As you probably know, mold was here before we were. Molds and fungi, as one of the oldest genus in the world, grow in nearly every climate in a variety of forms and circumstances.
It is possible to create environments and conditions that have extremely low or zero mold counts, but the conditions required to create these environments are so demanding that they aren’t economically feasible for most people to recreate inside of their homes.
The EPA guidelines for air quality within living spaces specifies that mold remediators should achieve lower mold counts in the air than what naturally occurs outside. For this reason, companies that test mold will often take a control sample of outside air for comparison.
Traditional remediation methods, like demolition, biocide application with a sprayer, and rebuild, can often exacerbate environmental conditions while work is being performed. If companies do not use proper containment, mold can be spread around the home and grow again in moist conditions, like in a bathroom or where food is cooked.
About 10 years ago a new method was introduced to the market that clearly shows we are able to circumvent a good portion of the IICRC traditional remediation protocol. Commonly referred to as ‘fogging,’ some companies, like ours, are able to create a particle of chemical so small that we can penetrate most building materials and cavities inside a home WITHOUT extensive demolition. This method reduces the likelihood of cross contamination. When used in dry conditions, this method of mold remediation will actually break down the proteins of the mold itself, rendering what is left inert matter or dust, and achieving the removal of particles from the air.
Not only is this method much cheaper and faster, but air sampling has proven that we are able to achieve airborne mold counts near zero, and with our proprietary chemical blend, even prevent the regrowth of mold in damp or humid conditions. This is revolutionary to the mold space, and one of the reasons our company has gained so much regional attention over the past several years.
All this said, there are some conditions in which old-style methods of material tear out and removal are required, and it’s important to consult with a professional about what your specific situation might be.
So, no, you can’t completely eliminate mold from the common space, as outside air and normal traffic will bring limited spores from outside back inside. You can, however, lower the level of mold in a space to be comparable to outside, and in the case of specialized methods, achieve levels that are much lower than normal.
Thanks for the question!