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Mold: What You Need to Know

Mold can be a pervasive problem that can wreak havoc on homes, businesses and health if left unchecked. From unsightly stains to respiratory issues, its presence demands swift and thorough action. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore effective strategies for both preventing mold growth and remedying existing infestations.

Understanding Mold:

Mold is a type of fungus that grows in multicellular filaments called hyphae. It thrives in moist environments and reproduces by releasing microscopic spores into the air. These spores are ubiquitous in the environment and can easily spread to new areas, where they can settle and grow under suitable conditions. It reproduces through airborne spores and can quickly colonize surfaces, particularly in areas with high humidity or water damage. Common indoor molds include Aspergillus, Penicillium, and Stachybotrys (black mold), each with its own set of health risks. There are thousands of known species of mold, with estimates ranging from tens of thousands to over 300,000 species worldwide. However, only a fraction of these molds are commonly found indoors and have the potential to cause health issues or property damage.

Mold plays a vital role in the ecosystem by breaking down organic matter, such as dead plants and animals, and returning nutrients to the soil. However, when mold colonizes indoor environments, it can cause various problems. Mold growth indoors is typically a sign of excessive moisture or water damage.

Mold can appear in a variety of colors, including black, green, white, and orange, depending on the species and the substrate it grows on. It often manifests as fuzzy or powdery patches on surfaces like walls, ceilings, wood, carpet, and fabric.

Exposure to mold and its spores can pose health risks, especially for individuals with allergies, asthma, or weakened immune systems. Common symptoms of mold exposure include nasal congestion, throat irritation, coughing, wheezing, skin irritation, and eye irritation. In some cases, prolonged exposure to certain molds can lead to more severe health issues.

To prevent mold growth indoors, it's essential to control moisture levels, promptly address water leaks or damage, ensure proper ventilation, and maintain a clean and dry environment. If mold is present, remediation efforts may be necessary to remove the mold and address underlying moisture problems to prevent recurrence.


The process of remediating mold involves several key steps to effectively remove mold growth and prevent its recurrence. Here's a detailed outline of the typical mold remediation process:

Assessment and Inspection:

  • ServiceMaster will conduct a thorough inspection of the property to identify areas affected by mold growth.
  • Determine the extent of the mold infestation and the underlying cause of moisture or water intrusion.


  • Isolate the affected area to prevent the spread of mold spores to unaffected parts of the building.
  • Seal off the contaminated area with plastic sheeting and duct tape, creating a containment barrier.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):

  • ServiceMaster equips remediation workers with appropriate PPE, including gloves, respirators, goggles, and protective clothing.

Moisture Control:

  • Address the underlying moisture problem to prevent mold recurrence.
  • Fix leaks, improve ventilation, and reduce indoor humidity levels using dehumidifiers as needed.

Removal of Mold-Contaminated Materials:

  • Remove and discard porous materials that are extensively contaminated with mold, such as carpet, drywall, insulation, and ceiling tiles.
  • Bag and seal mold-contaminated materials before removing them from the containment area to prevent further spread of mold spores.

Cleaning and Disinfection:

  • Clean non-porous surfaces affected by mold using a detergent solution or commercial mold cleaner.
  • Scrub mold-infested surfaces thoroughly with a scrubbing brush or sponge to remove mold growth.
  • Disinfect cleaned surfaces with an EPA-approved fungicide to kill any remaining mold spores and inhibit future growth.

HEPA Vacuuming:

  • ServiceMaster technicians will use a vacuum cleaner equipped with a HEPA filter to remove mold spores and debris from surfaces and the air.
  • Vacuum all surfaces within the containment area, including floors, walls, and furnishings.

Drying and Ventilation:

  • After it is confirmed that the mold has been removed, ServiceMaster will dry the remediated area thoroughly using fans and dehumidifiers to prevent moisture buildup.
  • Improve ventilation in the affected area to promote airflow and aid in the drying process.

Post-Remediation Inspection:

  • Conduct a final inspection to ensure that all visible mold growth has been removed and that the remediated area is clean and dry.
  • Use moisture meters and visual inspection to verify that moisture levels are within acceptable limits.

Prevention Measures:

  • Implement measures to prevent future mold growth, such as repairing leaks, improving ventilation, and maintaining proper indoor humidity levels.
  • Monitor the remediated area regularly for signs of mold recurrence and address any issues promptly.


  • Keep detailed records of the mold remediation process, including assessment findings, containment measures, removal and cleaning procedures, and post-remediation verification.

Professional Consultation:

  • In complex or extensive mold infestations, an Environmental Hygienist should be consulted to provide a full protocol for the removal and remediation of the affected areas.


By following these steps and adhering to industry best practices, mold remediation can effectively eliminate mold growth and restore a healthy indoor environment. It's crucial to address mold issues promptly and thoroughly to minimize health risks and prevent structural damage to the property.