mold removal vs mold remediation

Mold Removal vs. Mold Remediation: What’s the Difference?

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Indoor mold is a common problem in both Portland homes and businesses, as the city receives an average of nearly 34 inches of rain per year. Mold thrives in environments with a lot of moisture, and it can grow on many different indoor surfaces, including:

  • Wood
  • Paper products
  • Fabrics and upholstery
  • Insulation
  • Ceiling tiles
  • Paint
  • Cardboard
  • And even dust

When mold is discovered in your home, your first priority should be contacting a trusted mold removal and/or remediation company in Portland to help keep the problem from spreading. Mold can grow in as little as 24-48 hours, so it’s critical that you get rid of the problem right away. 

While the terms “mold removal” and “mold remediation” may seem interchangeable, there are some major differences between these two processes that will impact the outcome of the work – both immediately and in the future.

So how do you know whether you need mold removal or mold remediation? Below is a guide to help you make an informed decision about which process is right for your situation.

What Is Mold Removal?

Mold removal is exactly what it sounds like – it refers to the removal of mold from all affected surfaces within your home. 

The caveat? Mold removal doesn’t address the underlying problem that caused the mold growth, which means it doesn’t work to prevent mold growth from recurring. 

Unlike mold remediation, mold removal also doesn’t involve removing the affected materials from your home. While the mold may be scraped from the surface during mold removal, mold spores could still be hiding below the surface, especially in porous materials like wood. This can also cause the mold to return.

Is Mold Removal Important?

Mold removal is important, but it’s not always the best choice because it doesn’t fix the source of the mold. For this reason, mold remediation is oftentimes the better solution, as it’s a more comprehensive process.

It’s important to remember that it is impossible to completely remove mold from the environment. While the goal of mold removal is simply to remove as much mold as possible, the goal of mold remediation is to return the amount of mold spores present in your home to normal, natural levels.

Do You Need Mold Removal?

Small and relatively contained mold outbreaks on non-porous materials may be able to be fixed with mold removal alone. If you have a large mold outbreak or suspect that it might be bigger than you can see, you’ll need to call a mold remediation company with extensive residential mold removal experience.

Some things to keep in mind when considering mold removal vs. mold remediation include:

  • Get expert help: Both mold removal and mold remediation should be handled by a mold removal expert to ensure the problem is fully and safely resolved. We strongly advise against trying to fix the problem yourself.
  • Surface treatments: Which process will work best for your situation will largely depend on the size and location of the mold outbreak, as different surfaces require different mold removal and remediation treatments. 
  • Time and cost considerations: Choosing mold remediation will often save you time and money in the long run, as it significantly reduces the likelihood of the mold growing back, helping to avoid multiple visits from contractors.

What Is Mold Remediation?

Mold remediation refers to all of the processes related to eliminating mold growth. While mold removal is often a part of remediation, mold remediation takes it a few steps further by taking proactive measures to keep mold spores from colonizing and returning to unnatural levels.

Mold remediation involves a lot more steps than mold removal, which often includes mold testing and mold inspections. The mold remediation process also identifies the source of the moisture and recommends the correct fixes. Potential sources of moisture could include:

  • Leaking roofs, pipes and windows
  • Condensation from showers, washers, stovetops or cold surfaces
  • Flooding
  • Humidity and humidifiers 
  • Gutters draining in the wrong direction

Is Mold Remediation Important?

Yes! Mold remediation is very important if you suspect or have identified a mold outbreak in your home. Breathing in excess amounts of mold isn’t good for you or your family, so it’s important that mold be addressed as soon as possible. 

Fixing the root of the problem is also important to make sure it doesn’t return or continue spreading below the surface of materials in your home.

Do You Need Mold Remediation? 

Whether you need mold remediation vs. mold removal will depend on the following factors:

  • The mold’s location
  • The type of mold present
  • The size of the outbreak
  • The surfaces on which it’s growing
  • How far and/or quickly the mold has spread

Because there are so many variables to consider and each mold outbreak is unique, it’s important to work with a local Portland mold remediation company to figure out the best next steps. Mold remediation companies also have access to specialized chemicals that will do the job thoroughly.

The Mold Remediation Process

Once you’ve enlisted the help of a mold remediation company, here’s what you can expect.

Mold Assessment & Inspection

The first step in the mold remediation process is to have a mold assessment and inspection completed. Even if you can see the mold or have already confirmed its presence, it’s still important to have a mold inspection to make sure it hasn’t spread to other parts of your home. 

A mold inspection typically includes the following steps:

  • Visual inspection: Inspectors will examine your home for signs of mold, including in hard-to-reach places like attics and crawl spaces.
  • Moisture survey: Inspectors will conduct a specialized test to determine whether there could be moisture present in between your walls or in other inaccessible areas.
  • Mold testing: Once mold is identified, a sample will be removed and tested to determine the type of mold, the size of the problem and an estimate of how many mold spores could be in the air.

Mold Containment

Once the mold has been identified and tested, mold remediation experts will isolate the contaminated area to prevent mold from spreading to other areas of your home. This may involve shutting doors and windows, closing air vents and/or sealing the area with plastic.

Mold Cleanup & Air Filtration

The exact mold cleanup processes used will depend on your unique situation, but in general, mold cleanup may involve:

  • Cleaning/filtering the air to suppress dust and remove airborne mold spores
  • Removal and disposal of wet and damaged materials
  • Packaging affected materials in bags before leaving the containment area
  • Treating porous surfaces with safe, specialized chemicals

Mold Sanitization

After the mold has been removed, the contained area is sanitized by cleaning surfaces and safely removing any containment barriers. We recommend testing for mold once more after the mold remediation process is complete to ensure the mold has been eradicated.

Mold Removal & Remediation Companies in Portland, OR

Mold removal and mold remediation are both important processes in keeping your Portland home free of potentially harmful mold. Alpha Environmental has been trusted by the Portland community for over two decades for thorough mold removal and mold remediation.

Contact us today for mold removal and mold remediation in the greater Portland area!

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David D.
Lake Oswego, OR
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My wife and I experienced a hot water pipe busting in the crawlspace. It has been a total nightmare. However, Chris and his team provided expert quality care, with timeliness and the greatest degree of professionalism. I would HIGHLY recommend Alpha Enviornmental!
Zhanna S.
Beaverton, OR
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Can’t say enough about Alpha Environmental! Their costumer service is 10/10, they have really good systems in place, responsive, and professional. The gals in the scheduling department are always so kind! As a real estate agent, I use Alpha’s services numerous times a year. Either it’s for Mold bids, oil tank decommissioning, radon etc. They always do a fantastic job! Thank you for all the work you do!