Effective Mold Removal, Mold Remediation, Mold Abatement, Techniques and Tips
Whether you do your own mold removal and remediation or hire professional mold removal and remediation services from a State of Texas licensed Mold Contractor or Licensed Mold Remediator, here are the necessary steps to completely and safely remove mold problems and contamination from your home, condominium, office, rental apartments or other real estate property.
A Certified Texas Licensed Mold Inspector is a mold professional specially trained and certified in environmental testing for detection of toxic mold, fungi, and fungal contamination for your:
- Commercial Building
Mold Inspection Equipment
The mold fungus expert home inspector utilizes high-tech inspection devices such as:
- Hidden Moisture Meter [to find water problems hidden inside walls, ceilings, and floors]
- Fiber Optics Borescope [to look inside walls and ceilings and heating/cooling ducts for mold infestation]
- Timed Mold Culture Plate Impactor ( to find a specific type of mold)
- Air Sampling Pump & Cassettes
- Hygrometer [to check for the high-level humidity that mold can grow in]
- Thermal Image Camera to find hidden mold without damaging drywall
Mold Remediation Companies
The Journal wrote an article reporting many mold remediators and mold contractors are poorly-trained and take job shortcuts and/or engage in fraud.
- Most mold remediation companies leave home or building in worse shape mold-wise after alleged mold remediation than before the mold work was ever done.
- How can this be? By doing ineffective work that does not find all of the hidden molds, remove all of the hidden Mold, and kill and remove all Mold in existence in a home or building.
- In addition, due to a lack of proper mold containment procedures, airborne mold spores from one mold infestation location are spread throughout the home or building to Mold cross-contaminate the entire home or building.
Required Remediation Recommendations
Do not use a Ozone Air Purifier/Ozone Generator to kill Mold. It is ineffective in killing Mold. Ozone can only kill what it comes into contact with.
Ozone cannot get at, and thus cannot kill, mold growing INSIDE
- Upholstered Furniture
- Wall Cavities
- Ceiling Cavities
- Floor Cavities
Besides being ineffective at killing hidden Mold [the worst type], ozone readily damages all rubber and plastic parts it comes into contacts with, such as rubber and plastic components of
- All Types Exposed Electric Lines
- Extension Cords
- HVAC Controls
Ozone is also unhealthy to humans, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency. For more information on the ineffectiveness of Ozone and the Ozone Air Purifier to kill Mold and other indoor air contaminants, visit: Federal Trade Commission and the Court of Appeals.
Find and locate all points of mold contamination in your home, condominium, office, apartments, or building by a mold inspection and mold testing (with laboratory analysis by a Texas Accredited Lab)
- A mold inspector will select locations where mold is visible
- Test Air quality in each room of your home or other building, attic, crawl space, basement, and the outward airflow from each heating/cooling duct register
Cooling Coil Drip Pans
When humid air passes over chilled cooling coils, water condenses and drips through the coils into a collection pan, from which it continuously drains.
Problems with these systems may occur when this water collects and becomes stagnant either on the coils or in the drip pan. When standing water is present, a biofilm will develop. This biofilm is composed
- Slimy Matrix
Other organisms such as amoebae and algae may also occupy this comfortable growth site, feeding off the accumulated organic material.
Because this is a slimy layer, one might think that the organisms are unlikely to ever become airborne.
Organisms are released into the water, and the drops falling from the cooling coil or wind from the fans create bubbles, each of which contains some of these organisms.
The bubbles actually scavenge particles (including bacteria and spores) so that the concentration in the bubbles is higher than that in the water itself.
Once in the air, these bubbles dry down into droplet nuclei and are readily transported downstream into the ventilation system. In addition to these particles, the organisms growing in the biofilms produce volatile organic compounds (odors) that are readily carried with the ventilation air into the occupied space.
Another problem that water in drip pans may cause results from the locally high relative humidity near the drip pan and the fact that the fast-moving air stream may pick up liquid droplets that impact downstream surfaces.
The combination of high local humidity and deposition of droplets may be enough to allow fungal growth on the surfaces.
What can be done about these problems?
- First, all drip pans should drain continuously and should never contain standing water. This means that the drain must be the lowest point in the drip pan and be connected to drain plumbing.
- Second, systems should be operated such that the coils are continuously washed by water so that biofilms are slow to develop. There is some evidence that germicidal ultraviolet light will reduce the chances of growth on cooling coils.
- Third, porous insulation should be avoided close to cooling coils. It should be noted. However, that water droplets will not travel far before evaporating, so that only the first few feet of ventilation system surfaces are at risk of becoming wet.
- Fourth, biocides will not fix the problem of non-draining drip pans. Organisms embedded in biofilms are relatively resistant to biocides and continue to grow and produce odoriferous compounds. Also, biocides are likely to enter the ventilation air and be delivered to occupant breathing zones.
