Mold remediation

The first step in solving an indoor mold problem is to remove the moisture source;[11] new mold will begin to grow on moist, porous surfaces within 24 to 48 hours. There are a number of ways to prevent mold growth. Some cleaning companies specialize in fabric restoration, removing mold (and mold spores) from clothing to eliminate odor and prevent further damage to garments.

The effective way to clean mold is to use detergent solutions which physically remove mold. Many commercially available detergents marketed for mold cleanup include an EPA-approved antifungal agent.[12]

Significant mold growth may require professional mold remediation to remove the affected building materials and eradicate the source of excess moisture. In extreme cases of mold growth in buildings, it may be more cost-effective to condemn the building than to reduce mold to safe levels.

The goals of remediation are to remove (or clean) contaminated materials, preventing fungi (and fungi-contaminated dust) from entering an occupied (or non-contaminated) area while protecting workers performing the abatement.[13]

Cleanup and removal methods

The purpose of cleanup is to eliminate mold and remove contaminated materials. Killing mold with a biocide is insufficient, since chemicals and proteins causing reactions in humans remain in dead mold. The following methods are used:

  • Evaluation: Before remediation, the area is assessed to ensure safety, clean up the entire moldy area, and properly approach the mold. The EPA provides the following instructions:[8]
  • HVAC cleaning: Should be done by a trained professional.
  • Protective clothing: Includes a half- or full-face respirator mask. Goggles with a half-face respirator mask prevent mold spores from reaching the mucous membranes of the eyes. Disposable hazmat coveralls are available to keep out particles down to one micrometer, and protective suits keep mold spores from entering skin cuts. Gloves are made of rubber, nitrile, polyurethane, or neoprene.[8
  • Dry brushing or agitation device: Wire brushing or sanding is used when microbial growth can be seen on solid wood surfaces such as framing or underlayment (the subfloor).
  • Dry-ice blasting: Removes mold from wood and cement; however, this process may spray mold and its bi-products into surrounding air.
  • Wet vacuum: Wet vacuuming is used on wet materials, and this method is one of those approved by the EPA.
  • Damp wipe: Removal of mold from non-porous surfaces by wiping or scrubbing with water and a detergent and drying quickly
  • HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) vacuum: Used in remediation areas after materials have been dried and contaminated materials removed; collected debris and dust is stored to prevent debris release.
  • Debris disposal: Sealed in the remediation area, debris is usually discarded with ordinary construction waste.

What Others are saying

"This product has been most effective in solving mold testing problems in numerous houses I have had for sale.”


-Beth Kershaw
ReMax Property Centre

 

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