Understanding Mold Recurrence: Factors to Consider After Remediation
Mold can potentially reappear after mold remediation if the underlying conditions that originally caused the mold to grow are not properly addressed. Mold spores are always present in the environment and under favorable conditions especially the presence of moisture, these spores germinate within 24-48 hours and form new mold growth. Remediation does not eliminate spores in the remediated areas and even if it did, new spores would infiltrate indoors from the outside.
If the underlying causes of mold growth are effectively addressed during the remediation process and all the moldy materials are removed (if they can’t be cleaned), the likelihood of mold recurrence is significantly reduced.
Factors to consider when assessing whether mold will return after remediation
If you are assigned the responsibility of assessing whether mold will return after remediation, here are some factors to consider:
- Moisture Control: Mold is unlikely to grow if there is no moisture. It is very important to identify and address any sources of moisture that contributed to the initial mold growth. This may include fixing leaks in pipes, roof or windows, improving ventilation and reducing humidity. By removing excess moisture, the risk of mold growing again is significantly reduced.
- Deep Cleaning: Effective mold remediation involves removing visible mold, finding and eliminating hidden mold and preventing the spread of spores. Mold remediation typically include proper containment, removal and disposal of moldy materials that cannot be effectively cleaned and removing dust on surfaces. In some cases, applying approved antimicrobials is recommended. A thorough cleaning process including dust removal will help reduce the mold spores and hence the risk of mold developing again.
- Adequate ventilation: Good air circulation and ventilation are important to prevent mold growth. Proper ventilation prevents humidity build-up, which can contribute to mold growth. Adequate ventilation in areas like bathrooms, kitchens, and basements can be critical to long-term mold prevention and control.
Proper Maintenance Can Help Prevent Mold Growth
Even if the remediation was successful, as the property owner, you should consider the following:
- Regular Inspection and Maintenance: Even after a successful remediation, it is important to regularly inspect the treated areas and other sensitive areas of the property for signs of moisture infiltration or mold growth. Promptly addressing any issues found during inspection can help prevent mold problems from reoccurring.
- Humidity Monitoring: Monitoring and maintaining proper humidity levels in the home or building can be an effective way to prevent mold growth. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends keeping indoor humidity levels between 30% and 60% to help prevent mold growth.
- Education and Awareness: By understanding the conditions that support mold growth and being aware of potential problems in the property, one can take proactive steps to prevent mold from reoccurring. Knowledge of mold prevention techniques, potential signs of mold growth, and effective repair practices is useful.
While proper mold removal can significantly reduce the risk of post-remediation mold growth, keep in mind that mold spores are found everywhere and can re-enter the environment from a variety of sources. However, by addressing the root causes and taking preventive measures, you can minimize the risk of mold growth after mold remediation. If you are concerned about mold in your property, we recommend that you consult a mold professional for an in-depth assessment of mold infestation and appropriate remediation strategies.
Check out our DIY Mold Test Kit if you would like to test the air quality in your home or office.