The Coil Dripping Pan Problem information is taken from: “Section 2 Cooling Coil Drip Pans”, Environmental Reporter, EMLab. DEC 03/JAN 04
Hire a Mold Expert
In areas that have experienced flooding, water leaks, or roof leaks, inspect and test inside each affected wall, the ceiling above the ceiling, the floor, and beneath the floor of each room utilizing a borescope inspection device, a hidden moisture meter, and do-it-yourself mold test kits (not recommended) see Cheap Mold Testing
**A professional mold inspector will recommend a mold protocol to fix the problem, and recommend proper containment, personal protection equipment, and a mold clearance after the remediation is completed.
No guessing games!
What a Mold Inspector Looks For:
- HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning) equipment, air handlers, and ducts
- A mold inspector may take a mold air sample of heating/cooling duct register’s outward airflow
Locate all sources of mold-causing water intrusion
- Flooded areas
- Recurring flood causes, and sources, other flooding problems
- Water Leaks,
- Broken Water Pipes
- Leaky Roofs
- Exterior Wall Intrusion
- Defective Air-Conditioning Condensation Lines
- Excessive Humidity – e.g., above 50 to 60%)
Before beginning to work in the mold-afflicted areas, contain the moldy work area (and contain the mold spores that will release into the air by opening up mold-contaminated areas) using wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling plastic sheeting as containment walls.
Use six mils thick, clear plastic sheeting that you can buy at a hardware store or home improvement center.
While working inside the mold containment area to remove Mold, always wear personal protective gear, including when you spray the EPA-registered fungicide Coverage Plus and EPA-registered Tim-bor [a wood preservative for the protection and treatment of lumber against fungal decay and wood-destroying insects] that are discussed in paragraph down below.
Personal Protection Equipment
- Tyvek protective bio-hazard suit
- Gloves: either disposable latex or good work gloves
- One-piece, full face breathing respirator mask using an organic vapor cartridge filtration, available from your local safety store, Home Depot, Lowe’s, and other home centers and hardware stores. Alternatively (but less comfortable in your ease of breathing), you can use hole-free Chem-Splash eye goggles ($4) along with a separate breathing mask with cartridge filters ($30) from the same stores.
- Order a custom-fitted full-face breathing mask by contacting your local 3M branch. Custom-fitted full face masks do a better job of keeping mold spores from entering inside the mask [and therefore into your body]
*If you have a beard, shave it off prior to wearing a full face mask breathing respirator to obtain a tighter fit to your face to help keep mold stores from entering inside the mask and your body.
Mold Remediation Equipment
Inside the mold containment area, use a
- Large fan in the window to exhaust air directly outside
- Air Scrubber equipped with HEPA filtration on a continuous basis. It will exhaust airborne mold spores and remediation-caused dust.
- For large jobs use an industrial HEPA Scrubbing machine with filter having an attached vinyl, flexible hose directly venting the exhaust airflow directly to the outdoors.
Mold Remediation Air Decontamination
- Make sure to exhaust more air to the outside than entering the containment area to create negative air pressure. (You know you have negative air pressure when the plastic containment sheets are being sucked inward toward the work area rather than bulging outward away from the work area.)
- Inside the mold containment area, use large, industrial-type of HEPA air filters to continually remove mold spores from the air. You can usually rent such filter equipment (buy new filters, of course) from a local construction equipment or tool rental agency.
- Inside the mold containment area, use high capacity dehumidifiers to dry out completely the moldy area being remediated.
- Each time you see visible Mold, spray one or two wet sprayings of the EPA-registered mold fungicide to kill existing mold growth.
Coverage Plus disinfectant is one of the strongest possible mold killers. Coverage Plus is sold in one gallon of concentrate, which you can dilute [mix with distilled water] to 32 [higher concentration] to 128 [lower concentration] gallons of fungicidal spray. Each gallon of diluted spray will be enough for approximately one wet spraying of 200 square feet.
Do NOT use chlorine bleach to kill Mold or disinfect moldy areas. Because it’s NOT the most effective or lasting killer of mold and mold spores. On most porous, cellulose building materials such as
- wood timbers
Bleach will change the color of the materials, and leave a chalky residue.
Mold and can even slow down mold growth for about three weeks. Please note that a recent study has found that bleach can actually kill Mold sitting on hard surfaces [such as ceramic floor and wall tile, or a Formica kitchen counter, or on the steel skin of an appliance].
Chlorine Bleach is ineffective in killing Mold for four reasons:
- It is too diluted and thus too weak to permanently kill Mold unless the Mold is simply sitting on top of a hard surface.
- What little killing power chlorine bleach does have is diminished significantly as the bleach sits in warehouses and on grocery store shelves or inside your home or business [50% loss in killing power in just the first 90 days inside a never opened jug or container] chlorine constantly escapes through the plastic walls of its containers.
