Recovering from the Storm: Regaining Normalcy in the Wake of a Mold Outbreak
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Restoration & RemediationMarch 12, 2019

Recovering from the Storm: Regaining Normalcy in the Wake of a Mold Outbreak

The numbers are in, and winter 2018-2019 was the wettest on record. On average, 9.01 inches of precipitation fell in the U.S. during the meteorological winter, more than 2.22 inches above the normal amount anticipated.

For the world’s homes, schools, and offices, above-average precipitation means more than dreary commutes and snow days—it also comes with a high risk for mold and mildew breakouts. In fact, experts have already estimated that more than half of the homes in the U.S. have mold problems, with increases in moisture-level only aggravating the issue.

Whether in the wake of a flood or simply excess rainfall, following are three primary remediation steps to eliminate mold at its source:

1. Spot the Problem, But Don’t Stop There

Oftentimes, the easiest way to know there is a mold problem is to spot it. Many times, searches after flooding or water damage will reveal some of the most common household molds: aspergillus, cladosporium, and stachybotrys chartarum, also known as black mold. Still, in other cases, mold isn’t readily visible, instead given away by a musty odor. Other times still, mold is neither visible nor evidenced by a musty smell—making it challenging to pinpoint without a dedicated test.

Regardless of how mold was first discovered, removing it comes down to far more than eliminating physical traces. Improper mold remediation can spread microbes, spores, and other toxins further throughout structures, underscoring the importance of proper treatment. The key to remediation, therefore, is to clean beyond what is visible or smell-able, eliminating infectious materials at the molecular level for full forensic restoration.

2. Select the Right Remediation Agent

It’s no secret that mold is a health hazard. According to the CDC, exposure to mold can result in a host of health problems, ranging from severe allergic reactions, to chronic lung illness, and infections. In fact, 4.6 million of the 21.8 million cases of asthma in the U.S. are attributed to dampness and mold exposure in the home. With such a high impact on population health, it’s critical to public wellbeing to eliminate all traces of mold through effective remediation.

Bleach and other biocides are frequently used as a multi-purpose killer of mold. While these chemicals may eliminate physical traces of mold, they often do more harm than good. For instance, bleach’s strongly corrosive features can irritate the eyes, skin, and respiratory tract, and ultimately damage organs. Beyond this, bleach does not work on all strains of mold. In particular, stachybotrys propagate via spores that are not impacted by chlorine, and are therefore immune to bleach-based remediation tactics. Despite its continued use, bleach has fallen out of favor with government agencies when it comes to mold remediation. OSHA was the first U.S. government agency to remove the recommendation for using bleach on mold, followed shortly thereafter by the EPA.

What does an effective solution look like? Well, for starters, look for a solution that is an EPA registered bactericide, viricide, and fungicide, capable of eliminating a broad range of spores as well as the infectious agents they often bring with them. Additionally, look for a solution that is earth- and allergen-friendly. For example, our proprietary HaloMist® is a hydrogen peroxide-based formula that breaks down into harmless water and oxygen. It is critical that your formula be effective, but in order to be effective, a formula needn’t be destructive.

3. Consider the Delivery Mechanism

Mold remediation can cost, on average, $500-$6,000 for the simplest of infestations. In order for insurance companies to cover costs at the conclusion of remediation efforts, a spore test must be taken inside and outside a building to prove spore levels are back to normal. Failure to pass means further remediation efforts must be undertaken.

What few realize is that the effectiveness of the solution is as much about the delivery mechanism as it is about the killing agent itself. Ensuring spores are removed with the first remediation effort requires a solution that provides a uniform delivery of spore-killing agents throughout complex spaces. In buildings, where there are often small cracks and divots that provide the optimal space for mold to fester, uniform coverage—even in shadowed or unreachable areas—is integral to holistic remediation.

The Sun After the Rain

After a rainy winter, the sun is coming out again, both literally and figuratively. Recovering fully from flooding, water damage, or excess moisture can feel like a daunting feat, but with the right solution, it is possible. At Halosil, our proprietary HaloMist® delivers sporicidal efficacy to eliminate infectious materials and control mold. As an EPA-registered bactericide, viricide, and fungicide, our solution is trusted to deliver the highest standard of excellence across all of your water and mold remediation efforts.

Bring greater efficacy to your next mold remediation project. Contact Halosil today.