Abita Springs, LA
ASK THE EXPERT–Many times a client will ask, “Which chemical can I use to kill mold?” Clients are learning that beach, though effectively removing the staining caused by mold on surfaces, is not always the answer to completely remove mold contamination from the surfaces. In enclosed areas it can be extremely toxic, without the proper ventilation and PPE, and when mixed with other chemicals could result in some pretty serious reactions. How can a client sort through the maze of products and be satisfied they are choosing the right product for them? Best Living Systems, LLC has now introduced a simple flow chart that leads the client through the maze.
At Best Living Systems website (http://www.bestlivingsystems.com) a link has been added under the heading “What Product To Use” (http://www.bestlivingsystems.com/product-info/index.html) that was designed to help the client find the perfect mold remover for his job. NORMI, the National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors, certifies professionals in the mold industry who understand the difference between preparation products and protectants. This difference is essential to beginning the process of sorting through the seemingly endless products offered to use for mold cleanup. “Are you looking for a cleaner or a protectant?” must be the very first question to ask.
Preparation products are those products that PREPARE the surface for the receipt of coatings or other protectants that will serve to protect the surface from future contamination. These preparation products remove or kill mold (depending on their EPA status) and establish a clean surface to which a protectant may be applied. Once the surface is cleaned, a protectant can be applied to reduce the possibility of mold/bacteria returning to that surface. These protectants vary from water-based spray applications to heavy coatings, depending on the surface to which it will be applied and the desired result, needed warranty, etc.
Once the client has decided whether he’s looking for a preparation product or a protectant, the chart takes him to the second level–EPA or NON-EPA Registered. Some of the cleaners are registered by the EPA as disinfectants while others are registered as pesticides. The NON-EPA registered products are produced under the “treated articles exemption” but are, none the less, effective against the odor-causing bacteria and mold that grows on the surface. When a cleaner receives the EPA Registration it has undergone extensive testing, overseen by the EPA, and the preparation product may then make “kills” claims on its label for specific organisms. Generally speaking, the more organisms the product may claim to be effective against, the more powerful the chemical. Unless a product is EPA Registered, with a number on the label, it is NOT allowed to make “kills claims” against specific organisms. On the other hand, a NON-EPA Registered product is typically a water-based, more eco-friendly, more biodegradable product that has not gone through the rigors of EPA testing and registration. The product may be very effective against mold but it cannot make a “kills claim” for any specific organism. For instance, peroxides and enzyme cleaners are great for cleaning surfaces but they are, generally speaking, not EPA registered so you will not see specific claims on the label. It’s all about what the EPA will allow you to claim.
Protectants are also categorized in the same fashion between EPA and NON-EPA Registered. Protectants serve to protect the surface against future contamination. In some cases, like masonry walls, a heavy, thick coating product is necessary. In other cases, like wood substrates, you don’t want a heavy coating because you want the wood to breathe and so you might select a more breathable, water-based or lighter coating. The “kill” mechanism of a protectant, for future mold growth, varies from mechanical kills to chemical kills and this is why we have certified a training called the NORMI CBA (Certified Biocide Applicator) at www.BestTrainingSchool.com and educated our Remediators on the processes involved in proper coating for the protection of the surface.
The Chemical Flowchart now present at www.BestLivingSystems.com should help the client through the process of selecting the right product for the right job. When that is accomplished, the results are great and the client is satisfied. We applaud Best Living Systems, LLC for making it easier to sort through the process.