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Mold Removal, Remediation, and Restoration Frequently Asked Questions

Sensing mold in your home or business can be an unsettling discovery. What now? We’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions below to help you understand mold and know what to do next.

Does SERVPRO do mold remediation?

Yes, SERVPRO® handles mold remediation! Some states require special certification and licensing to deal with mold, but there’s likely a SERVPRO location near you that is specially trained to take care of your mold situation.

How long after water damage does mold grow?

Mildew and mold are likely to begin growing within a day or two after a water damage occurs. Mold can develop very quickly, within 24-48 hours, and will continue to grow until its access to a source of water is removed. This is why it’s incredibly important to act quickly when water damage occurs to your property. Waiting too long to fix the damage could result in more problems, like mold.

How much does SERVPRO charge for mold removal?

The cost for mold removal greatly varies, depending on the size of the affected property and its severity. A trained SERVPRO professional will inspect your property and create an estimate for services.

How does SERVPRO remove mold?

After you’ve contacted us regarding your mold issue, we’ll quickly respond and inspect the property carefully for visible signs. We’ll also use a variety of technologies that help us to detect mold or hidden water sources that could be feeding it.

We’ll then begin to remediate the mold with these steps:

  • Mold Containment

    We use various containment procedures to prevent the spread and cross-contamination of mold. Based on the location and severity of damage, or source, local or full-scale containment will be installed to protect unaffected areas and occupants.

    • Air Filtration

      Powerful air filtration equipment is used to capture microscopic mold spores from the air. Air filtration devices (AFDs) or “air scrubbers” and vacuums are equipped with HEPA filtration to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in process.

      • Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials

        Remediating building materials will depend on the materials porosity and its sensitivity to damage. Porous materials affected by mold, like drywall and insulation, are highly susceptible to damage and will be carefully removed and disposed. 

        • Cleaning

          Our professionals HEPA vacuum and clean the structural elements that are affected by mold such as flooring, framing, fixtures, HVAC and mechanical systems. Other items may also require attention after a mold infestation, including curtains, furniture and important documents.

          • Restoration

            Depending on the severity of the damage, some building materials may be removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms.

            How much does SERVPRO charge for mold inspection?

            SERVPRO franchises are locally owned and operated. Mold inspection could be free to a nominal fee, depending on the location near you. Reach out to the closest SERVPRO to you and they’ll be able to quickly provide information about mold inspection fees.

            What is involved with mold remediation?

            While there is a lot involved with safely cleaning up mold, the main goal is to remove the water source aiding the mold. Then, remove the mold, and clean and restore any property affected.

            Can you clean up mold yourself?

            It is not recommended that you try to clean mold yourself, but instead have it handled by professionals who have been trained to do so. You can try to determine the water source that is feeding the mold growth and stop or turn off that source. However, be sure not to disturb the mold in doing so.

            It’s also a good idea to turn off your HVAC system until a professional can inspect and diagnose your mold issue. Keeping the fans running could spread mold spores and increase damage to your property.

            Do I really need mold remediation?

            Finding mold in your home or business can be troubling, and it’s natural to want to get rid of it fast. Because mold spreads fast and can sometimes be inconspicuous, it’s best practice to call in professionals like SERVPRO to diagnose and address the mold issue for you.

            What is black mold?

            The “black mold” you’ve probably heard about in recent years as being dangerous is stachybotrys chartarum. According to The Centers for Disease Control, this mold is usually greenish-black and can grow on material with a high cellulose content – fiberboard, gypsum board and paper. Growth occurs when there is moisture from water damage or flooding. As with all mold, a black mold needs a water source to grow.

            Sensational news reports also identify stachybotrys chartarum as “toxic mold” due to correlation between its presence and symptoms of those exposed to it. As with all mold, be cautious to avoid contact or further spread. Contact SERVPRO for assistance.

            Can I remove black mold myself?

