Mold Removal vs Mold Remediation

David J. Allen

I spent the better part of 2 ½ years learning about mold and indoor air quality because my child's life depended on it. Now I help others avoid ever having to experience the same thing. The mold industry suffers from conflicting opinions and I do my best to distill loads of data into something practical and useful. I love hearing from and helping readers. • "A house desecrated by mildew, mold, or fungus would be a defiled place to live in, so drastic measures had to be taken." — Leviticus 14:45

Although mold removal and mold remediation are two terms that many people use interchangeably, they don’t quite mean the same thing.

In essence, the main difference is that mold removal is a process targeted at physically removing the mold spores from a home, whereas mold remediation is an all-encompassing term for fighting a mold problem and preventing it from coming back.

In truth, “mold removal” is somewhat of a misnomer, as it’s technically impossible to entirely remove the mold from a property.

Because the microscopic mold spores frequently become airborne, there will always be a number of them lingering, regardless of how thorough the removal job was.

What does mold removal entail?

When you discover a significant amount of mold growth in your home, the last thing you want to do is ignore it. Not only is it gross and odorous, but it can also become a genuine health hazard for you and anyone else who may be breathing in the spores. And the longer you wait to take action, the bigger and more serious that mold problem is going to get.

If you catch a mold infestation while it’s small, and provided it’s in a reachable area, you may be able to clean it on your own.

The specific process for doing so depends on the type of surface the mold is growing on, but it typically involves PPE, a mold-killing agent, and plenty of scrubbing. However, with large or inaccessible patches of mold, you’ll typically need to enlist a mold removal service.

The contractors you hire will assess the situation and decide on the best plan of attack to remove the mold growth from your home. In some cases, they may need to remove a section of carpeting, drywall, or insulation, but most services will try to keep your home as intact as possible.

After the mold removal process is finished, you should no longer need to worry about that specific mold colony. However, mold removal doesn’t necessarily address the root of the problem, and you could still be vulnerable to significant outbreaks in the future. That’s why many homeowners choose to invest in complete mold remediation.

What does mold remediation entail?

Mold remediation is actually several processes as opposed to a single one. In fact, the mold removal process is quite usually an integral part of mold remediation.

The mold remediation procedure, as a whole, varies depending on the specific scenario, but the primary goal is always the same: Getting the property’s mold levels back to a normal, harmless level. 

When you work with a mold remediation company, they’ll make an effort to pinpoint the root cause of your mold problem. So, naturally, the first step of the mold remediation process will typically be a thorough inspection of your household.

In addition to searching for any problematic areas, they’ll usually take air samples to get an idea of what type of mold spores are present and how concentrated they are.

Once your hired professionals have the scope of the situation, the next step of the process will be to address the existing mold growth. Before starting the mold removal part of the procedure, they’ll contain the affected areas to prevent the spores from spreading.

Then, they’ll do whatever’s necessary to remove any mold colonies around the household, just as we discussed in the previous section. After the mold growth has been carefully removed and disposed of, the next part of remediation is to thoroughly clean all of the affected surfaces and surrounding areas.

The goal of this step is to ensure that previously removed mold growth doesn’t return with a vengeance in the same parts of your home. Usually, this consists of sanitizing and deodorizing any floors, walls, carpets, furniture, or other surfaces that were directly exposed to the fungus.

The final part of mold remediation is to make preventative changes or recommendations to your property. During this step, the remediation experts will guide you through the measures that need to be taken to avoid future mold infestations.

For example, they might notice that certain areas of your home aren’t ventilated well enough. Maybe, they’ll point out a leaking pipe that’s causing a significant moisture problem.

Essentially, they’ll present you with the path to prevent mold from showing back up in your household; all you have to do is follow it.