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Mold remediation

The problem

The three essential factors for the germination and growth of mold are:

  • The existence of mold germs. Naturally they exist everywhere, this is an absolutely natural phenomena. If the concentration in the ambient air is too high,  a mold source can be expected in the area.
  • The presence of a culture medium (substrate). Excellent breeding grounds are plasterboard and cellulose, as well as biological media.
  • The moisture on the component surface. The reasons for excessive moisture on the component surface can be numerous (humid air, water damage, insulation problemsetc.). 

If all three conditions simultaneously are met at the same place, the result ist the potentially harmful mold.

Analysis

Before the remediation starts, a root cause analysis has to be performed. The main problem is in almost all the cases a too high local humidity, often combined with unprofessional paintings. The high local humidity in turn can have different causes:

  • Inadequate insulation
  • Geometric thermal bridges
  • Water damage

Many of our partners are members of SPR Switzerland and are trained in the root cause analysis. The analysis puts the main focus on the building physics. However, in some cases, microbiological analyzes are also performed. Microbiological analyzes are appropriate when 

  • no visible mold is present.
  • a customer wants to have a quality control.
  • at a non-visible water damage molds are visible yet.

Many times we could not detect visible mold sources; in this case we made airborne germ measurements. By an appropriate evaluation of the measurements hidden mold sources can be detected with very high probability.

Remediation

Our concept for the sustainable removal of mold takes of all three above-mentioned points into account: Too high local humidity, substrate, presence of too much mold germs. As a fourth step, preventive measurements are provided in our approach. This only makes sense in our approach because our disinfectants have a depot effect. Educating the customer is a matter of course for us. As described above, mold growth in most cases is due to too much moisture in building materials. The causes can be varied and should be evaluated by a qualified person. In good engineering practice remediation of mold always includes an elimination of the moisture causes, the complete removal of the mold, the drying and the restoration of the construction. Only in this way the preservation of the building and the health of residents are taken into account. A sole fogging of disinfectants does not replace a professional mold remediation. Especially in cases with extreme thermal bridges the disinfectant would show only a temporary effects in combination with contested humidity. In such cases accompanying measures (functional coatings) are absolutely necessary.

Four steps for a sustainable remediation

Step 1: Intensive and thorough disinfection with our material protection disinfectants
Step 2: Mechanical removal of the mold
Step 3: application of functional coatings
Step 4: Prevention
A compilation of our disinfectants can be found here.

Functional coatings: We have coatings that absorb up to 300 g of water per square meter – and give it back to the sourrounding extremely quickly. Cold spots can be defused easily in this way. This is our answer to the too high level of moisture on surfaces. If we are not dealing with a leakage, or other water damages, those coating prevent to a large extent the emergence of local moisture / wetness. Often calcium silicate boards are used by our competitors (or similar products). The main difference between the two approaches is not the absorption level  of moisture, but the rapid delivery thereof. The structure of our coatings meet this requirement to a great extent. Another plus: The coatings are much cheaper than the mentioned calcium silicate boards.

Prevention

If the room is once remediated professionally, prevention is a very important point for sustainable success. The most important point: airing! Click the ventilation order, and follow the advice.

Leave the functional surfaces in their original state. Never paint over these areas.

What to do next

If you have a mold problem, please contact us. We will assign you a company from our network of specialists.

One more thing

Novapura is a founding member of the Association SPR Switzerland, the Association of mold and venom  remediation.

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