Sometimes the source of a cleaning issue can remain hidden, and the first time you know about it is when a smell persists. That is often the case with mould, which has a distinctive musty smell that gets stronger as the mould proliferates.
The smell of mould alerted a residential property owner in Norfolk who recently contacted Ideal Response with concerns about one of the bedrooms in his property. After some investigation and removing one of the back panels from a wardrobe, he discovered a substantial amount of mould growing behind it.
The client found Ideal online and contacted us, and we explained our lengthy experience of dealing with mould, and requested photos of the infected area. The challenge for Ideal was to quickly remedy the mould proliferation, since it can further develop and be a serious health hazard unless the area is successfully cleaned and treated.
The Ideal Solution
Using the supplied photos, the Ideal team judged the mould proliferation to be severe, so we booked a team to visit the site early the following day.
In assessing the mould, it was clear that a lack of ventilation space and poorly installed wardrobes had caused the mould to thrive and spread. After the initial assessment, our team erected an abatement enclosure around the infected room. This system creates negative pressure, which means it helps to stop the spread of any mould spores to the rest of a property during our works. Once erected, we then removed all personal belongings from the bedroom and covered the remaining furniture for protection.
Our team was equipped with full and correct PPE because mould can be very damaging to human health, causing or increasing respiratory problems. That’s why, like asbestos, mould is classed as a Category 1 health risk by the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS).
We started by disassembling the wardrobe since we needed access to the entire back wall where the mould had spread and needed treating. The wardrobe was so infected with mould that our client was happy for the team to remove and safely dispose of it.
With the back wall exposed, it was clear that the extent of the mould damage was well beyond superficial surface growth and was present in the whole structure of the wall and plaster. Our trained team therefore advised the client that the best plan of action was to remove the plaster from the wall and treat the brick directly. This would get to the core of the problem to ensure complete elimination of the mould and avoid it coming back, aided by the fact that there was now better air circulation in the room.
The team used a hammer drill to chip away the infected plaster on the walls, and strip the wall back to brick. Once the plaster had been removed, we treated the brick for mould using a broad-spectrum biocide solution. This treatment was applied not only where mould was in evidence but on every exposed brick to ensure that mould would not return and give our customer peace of mind. We continued with our 4-stage mould remediation process, which concluded with Ultra Low Volume (ULV) fogging of the bedroom to eliminate any airborne mould particles.
From start to finish of the process we also had an air scrubber running, which filters and cleans the air to protect our technicians, the client, and the client’s property from the risk of mould spores that could become airborne, be ingested, or cross-contaminate other areas of the home. With the strip out and mould remediation complete, and the infected wardrobe removed, our client could now plan for replastering work to restore the bedroom to good condition. Our customer was very happy with the mould remediation service and kindly left us a 5-Star review.
The Technical Bit
In dealing with a mould infestation, health and safety is the first priority for Ideal Response. Site safety procedures are put in place to ensure the safety of our customers or general public, and to ensure our operatives work in a safe working environment. All Ideal Response operatives are trained to keep each other and everyone else protected.
With these measures in place, our mould remediation service comprises a 4-stage treatment process:
Step 1: HEPA vacuum on loose surface mould
In the first step of the treatment process our technicians will use industrial vacuums with HEPA filters, similar to the ones we use in air scrubbing units. Unlike a domestic vacuum, these vacuums and filters are effective at preventing additional mould spores being released into the air when we remove loose surface mould on surfaces. Waste materials collected during the vacuuming process are bagged for safe disposal.
Step 2: Wash down affected surfaces with a biocide solution
The second step in our process is to treat the affected surfaces by way of a wash-down using a specially formulated broad-spectrum biocide solution. This eliminates mould spores ahead of a thorough manual clean by our team. The surface is agitated, removing any remaining surface mould that remains after HEPA vacuuming in step 1. The solution we use also helps to inactivate DNA and RNA, so organisms like mould do not have the ability to re-grow or build resistance.
Step 3: Apply fungicidal barrier (by brush) to dried surfaces
Once the treated surface has dried, we will apply one neat coat of our specially formulated fungicidal barrier by brush. This solution soaks into the surface that the mould is growing on, killing its roots. At the same time, it forms a protective barrier to prevent further fungal growth.
Step 4: Complete ULV fogging using a broad-spectrum biocide
Finally, we undertake a process called Ultra Low Volume (ULV) fogging within the area where the mould infestation has occurred. This process sprays a very fine mist of broad-spectrum biocide into the area that is being treated. The purpose is to suppress any remaining micro-organisms or airborne particles which could descend onto surfaces and begin to grow again. ULV fogging ultimately leaves our clients with a safe and acceptable mould spore count level.
“I discovered large amounts of mould behind built-in wardrobes, and after a Google search came across Ideal Response. An initial online chat with Kash in the office who requested a photo of the mould. I was assured that this would all be dealt with the next day. Luke and Bob, the techs, arrived the next morning as promised. Very professional, did a great job and now my home is safe again! Thanks again, would definitely recommend.” – Norfolk Homeowner