Independent Mold Inspectors Recommend
Valor Mold Removal Over
Dozens Of Remediators In The D.C. Area.
That’s Because They Say I’m The Only Mold Remediator
That Does EVERYTHING The Right Way.
An Exacting, Meticulous Remediation Process? Check.
The Best Materials In The Industry? Check.
Completely Honest With My Customers? DOUBLE Check.
A Message From David Myrick, Owner Of Valor Mold Removal:
I won’t sugarcoat it.
Mold remediation is more expensive, more disruptive, and more elaborate than you think it is.
You may not have access to certain parts of your home for days. We probably have to remove some building materials from your home that will need to be replaced later. And you have to have a big machine running in your home, day and night, for at least 2 days (more on that in a second).
Why am I telling you this? Because I want you to know what you’re getting into… before you get into it. Other companies won’t tell you this stuff right off the bat because they’re afraid they’ll scare you away. (“Lying by omission,” some might call it.)
I believe in honesty and being completely transparent with my customers. So I’m giving you a step-bystep guide to our mold-remediation process. So there are NO surprises, NO stress, and NO ill-will on your part once we start the job. My top priority is to guarantee your satisfaction and that your home is completely safe from mold.
Here is our 4 Step Process to mold remediation.
STEP 1: Contain The Mold
Our containment-building process makes—without a doubt—the most thorough, sturdy, rock-solid, tightly sealed containment of any mold-remediation company in the area.
My air duct cleaning subcontractor says his techs tell him all the time that our containment is the best they see, hands down – and they clean air ducts for 7 of my mold competitors!
We custom cut sheets of high quality 6 mil plastic and use poles to erect custom walls around the mold we’re removing. All four edges (ceiling, wall, and floor) are sealed with two layers of tape to ensure the containment is dust tight. No mold gets in; no mold gets out.
This ensures the mold is contained, and the rest of your home remains safe.
STEP 2: Setup Air Filtration Devices
Next, we put in an Air Filtration Device (AFD), which removes any airborne mold particles. An AFD is like big fan with a HEPA filter. It removes at least 99.97% of all particles (mold spores, dust particles, and everything else) greater than 0.3 micrometers from the air that passes through it. To put that in perspective, that’s over 30 times smaller than the smallest object visible to the naked eye and the smallest mold spore is 1 micrometer big.
Depending on how the AFD’s intake or exhaust is setup, it is either called an:
- Air Scrubber, when the containment has neutral pressure, or
- Negative Air Machine (NAM), when the containment is under negative pressure.
When we setup an AFD as a NAM, the NAM’s exhaust is ducted outside the containment so any mold spores that go airborne (which has been shown to easily soar to 1,000,000 spores per cubic meter of air during demolition) are sucked straight into the NAM.
Placement of the NAM is critical—each project is different, and you can’t setup a NAM just anywhere. For example, if there’s a gas appliance like a hot water heater or furnace, negative air pressure can cause a backdraft of carbon monoxide (which kills people). Or if we’re taking the moldy ceiling out of a room beneath an attic, a NAM would suck who-knows-what out of the attic and into the room we’re trying to clean.
AFDs also come in all sizes and strengths. To match your house with the right machine, we have to calculate the cubic footage of air in the containment along with how many times we want the air cleaned each hour.
After we complete the remediation, the AFD must run for 24 hours to make sure the area is free of mold. When the 24 hours is up, we come back and remove the AFD (unless you’re having testing done but that is a whole other can of worms).
STEP 3: Remove The Mold
This is where we take apart the area that has mold growth. This step is important because, besides removing the mold, we do everything in our power to help lower the rebuild costs later on.
We take a long look at whether we truly need to tear out an area. We seriously consider the balance between cost, safety and doing the job properly when it comes to your home. Unlike other companies, we always move forward with the most efficient, most cost-effective solution to eradicate your mold.
Anything that has mold growth on it or behind it comes out. We put on gloves, full-face respirators and protective suits to take out baseboards, carpet, drywall, insulation, carpet padding, framing, hardwood floors, subfloors, vanities, toilets, light fixtures, cabinetry, bathtubs, appliances and anything else that is moldy. We cut up everything we removed, place it in trash bags and tie them with a special method (called “goosenecking”) to prevent mold spores from escaping. Larger moldy items are wrapped in plastic or taped up to prevent mold from escaping.
