1. No visible mold growth on any of the
goal of mold remediation is NEVER to
KILL mold, TREAT mold, or COVER
mold up with paint or other solid color
coatings. The goal of mold remediation is
ALWAYS to REMOVE the mold.
The picture to the right is from the first
floor of a house that had a flood in a second
floor bathroom. The flooding occurred while the
owners were away on vacation. By the time was
discovered most of the drywall, cabinets, wood
trim and floor coverings were destroyed. The
framing materials you see in this picture were
covered with mold growth from top to bottom. To
the mold remediation contractor's credit, the
lumber was completely mold free and restored to
not all mold remediation contractors are equally
as thorough and conscientious about their work.
This picture is a testimony to why it is
never a good idea to let contractors perform
their own post-remediation verification or
clearance testing. Both of these contractors
claimed that the remediation work was complete
and the jobs were ready for reconstruction. Yet
it is quite clear that the second picture still
has visible mold growth. Ironically, the
contractor of the job in the second picture
argued that the remediation was successful by
virtue that it was "as good as he could get it".
Why is it so important to REMOVE the mold?
For two reasons:
#1. Mold that has been killed, treated, or
covered up can always begin grow again if
moisture reoccurs - even if the moisture is just
#2. Dead or dormant mold still releases mold
spores into the air. While mold must be alive to
cause further property damage, dead mold spores
- when inhaled - have the exact same effects on
people and animals as mold that is alive. Mold
can be killed, treated, or covered up but if it
is still in your building, all of the health
risks associated with mold are still there to.
In a Post-Remediation Verification, a visual
inspection of all construction materials inside
the containment area is conducted to determine
whether of not all visible mold growth has been
2. All construction materials are dry by
current industry standards.
Mold grows on wet construction materials.
Inexpensive mold contaminated materials such as
drywall, wood trim, cabinets, etc. are typically
removed and replaced. Other materials that are
generally too costly to replace, such as wood
framing, studs, joists, etc. can usually be
remediated by scraping, sanding, and wire
brushing off mold growth.
as important as removing mold growth is the
complete and thorough drying of all salvaged
construction materials. The blue areas in the
picture to the right are wet spots in the
framing lumber. The remediation contractor said
the job was complete and ready for
post-remediation verification. In this case, no
visible evidence of mold was present on any of the
remediated materials. However, if new drywall
had been installed over this wet lumber, mold
would have begun to grow within 2 to 3 days.
In a Post-Remediation Verification, a
moisture assessment is performed inside the
containment area to confirm that all
construction materials are dry in accordance
with current industry standards.
3. The cause of the original problem has
a Post-Remediation Verification, a visual
inspection is performed inside the
containment area to confirm that the source of
water intrusion that caused the mold growth has
This is a picture of a remediated containment
that the contractor claimed was ready for
reconstruction. You can see by the dark stains
on the framing lumber and sub-floor that the
plumbing leak that caused the mold problem to
begin with has not been resolved. Any new
materials installed here would have been wet
immediately. New mold growth would be certain
within 2 to 3 days. Obviously, this remediation
4. The indoor air quality is within
The final test of a successful remediation
effort is the sampling of air from inside and
outside of the containment area. According to
current industry standards, after remediation
the types of airborne mold spores present inside
a containment - and their respective levels -
should be the same or less as outdoors.
Test result are simple and straightforward.
If there are 5 molds in the outdoor air and 8 in
the containment air, the remediation was
unsuccessful. If airborne spore levels in the
containment are higher than outdoors, the
remediation was unsuccessful.
In a Post-Remediation Verification, air
sampling is performed to confirm by means of
analytical data, that which cannot be confirmed
5. Cross-contamination of non-contained
has not occurred.
When suspicious conditions are visually
observed which raise concerns that
cross-contamination may have occurred in other
parts of a building during the remediation
process, testing the air in those areas is done
to confirm or rule out that concern.
Cross-contamination typically occurs when a
containment area has been breached and mold
spores have been blown out of the contained work
area and into other parts of the building.
Suspicious conditions that cross-contamination
has occurred include:
- poorly installed containment walls and
- tears, holes, and broken seals in the
containment plastic or tape
The following pictures will help you
recognize the difference between a proper
containment job and an improper one.