- It is ion structure prevents chlorine from penetrating into porous materials such as drywall and wood— It just stays on the outside surface, whereas Mold has enzyme roots growing inside the porous construction materials.—- and
- Chlorine Bleach is NOT registered with the EPA as a disinfectant to kill Mold. You can verify that important fact yourself when you are unable to find an EPA registration number for killing Mold on the label of any brand of chlorine bleach.
After killing all visible Mold, your next step is to clean off as much surface mold as you can. A good first step to clean off as much surface and building material mold as possible is to use a cleaner such as trisodium phosphate (TSP) to clean moldy surfaces or building materials.
You can buy TSP at a hardware, paint, or building supply store; it is not costly. Wear rubber gloves to protect your hands and follow the directions on the TSP package for mixing the cleaner with water before you clean. After you clean with TSP, let the surface dry.
- Remove and safely discard all mold-contaminated building materials (such as drywall and insulation) in doubled-up bags (double bagging).
- Clean out and remove all Mold from the mold-infested areas. All wood beams, timbers, and other lumber you wish to save the need to be totally cleaned.
- Mold growth by a combination of a power planer, power grinder with wire brush attachment, and power. If you cannot get rid of Mold that has grown too deep into the wood to remove by the above methods, you will need to replace such moldy lumber with new, mold-free lumber that you have inspected to be mold-free and which has been pre-treated with one or two wet sprayings of Tim-bor.
Re-spray twice the cleaned out area with a wet coating of Coverage Plus [with natural drying in between all sprayings] to make sure that there are no remaining dormant or live mold spores or mold growth.
After the second spraying of Coverage Plus has dried, spray two wet coatings of Tim-bor [an EPA-registered wood preservative for the protection and treatment of lumber against fungal decay and wood-destroying insects].
Nisus Corporation, the manufacturer of Tim-bor, reports the following about Tim-bor on its corporate website at
Formulated with a concern for the environment, Tim-bor is used for the control of
- Carpenter Ants
- Dry Wood Termites
- Wood Decay Fungi
- Wood-Boring Beetles
Why use Timbor?
- As a water-soluble borate powder, Tim-bor diffuses into the wood and acts as a wood insecticide, fungicide, and preservative.
- Tim-bor won’t break down over time like most organic compounds, therefore offering longer-lasting protection. Best of all, Tim-bor is easy to mix, virtually odorless, and has no known resistance.”
- Tim-bor is both highly effective and low-cost—you dilute 1 pound of Tim-bor powder into 1 and 1/2 gallons [1.5 gallons] of distilled water to spray onto the wood that you wish to protect against fungal decay and wood-destroying insects.
- Because you can also pressure inject Tim-bor INTO wood timbers to protect the timbers, Tim-bor can do a really good job in protecting timbers. Tim-bor can also be foamed into cavities of walls, ceilings, and floors.
- Tim-bor is a boron-based product. The use of boron-based timber preservatives is endorsed by the Association of Environment Conscious Building (AECB): “Where treatment [of wood] is unavoidable, we suggest a boron-based treatment.
Inorganic borate offers the least risk to human health, is a naturally occurring mineral, and has a long history of use.” (Source, AECB Yearbook 1999).
Hire A Mold Inspection Professional
- Hire a mold inspector professional
- Laboratory Mold Testing Analysis
- Test all of the cleaned out areas
Hire a mold expert after the remediation. A inspection ensures that the areas are now mold-free. There are small amounts of everyday molds that are everywhere in mold spore form.
****Do this prior to rebuilding cleaned out areas with new building materials.
Remove Mold from all personal property and home furnishings that have been exposed to Mold in your home or other real estate property by following the item-by-item.
Remove and replace all mold-contaminated equipment in worse case scenarios:
- HVAC System
- Air Handlers
- Remove the Mold from inside the existing HVAC
- Treat the heating/cooling equipment and ducts with heavy fogging from a fogging machine that mists diluted mold killer to existing kill mold spores and mold growth.
- Close in the mold-remediated area with mold-free, new building materials that you have carefully inspected to be mold-free and that have been pre-treated by spraying with Tim-bor.
Permanent, routine building maintenance, mold maintenance, besides a good cleaning Home or building in its entirety including:
- Cooling System/ Air Ducts
- Sewer Pipes
Is required after the completion of mold remediation to prevent the re-occurrence of mold infestation problems. A mold-safe home or building is not a one-time effort on your part.
IAQ Environmental is an unbiased environmental organization that specializes in mold inspection and testing for our client’s best interest. We do not do any mold clean-up or remediation; however, we write the remediation company’s protocol.
Our job is essential for proper containment, safety, sanitation, and mold clearance. Our mold inspectors have construction experience, and in some cases, offer waterproofing solutions in our protocol for bathrooms and kitchens. We make sure the job is correct, and we back it up with laboratory test results.