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Mold Medics six-step remediation process

A Q&A with Tim Swackhammer discussing the Mold Medics six-step treatment process

At Mold Medics, our services extend beyond just treating mold. We operate with an extensive six-step remediation process that helps ensure your home is protected for the long-run. Mold can be a recurring issue if it isn’t handled properly, which is why we go the extra mile every time to serve our clients with effective treatment options unrivaled in the Pittsburgh area. 

This interview  with Mold Medics owner Tim Swackhammer provides an in-depth look into our six-step remediation services that will alleviate your mold problems for good. 

Q: Your six-step services begin with an in-home assessment. Why is this such an important starting point, and what can a customer expect during the visit? 

Tim: It’s very important to identify not just what the mold and allergen problems are in the home, but to also determine why they are there. Then, we can pinpoint what steps we need to take to resolve the issue, as well as if there are other issues with the home that need to be rectified. It could be a plumbing problem. It could be gutters or roof leaks. Basically, anything that could contribute to water in the home. 

Q: Is this an effort to help the customer to prevent future problems – even if it’s not through your services? 

Tim: We really help isolate those issues so that our customers can work with whoever they need to to rectify those problems rather than just coming in and treating the mold, but knowing it’s going to come back because the core issue was never identified. 

Q: Take me through the second step. What is taking place during the containment process? 

Tim: We are establishing containment. Basically, it involves setting up plastic sheeting to prevent any air, mold spores or debris from migrating from the area that we’re treating to any other areas in the home. This is really important, probably the biggest one that DIYers make mistakes with when it comes to mold remediation. They don’t properly contain the area. And then, we install HEPA filtering air scrubbers. We can use negative pressure, where we exhaust the air scrubbers to the outside to put the area under a vacuum so that as we’re going through and cleaning, any mold or dust or debris becoming airborne is not venturing into other areas in the home. 

Q: Then, it comes time for removal. How do you approach actually removing the mold spores from the infected area? 

Tim: That really depends on what the material is. Generally, the most frequent is going to be carpeting. Carpets can hold a lot of dirt, debris and spores – all kinds of stuff that can be harmful to your indoor air quality. Once it gets wet or damp, if it’s not dried properly and very quickly, it can harbor a lot of nasty things for your health. You need to be sure that it’s removed in a correct manner, once again under containment so that you’re not spreading it into other areas in the home. The same thing is true whenever we’re doing it with other types of building material, whether that’s pieces of trim, drywall, paneling, etc. We’re doing it in conjunction with HEPA vacuuming to prevent unnecessary dust from becoming airborne. Especially in older homes, there can be a lot of nastiness in the walls. It can make small problems to something much larger pretty quick. 

Q: How long have you been using these HEPA vacuums? 

Tim: For as long as we’ve been doing any sort of mold remediation, we use all HEPA vacuums. It stands for High Efficiency Particle Air. We’ve use HEPA vacuums and HEPA scrubbers from day one because they are more effective than conventional vacuums. Conventional vacuums do a really good job of getting rid of a lot of the bulk of the dirt and dust, but the really fine particle-sized stuff – which is where your mold spores fall – will just shoot right through the filter. So, instead of removing the mold, you’re actually shooting them out back into the air. 

Q: How do these HEPA vacuums operate differently? 

Tim: The big difference here is the level of filtration. They have the same filters that a conventional vacuum would, but then they have an additional HEPA filter that’s going to get everything down to that extremely small micron size. It’s pulling out a lot of those allergens that conventional vacuums are going to leave in the environment. 

Q: After vacuuming, your team will then complete a multi-surface wipedown. How does that process unfold and what product(s) do you use?

Tim: We’re going to aim to wipe down any horizontal surface within the treatment area. Over the course of time, mold spores are generally a little bit heavier. So while they can become airborne, they’ll eventually settle down on the surfaces. What we do is a multi-service wipe down using a product called Pure Clean. It’s a very safe degreaser used in conjunction with micro-fiber rags. 

Q: Have you found that other competitors don’t always use the safest products? 

Tim: Yes. There are some really nasty kinds of products that other companies use. We generally try to the safest stuff that we kind find that’s going to be effective for the situation. 

Q: Are you willing to use a different product to satisfy the needs of a specific customer?

Tim:  A lot of companies are tied to the products that they use. They have one product and that’s it. Some of our competitors in the area are very product-centric. We have a whole stable of different products that we offer depending on the severity of the problem and – most importantly – the sensitivity of the individual. We work with a lot of customers who have sensitivities to mold, sensitivity to chemicals and other pesticides. We offer small viles of all the different products, and when we come out to do the initial assessment, we’ll let the customer smell it and make sure they don’t have a negative reaction to it.

Q: The final step – Electrostatic AniMicrobial Application – sounds pretty intense. What purpose does it serve? 

Tim: First and foremost, the sprayer takes a liquid product and sprays it at a very small droplet size. Then, what the Electrostatic part does, is it electrically charges those particles as they come out, so that they static-cling to the surfaces of the home. It’s two-fold. First, it allows us to make sure that we’re getting a much more even application of the product. And the other benefit is that we’re able to use less antimicrobials to get a more effective result. 

The Mold Medics team is here for you! For more information on our six-step mold treatment plan or to schedule a consultation, visit our contact page or call 412-447-5582 to get the process started toward ending your mold troubles for good!

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