Given that mold growth is dangerous to your health, anyone who has encountered mold or mildew in their office or warehouse, will need to consider commercial mold removal services.
Commercial mold remediation involves the “removal, cleaning, sanitizing… or other treatment” of mold or moldy items. Commercial mold remediation is when this clean up is done on a large scale by specially trained and qualified professionals.
In this guide, we run you through the basics of commercial mold remediation, including the equipment and products used, the qualifications your mold remediators should have, the guidelines for remediating different mold growths, and how much commercial mold remediation will cost you.
When faced with an invasion of mold or mildew, it can be tempting to call up the closest mold remediator and have them fix the issue for you. After all, mold is dangerous, isn’t it?
In large amounts, mold can certainly pose a danger to your health, particularly if you suffer from asthma or a mold allergy. Whether or not the mold in your home, school, or office is likely to be harmful and require commercial mold remediation will depend on the size of the mold growth and the type of mold that is growing.
The size of your mold growth
The general guidelines from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) state that if a mold growth measures more than ten square feet – approximately 3 feet by 3 feet – then you will need to call in professional commercial remediators.
If you suspect that your air ducts or air conditioning systems are afflicted with mold, then you can call in professional mold remediators to test for mold growth. If it is proven that mold is growing in these key air circulation systems, then you will need to have them professionally cleaned and remediated.
If you have a mold issue in a school, office, or other commercial building, the same ten square feet guidance applies. Given the increased risk to public health with mold growth in these buildings, however, it may be advisable to seek guidance from professional commercial mold remediators anyway.
The type of mold
When it comes to testing for the type of mold you have growing in your home, school, or office, it can be almost impossible to definitively categorize and identify one mold type from another.
Not only do most molds resemble each other closely when viewed with the naked eye, but many molds can differ in color, size, and texture within the same species. For instance, the infamous toxic black mold is not in fact black, but rather has a greenish-black hue that could prove misleading and potentially dangerous.
The only way to be certain of the identity of any type of mold is through a laboratory test. Many professional mold remediators will organize this testing for you as part of their services.
What is commercial mold testing?
Commercial mold testing is a comprehensive service that is usually conducted as part of any commercial mold remediation project. It goes far beyond simply testing for and identifying certain types of mold, and also includes testing for the location and extent of any mold infestation.
Although some mold growths might be easy to spot and smell, particularly if they are in highly frequented, open areas of your home, school, or office, other mold growths are much more difficult to locate. If you have mold growth behind drywall, underneath carpet, or in an attic or crawl space, it can go unnoticed for quite some time.
Commercial mold remediators will check all these areas of your building thoroughly if they suspect that you have a serious mold invasion in these hard-to-reach areas. These comprehensive inspections can take an entire day or even longer, depending on the size of your property.
Once the commercial mold remediators have identified the location of your mold growths, they will be able to determine the size and extent of these growths. This can be done through both a visual assessment and by testing the air for a mold spore count.
A mold spore count relates to the number of spores per square meter of air. While a mold spore count of 3000 spores per square meter is usually the point at which issues arise with most types of mold, other types of mold such as toxic black mold are considered dangerous in much lower quantities – even as low as 50 spores per square meter!
Although it is not strictly necessary, commercial mold remediators can also test for the type of mold you have growing on your property. The official guidance from the EPA states that any visible mold growths should be removed, regardless of type. Sometimes a commercial mold remediator will test for the type of mold in order to understand the best and safest remediation process.
Testing for mold type involves taking a physical sample and sending it to a specialized lab for identification. You can always ask your professional remediator for the results of these lab tests, especially if you think you have a recurring, stubborn mold problem.
What qualifications or certifications do commercial mold remediators need to have?
Although it is not legally required by every state, there are nationwide training and certifications available for commercial mold remediators.
The National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors offers several certifications and training, from certifications for mold assessors and workers to training for environmental consultants. It is even possible to become certified in specific, highly specialized types of mold remediation, including such things as contaminated drywall assessment and remediation, and biocide application.
The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification has also developed its own standalone certification for professional commercial mold remediators. Called the Mold Removal Specialist certification, this wide-ranging certification endorses mold remediators across a wide range of skills and capabilities. Some of these include the performance of mold remediation for both buildings and contents, containment protocols, principles of health and safety, and comprehensive knowledge of legal protocols and other relevant legislation.
Before you engage a professional commercial mold remediator, check what certification and licensing are required by your state. Even if your state does not require mold remediators to hold any specifi