Dealing with Remediation for Occupants….
When a remediation needs to take place, (that is removing mold and bacteria from a home) contaminated building materials such as drywall, carpet, insulation and more are removed and disposed of by established industry protocol. However, much more usually needs to be done which is not always given proper attention except in the reports I provide when doing these inspections. I can say this since I have worked with several restoration companies where these types of reports are not done before a remediation that provides additional needed direction.
When an area, or several, in a house have moisture for a length of time ( this means over a week in most cases) then mold and dangerous bacteria are growing and the longer the moisture is there the worse it gets. As this occurs the mold and bacteria that grow can spread through the rest of the home via the air ducts which basically contaminates the entire home making it an UNHEALTHY ENVIRONMENT and Unhabitable per code. Any damp conditions where the moisture has been present for a length of time is considered a HEALTH HAZARD per the CDC. As a result, additional work of decontamination needs to be performed for the rest of the home in addition to the contained areas where a remediation is taking place by a certified company. Below are some basic things that would need to be done.
- Use an air purifier equipped with a hepa filter in all other rooms of the home.
- Have air ducts cleaned using the UV light option as this will eliminate (or render harmless) all bacteria present.
- Clean all surfaces in the home (i.e. walls, ceilings, countertops, etc.) with an antimicrobial agent).
- Have all clothing cleaned or laundered.
- All other objects in the home (i.e. furniture, toys–everything) needs to be (as applicable) hepa vacuumed and sanitized (such as using an antimicrobial agent).
In many cases insurance can pay for this but they would need such a report by a CMC (Certified Microbial Consultant) or CIH (Certified Industrial Hygienist) that have the credentials to direct/recommend this. These 2 Certifications are the highest professional credentials in the industry. FYI: A CMC (Certified Microbial Consultant) is the highest credential in the water damage/mold industry for evaluating water/mold situations. A CIH (Certified Industrial Hygienist) is credentialed to evaluate the broad area of Occupational Health and Safety where the CMC deals with microbial growth more specifically.
Additionally, there is the cost of temporarily relocating while the work is being done. For owners, homeowners’ insurance can pay for this. For renters, by law your landlord has to put you up in a place until the work is done. Of course, not all landlords want or can afford to do this but that is also what their insurance is for, if it is a covered claim. In such cases renters insurance can foot the bill or it may be best to move out entirely depending on your situation.
Steve Mullins (i.e. Mold Detector)
CMC (Certified Microbial Consultant)
Moisture and Mold Detection, Inc.