Structural components that are still sound (like studs, floor joists, attic trusses, and so on) are either wire brushed, sanded or soda blasted to remove the leftover mold that has eaten microscopic pits into the wood. Once the demolition is finished, every piece of debris larger than a dime is swept up with a broom and dustpan and bagged up.
STEP 4: Hyper-Intensive Cleaning
This is the most important part of the process… and when we get fanatic about cleanliness.
First, the top of every pipe, duct, wire, door frame, window frame and appliance gets wiped down.
The wiping is done in a special way—the rag/towel is folded into squares and each surface is only used once— so we don’t pick up mold from one surface and wipe it onto another. Wiping alone can take an entire day in a utility room full of pipes, wires and ducts.
Second, the walls, baseboard and the floor itself is HEPA vacuumed—on our knees, one square inch at a time. This process is very slow and methodical because we can’t see a mold spore, so we must assume they’re everywhere.
When we’re done, all the dust is gone. If you run your hand along the floor, you won’t feel any debris or grit. To give you a sense of just how thoroughly we clean the area, we’ve done many sensitive projects that had their dust levels tested and we met clean room standards. This means NASA could build a satellite or Intel could manufacture computer chips in our containment areas.
Note: To make sure mold levels are back to an acceptable level, we strongly recommend hiring an INDEPENDENT mold inspector to check the mold levels after we’re finished. We DO NOT offer moldtesting services, and you should be cautious of any mold-remediation company that does—some will fudge the test results in their favor. (To learn more about the problems of hiring a remediator that offers testing services, click here.)
Optional Step – Chemical Treatments
Depending on the situation, we may apply an anti-microbial agent or encapsulate. The key word here is “may.”
Nearly all mold companies mandate they have to use their mold chemicals and encapsulates automatically on every project…but they are actually an upsell that takes advantage of homeowners’ lack of education on mold remediation.
A dirty secret in the industry is the chemicals are great at killing germs, viruses and bacteria… but they do a very poor job of killing mold.
A mold spore has two components. The first part is a seed that, just like a dandelion, gets carried off by wind, takes root somewhere and grows into a mold colony. The second part is the toxins and allergens that cause a reaction in people. All the bleach, chemicals and encapsulates in the world only kill the seed component (and they do a very poor job at that). Mold is almost immortal, and, even if the chemicals manage to rupture the spore’s cell wall and “kill” it, your body will still have an allergic reaction to a dead spore. See, killing mold misses the point. A dead mold spore will give you an allergic reaction just as bad as a living spore. And a dead mold spore is coated with just as many mycotoxins as a living spore.
Nothing will make mold toxins and allergens inert except fire, which, in my professional opinion, setting your house on fire just to kill mold is moving in the wrong direction.
My line of thinking isn’t something I suddenly thought up. The IICRC S-520 mold remediation standard, the “bible” everyone uses as a guideline to remediate mold, specifically frowns upon chemicals and says they are optional. The mold standard says the best way to remediate is to contain the mold, put the area under negative air pressure, cut out the mold and HEPA vacuum everything so the mold is physically carried out in trash bags and inside the HEPA vacuum. That said, there are cases that do require chemicals:
- An anti-microbial chemical if the area was wet from a leak or flood. This kills the viruses and bacteria that grow in all water damages.
- A mold stain remover if the wood is mold stained.
- A mold encapsulate if the area might get wet or humid again. Encapsulate is like an anti-mold paint and gives a little time buffer (typically a year) where it will delay mold growth. We paint it on wood framing (typically in attics or crawl spaces) when the area might get wet again or our client isn’t positive the water problem was fixed. But nothing holds back Mother Nature forever.
Phase 2: Putting The Area Back Together
If the job doesn’t require us to remove and discard materials from your home, we thoroughly clean the area and make it look better than before we got there.
If we do have to take out materials, we will help you pick the best contractor to repair things and make it look like it was never cut out. We will provide you only with top-quality contractors we absolutely trust.
We make the mold-remediation process as painless as possible. You won’t find another mold remediation company in the region that takes the time to educate their customers and ensure the job is done 100% right.
If you have a mold problem, call our Mold Hotline at (703) 897-7121 immediately. We’ll schedule a convenient time for your FREE inspection—usually within 24 hours or less.