            No, it is not recommended that you try to clean mold yourself, but instead have it handled by professionals who have been trained to do so.

            How does mold spread in the house?

            Mold frequently shows up after a water damage or flood situation in a home. The increase in moisture content of materials makes them ripe for mold inhabitation.

            Mold spreads by releasing its spores into the air. These spores can easily be distributed throughout a home through fans, the HVAC system, or from people or pets who come into contact with the spores. This is why it is very important not to disturb mold, and keep the area contained until a professional can assess and take care of the situation.

            Can you stay in your house during mold remediation?

            Depending on the severity of the mold in your home, it is sometimes possible to remain in the home during remediation. One of the first things SERVPRO does before beginning remediation work is to erect containment around the affected area so that it is isolated and to limit cross-contamination in areas not affected.

            How long does mold remediation last?

            The time it takes to remediate mold greatly depends on the size of area affected, and the severity of damage. Mold remediation projects might take anywhere from a day to more than a week to get the area clean and ready for any repairs that may follow.

            How long do mold spores stay in the air after cleaning?

            Mold spores are never completely removed from the air, as mold is naturally occurring and is present everywhere, indoors and outdoors. However, in order for mold spores to take hold and spread, it needs a source of moisture and food, otherwise mold spores won’t grow.

            Being sure that any water damage is repaired, and keeping the humidity between 30 and 50 percent, will help ensure mold doesn’t grow in your home or business.

            Can mold cause long term health problems?

            Mold can produce allergens, irritants or other health effects that could affect some people. According to the CDC, there are very few reports that toxigenic molds (those that produce mycotoxins) cause severe issues, and the link has not yet been proven. However, in 2004 the Institute of Medicine found there was sufficient evidence to link indoor exposure to mold with upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough, and wheezing, in otherwise healthy people.

            It is best to be cautious around any mold, limit your exposure, and contact a professional who is trained in mold remediation to handle the situation for you.

            What happens when mold spores are disturbed?

            When mold spores are disturbed, their spores are further released into the air and can be distributed through a home or business. If those airborne spores find the food and water they need, a colony can begin to grow.

            When should I be worried about mold?

            Any discovery of mold should be assessed by a professional.

            What are mold spores?

            Mold spores are microscopic, multicellular organisms. They are a fungus that can be found indoors or outdoors. Mold spores can float in the air but will not grow into colonies of spores without moisture present.

            How is mold detected?

            Mold can often be detected by its musty odor. When mold is suspected, a visual inspection should take place, including inconspicuous areas, like inside the HVAC system. Wherever damp conditions exist, mold is a possibility. If mold cannot be seen, but the musty odor is present, it’s possible that the mold contamination could be hidden. Technology such as moisture detectors and boroscopes may be used by professionals to help detect the mold location.

            Mold testing by an agency certified to do so may be employed in extensive cases.

            What health problems can mold cause?

            Mold can produce allergens, irritants or other health effects that could affect some people. According to the CDC, there are very few reports that toxigenic molds (those that produce mycotoxins) cause severe issues, and the link has not yet been proven. However, in 2004 the Institute of Medicine found there was sufficient evidence to link indoor exposure to mold with upper respiratory tract symptom, cough, and wheezing in otherwise healthy people.

            It is best to be cautious around any mold, limit your exposure, and contact a professional who is trained in mold remediation to handle the situation for you.

            Unless otherwise noted, each use of "SERVPRO," “us,” “we,” or “our” throughout servpro.com collectively refers to both the SERVPRO brand and the Servpro Franchise System, which is made up exclusively of independently owned and operated franchise locations.

            *#1 Choice in cleanup & restoration based on Commercial and Residential Attitude & Usage Tracking studies. Polling 816 commercial business decision-makers and 1,550 homeowner decision-makers on first choice for future needs related to cleanup & restoration work. Studies conducted by C&R Research: Oct 2019 and Decision Analyst: Oct 2019.

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