Mold is mold, no matter where you find it or how severe the issue is.
It can cause breathing problems, skin irritations, and headaches, not to mention that it’s unattractive and gives the appearance that your home is not clean. A clean home can develop mold just like a dirty one, but that probably won’t make you feel any better if you see those green, blueish or black dots starting to pop up.
The difference between mold removal vs. mold remediation, however, gets a little more complicated.
You may hear these two words used interchangeably, as most people don’t even realize there’s a difference. But if you are working with a professional mold removal company, they will use the terms to refer to different services. Depending on where the mold is, what stage it is in, and what type of mold is present, your mold specialist may recommend either mold removal or mold remediation to address your current issue.
Do I Need Mold Removal or Mold Remediation?
When you discover mold in your home or business, you need to deal with it right away. In its earliest stages, mold is easy to remove, especially on plastic, vinyl and other non-porous surfaces. But if you don’t catch it early enough, mold can develop deep roots that penetrate into the pores of tile, grout, wood, drywall and concrete.
So which service is best, mold removal or remediation?
Here’s a rundown of each service to help you understand the difference.
Mold removal is essentially a thorough cleaning of the mold-infested area. This removes mold spores so the colony cannot spread. It is a good remedy for small amounts of mold, but anything larger than a 10-square-foot area should only be cleaned by a professional.
Without really knowing it, mold removal is what homeowners do when they scrub mold with household cleaners, bleach or vinegar. Removing the multiplying mold spores stops the life cycle so the colony stops growing in the given area.
If you do choose to remove mold yourself, you need to do a few things first:
- Fix the moisture problem – If there is a leak or a humidity problem in your home, you need to have it repaired. Otherwise, you’ll keep having mold problems because of the excess moisture in your home.
- Test the mold – Testing to find out what kind of mold you have is optional but helpful so you know if it is toxic. That being said, any type of mold can cause health problems, so you need to take precautions to protect your lungs either way.
- Acquire high quality PPE and wear it correctly – Personal protection equipment like masks, respirators, gloves, and goggles protect your eyes and respiratory system from loosened mold spores. Keep it on securely while you scrub so the PPE is effective.
- Check for hidden mold – Unfortunately, if you have mold in one place, there’s a good chance that there is mold in other areas of your home. It could be hidden behind walls, in the attic or in the basement or crawl space, so you have to really check all areas to make sure you get it all.
Mold removal is less expensive than remediation, especially if you do it yourself, but it does have a few drawbacks.
First, you’ll still be left with stains even after the mold is dead. You may not ever be able to fully get rid of the stains unless you paint over them using primer and a high quality paint.
Second, if you don’t have the moisture issue under control, mold removal will only be a band-aid solution – and one that you’ll be repeating over and over until you get the underlying issue resolved.
Mold remediation is a much more in-depth process.
Mold is always present outdoors and even inside our homes. Fortunately, this doesn’t always cause mold growth because the humidity in our homes is controlled with HVAC systems, and because we clean our homes frequently to remove dust and other particles that mold can feed on.
But if there is an unusually high mold spore count within your home, it will cause constant outbreaks no matter what measures you take to stop it.
To do mold remediation, your mold pro will first perform mold removal (above), and then they’ll take it one step further by removing free-floating mold spores within your home in order to reduce the risk of future mold growth.
Mold remediation does not completely eliminate mold spores from your home. Any mold removal company that claims to remove 100% of mold and mold spores is making a promise that they cannot keep!
Mold remediation services should be chosen over basic removal in the following situations:
- Mold Prevention
Before you spend the money on mold remediation, have your home tested to see if the mold count is high. If it is, remediation is a great way to prevent mold growth throughout your home. It’s a lot easier to maintain conditions in your home that prevent mold versus having to remove mold once it’s already there.
- Mold Spore Reduction
Mold makes many people sick, especially if they have allergies or difficulty breathing anyway. Having excess mold in your home is bound to lead to respiratory issues for people in these circumstances. Mold remediation is the only sure way to reduce the mold count within your home.
- Multiple Mold Colonies
Finding several colonies of mold at one time probably means there is an excess of mold spores in your home. If mold suddenly becomes a huge household problem, you probably need remediation to restore the mold count within your home to normal.