Condo Media - April 2018 - 27

same for all of them, and it begins, Paula
says, by creating a "containment area."
The purpose, as the name suggests, is to
prevent mold spores from spreading to
other areas. This requires sealing off the
affected area with plastic. "That's easy
if you're dealing with a bathroom," she
notes. "You can just close the door and
tape the bottom." But in a kitchen or
living room opening to other parts of the
residence, it's more complicated. If there
aren't any walls, "we have to create them"
with the plastic.
The containment area has to be large
enough to accommodate one or two people and the "negative air" machine used
to prevent mold spores from circulating
throughout the residence. Also known
as an "air scrubber," the machine draws
in mold-contaminated air and passes it
through a series of filters to remove the
mold spores.
Mold remediation isn't complicated,
she says. But it isn't a task that owners
or board members should attempt on
their own. Technicians have special
training in the safe removal of mold and
the company must have one or more
supervisors on staff who are certified
mold removal specialists. Crew members wear masks, gloves, and usually
hazmat suits to protect themselves.
Once the containment area is in
place, technicians remove moldimpacted building materials, which
will usually include sheetrock and
insulation in walls and ceilings, as well
as the base trim. In a kitchen, they
may also have to remove cabinets and
disconnect appliances, "which can be
difficult and time consuming," Paula
notes. Four steps follow this one:

1
2

An Air Scrubber or negative air
machine is activated and operated
throughout the process and beyond.

Technicians use a HEPA (HighEfficiency Particulate Air)
vacuum, a powerful vacuum with
a special filter, capable of trapping
the tiny, micron-sized mold spores
that may have broken free when
the building material was removed.

"Before we do anything, there has to be a
plan in place to put the unit back together.
The goal is to get everything back in working
order as quickly as possible."
They vacuum all the surfaces inside
the containment area, including the
plastic walls.

3
4

They then wipe down and sanitize all the exposed framing and
cavities-wood walls, studs, metal-
"they sanitize everything," Paula says.
The area is tested to confirm that
the mold has been successfully
removed.

The testing should be done by an independent company, Paula emphasizes,
adding, "We don't test our own work."
If the test identifies unacceptable mold
levels, "we'll return to repeat the cleaning
process." That doesn't occur often, she
says, and when it does, it is generally a
minor issue. "The containment area must
remain intact," she emphasizes until
clearance is achieved.
WATER: GET IT OUT!
"Water, water everywhere," is about the
last thing anyone wants to see inside a
dwelling. The old advice about what to
do if you're in a hole ("stop digging")
applies in a general sense to water: If
water is pouring into a building, the
first thing is to stop the flow. The next
step is to extract the water, quickly and

thoroughly, both to minimize the water
damage and, even more important,
to reduce the risk of mold. To do that,
remediation companies use either a
powerful truck-mounted extractor or a
portable one.
The next step is to identify and deal
with all the areas water has touched.
This will typically require:
n Pulling up baseboards and often cut-

ting into walls.

n Extracting water from carpeting (if

rooms are carpeted) and removing the
pad beneath it.

Pads can't be dried easily, Paula says,
but carpeting can be dried and may be
salvageable, depending on its age and
condition. That's not true if the water
resulted from storm-related flooding
or a sewage back-up, however. "That
water is contaminated," she explains,
"and nothing it touches can be salvaged."
Even when advised of the health risks,
some owners won't let the company
remove contaminated carpeting and
walls. "I've never understood why," Paula
says. In those cases, owners are required
to sign a damage waiver and a disclaimer,
acknowledging that they have been
informed of the health risks.
April 2018

27



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Condo Media - April 2018

Contents
Condo Media - April 2018 - BB1
Condo Media - April 2018 - BB2
Condo Media - April 2018 - Cover1
Condo Media - April 2018 - Cover2
Condo Media - April 2018 - Contents
Condo Media - April 2018 - 2
Condo Media - April 2018 - 3
Condo Media - April 2018 - 4
Condo Media - April 2018 - 5
Condo Media - April 2018 - 6
Condo Media - April 2018 - 7
Condo Media - April 2018 - 8
Condo Media - April 2018 - 9
Condo Media - April 2018 - 10
Condo Media - April 2018 - 11
Condo Media - April 2018 - 12
Condo Media - April 2018 - 13
Condo Media - April 2018 - 14
Condo Media - April 2018 - 15
Condo Media - April 2018 - 16
Condo Media - April 2018 - 17
Condo Media - April 2018 - 18
Condo Media - April 2018 - 19
Condo Media - April 2018 - 20
Condo Media - April 2018 - 21
Condo Media - April 2018 - 22
Condo Media - April 2018 - 23
Condo Media - April 2018 - 24
Condo Media - April 2018 - 25
Condo Media - April 2018 - 26
Condo Media - April 2018 - 27
Condo Media - April 2018 - 28
Condo Media - April 2018 - 29
Condo Media - April 2018 - 30
Condo Media - April 2018 - 31
Condo Media - April 2018 - 32
Condo Media - April 2018 - 33
Condo Media - April 2018 - 34
Condo Media - April 2018 - 35
Condo Media - April 2018 - 36
Condo Media - April 2018 - 37
Condo Media - April 2018 - 38
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Condo Media - April 2018 - 40
Condo Media - April 2018 - 41
Condo Media - April 2018 - 42
Condo Media - April 2018 - 43
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Condo Media - April 2018 - 45
Condo Media - April 2018 - 46
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Condo Media - April 2018 - 62
Condo Media - April 2018 - 63
Condo Media - April 2018 - 64
Condo Media - April 2018 - Cover3
Condo Media - April 2018 - Cover4
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