermobilealabama.comwww.servicemasterbaldwincounty.com