Mold is the most common home contaminate. About 1 in 5 people are allergic to mold, but anyone who is exposed to mold can experience allergy-like symptoms: congestion, itchy or watery eyes, coughing, and headaches, just to name a few.
Regular mold inspections will help you keep tabs on the mold situation in your home, and there are countless things you can do to prevent future mold growth.
But when mold gets out of hand and you need remediation services, choosing the right one can be confusing. Pure Maintenance of Central Illinois is sharing information on mold remediation methods in our latest blog series. We’ll describe two mold remediation methods here — from opposite ends of the spectrum —including their advantages, disadvantages and which one we recommend.
Manual Mold Remediation
Manually removing mold from surfaces is hard work, and it’s not 100% effective. It involves scrubbing walls, floors or tile — anywhere mold has taken hold. Mold chooses tight spots and hidden locations, so not only is manual mold removal physically taxing, it’s probably going to be frustrating and uncomfortable, too.
And after you have thoroughly cleaned the area of all living mold, there still may be stains that are impossible to get rid of.
Still, some homeowners choose manual methods like the ones below for mold removal.
Hand scrubbing was once the only method for mold remediation. It is still the least expensive but remains the most time consuming and labor intensive.
Here are the minimal steps for mild cases of mold remediation:
- Secure the area so mold spores don’t spread throughout your home
- Don proper attire so that mold doesn’t affect your eyes, skin, or respiratory system
- Finally, the cleaning can begin. Scrub the mold-affected area vigorously with antibacterial soap, bleach cleaner, or vinegar to kill the mold.
- Clean up the area by rinsing it and running dehumidifiers to remove excess moisture that could lead to re-infestation.
Although it’s hard work, hand scrubbing mold is fairly straightforward work, so homeowners often think they can handle it themselves. What they don’t realize is how easily mold can spread throughout their homes if it isn’t handled correctly.
Biocides are often used in conjunction with hand scrubbing in order to kill any remaining live mold. Examples include commercial products specifically for mold as well as household products like hydrogen peroxide and chlorine bleach. Biocides are typically sprayed into crevices and other areas that hand scrubbing can’t reach.
While these products are effective in killing mold spores, they don’t always reach the part of the organism that causes allergic reactions.
In addition, biocides are technically classified as pesticides by the EPA. The use of bleach and pesticides in household cleaning is generally discouraged by the EPA and OSHA since these chemicals are known to release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air. VOCs can be just as harmful to your respiratory system as mold.
Dry Fogging Mold Remediation
Dry fogging is form of media blasting that removes significant amounts of mold. Dry fogging uses frozen dry ice particles which act as tiny scrubbers that remove mold from non-porous and semi-porous surfaces. The dry ice evaporates, leaving no particles behind.
Dry fogging isn’t a perfect solution for mold removal. It can remove exterior layers of soft surfaces like wood, so your mold removal team needs to be experienced in this technique so as not to damage your home.
Of course, there are times when you may actually want to remove exterior layers, like when mold stains cover visible areas of your home. Dry fogging can remove the surface layer of many materials, taking the mold stains along with it.
Another drawback of dry fogging is that it is more expensive than hand scrubbing. The equipment and blasting materials needed are rare, so not many mold removal companies specialize in this type of remediation.
However, it provides more effective and consistent results than hand scrubbing.
Which Mold Remediation Service is Best?
While no mold removal method is perfect, dry fogging is decidedly better for homeowners, mold removal teams and the homes where mold grows.
Hand scrubbing and the use of biocides can be very effective against mold, but they are a lot of work. They also increase the health risks of the person handling the removal and the inhabitants of the home.
Biocides come with their own set of risks, introducing harsh chemicals into a home. For a lot of people, this method of mold removal simply replaces one respiratory trigger with another.
These manual methods of mold removal loosen live mold spores which can be breathed in and spread throughout a home within days.
Unlike these mold remediation methods, dry fogging is safer for mold pros and homeowners.
Here are a few more advantages of dry fogging:
- Requires less cleanup
- More effective mold removal in small spaces
- Less risky for household surfaces since it is less abrasive than other media blasting techniques.
- Reduces mold remediation time by up to half
For these reasons, Pure Maintenance of Central Illinois is proud to provide dry fogging mold remediation throughout Champaign Illinois and surrounding areas, including Urbana, Peoria and more! Got mold? Give us a call for an on-site mold test to determine the extent of contamination and possible solutions.