Mold Remediation

Got Mold? Here Are Mold Do’s & Don’ts for Business Professionals

 Return

Dealing with mold as a business professional versus a homeowner is a little different.  Realtors, lenders, property managers, custodial staff, school administrators and employers often have to deal mold concerns.   Over the last several months, SRP has been contacted by several business professionals to assess mold and water damage within a property.   Some have no clue what to do.  When in doubt, trust a professional.

Finding mold within a property creates fear and worry for buyers/sellers, tenants/landlords and business owners/employees. The presence of excessive mold is indicative of a water intrusion event, which could create liability, expose inhabitants to harmful microbes and potentially affect the property integrity and value.

Read More About Water Damage Clean-Up for Businesses

Addressing mold issues and concerns creates and open and honest relationship between the buyer and seller, the tenant and landlord, the employee and employer, which helps to ensure a worry-free experience.

Here are a few tips on what to do and not to do if mold is found within a property.

DO:

  • Disclose the Presence of Mold, Bacteria and Water Damage to the Occupants.
  • Contact a Licensed or Professional Mold Inspector to Conduct a Mold Assessment.  There are certain guidelines schools and commercial buildings must follow.
  • Hire a Licensed Mold Remediation Contractor to Properly Remove the Mold and Clean the Area.
  • Address the Source of the Moisture and Mold Immediately.  Common Sources Include Plumbing Fixtures, HVAC Systems, Roof or Window Leaks or Lack of Ventilation in the Kitchen/Bathroom.

DON’T:

  • Touch Mold or Moldy Items With Bare Hands.
  • Breathe in Mold or Mold Spores.
  • Attempt to Remove the Mold or Clean the Area Yourself.
  • Allow Maintenance Crews to Remove the Mold or Clean the Area. This Exposes Your Employees to Harmful Fungi and Bacteria.
  • Paint Over the Mold.  The Mold Will Continue Grow.
  • Provide Exposure or Medical Opinions to Occupants.

Read More About How to Deal With Water Damage
Read More About What To Do After a Flood

MORE ABOUT MOLD

Floodwater or stagnant water could contain thousands of colonies of harmful bacteria. Mold can begin to grow within 24 hours of water damage and on virtually any surface, as long as moisture or water, oxygen, and an organic source are present.

Mold spores continually float through the indoor and outdoor air.  Visible or hidden molds are possible in areas like your HVAC system. Furthermore, visible mold growth on the drywall is a likely indicator of more mold and bacteria inside the wall cavity.

Mold will gradually damage building materials and furnishings. If left unchecked, mold can eventually cause structural damage to a wood framed building, weakening floors and walls as it feeds on moist wooden structural members. If you suspect that mold has damaged building integrity, consult a structural engineer or other professional.

Don’t endanger your family or employees to the hazards of mold, bacteria or other microbes. When it comes to serious mold and bacteria problems, Trust the experts. SRP has certified industrial hygienists and toxicologists on staff that have been helping clients and homeowners for over 20 years.

What Do You Do After A Flood? Consult With Mold Professionals.

 Return

Once the rain is gone and the flooding has receded, you are left with traces of contaminated water in your home or office. The Ark-La-Tex has unfortunately had its fair share of flooding over the last year. Flood damage to your home or business is devastating and an unexpected task to deal with.

Any outside water source that enters your home or business contains potentially harmful bacteria, including animal or human waste.   Floodwater often contains infectious organisms, including intestinal bacteria such as E. coli, Salmonella, and Shigella; Hepatitis A Virus; and agents of typhoid, paratyphoid and tetanus. (Source: www.osha.gov) Additionally, water damaged areas promote mold growth. Mold spores can cause allergy-like symptoms, respiratory problems and even infections.

So what do you do next?

Contact an environmental consultant. Fungi, or more commonly mold, can begin to grow within 24-48 hours following a water intrusion event. With floodwater damage, it is recommended to contact a professional to conduct a fungal and bacterial assessment.   Trained environmental consultants will be able to provide a full environmental assessment of the mold and bacterial growth, including hidden mold or potential contaminants within the HVAC system. A visual inspection is conducted and if necessary, mold and bacteria samples are taken. The environmental consultant will be able to interpret the results and develop a protocol with procedures needed to properly remove the mold and bacteria.

Consult with a mold remediation contractor. The environmental consultant may be able to assist you in contacting a contractor. Regardless, there are a few things you should know. In Louisiana, a contractor who performs the mold removal cannot take mold samples of the home or building. Before hiring a contractor, ask for references and verify that he or she is a licensed mold remediation contractor for state of Louisiana.   A written contract should also be obtained prior to having any work performed.

Air out the area.  You can initially begin to air out the area by opening up windows and doors to allow air circulation. However, this task will most likely be done by the contractor.  The contractor will be able to set up dehumidifiers to wick moisture out of the damaged materials and then remove damaged materials.

Disinfect any salvageable personal items. Once it is safe to enter the home or business, you can begin to remove personal items. It is recommended to thoroughly wash and disinfect the items. This will help prevent exposing you and your family or employees to fungi or bacteria from the floodwater. Keep in mind porous materials like rugs or books may not be salvageable.  Furniture can be a challenge because it may be difficult to thoroughly clean inside the cushions. For clothing, follow manufacturers washing instructions.

Trust the Professionals. Many homeowners want to clean and remove mold or damaged materials themselves. However, for the health and safety of your family or employees, it is best to allow the professionals to clean and properly remove the mold and bacteria. The environmental consultants and mold contractors have the experience and training needed to perform disaster restoration services.

We understand that dealing with a flooded home or office can be stressful and overwhelming. SRP Environmental has been providing environmental consulting, including mold assessments, for the Shreveport and Bossier City area for over 20 years.  If you have questions about what to do or would like to schedule a consultation, contact us at (318) 222-2364. Visit us online to view a full list of our services.