Options For Mold Removal From Your Environment
A variety of mold removal and cleanup
available for remediating damage to building materials and furnishings
caused by moisture control problems and fungal growth. The specific method
or group of methods used will depend on the type of material affected.
Please note that professional remediators may use some methods not covered
in these guidelines; absence of a method in the guidelines does not
necessarily mean that it is not useful.
Method 1: Wet
Wet vacuums are vacuum cleaners designed to
collect water. They can be used to remove water from floors, carpets, and
hard surfaces where water has accumulated. They should not be used to
vacuum porous materials, such as gypsum board. They should be used only
when materials are still wet - wet vacuums may spread spores if sufficient
liquid is not present. The tanks, hoses, and attachments of these vacuums
should be thoroughly cleaned and dried after use since
spores may stick to the surfaces.
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If you are unsure what to do, or if the
item is expensive or of sentimental value, you may wish to consult a
specialist. Specialists in furniture repair/restoration, painting, art
restoration and conservation, carpet and rug cleaning, water damage, and
fire/water restoration are commonly listed in phone books. Be sure to ask
for and check references; look for affiliation with professional
Method 2: Damp Wipe
Whether dead or alive, mildew is allergenic,
and some may be toxic. It can generally be removed from nonporous
(hard) surfaces by wiping or scrubbing with water, or water and detergent.
It is important to dry these surfaces quickly and thoroughly to discourage
further growth. Instructions for cleaning surfaces, as listed on
product labels, should always be read and followed. Porous materials that
are wet and have mildew growing on them may have to be discarded. Since
spores will infiltrate porous substances and grow on or fill in empty
spaces or crevices, it can be difficult or impossible to remove
Method 3: HEPA
HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air)
vacuums are recommended for final cleanup of remediation areas after
materials have been thoroughly dried and contaminated materials removed.
HEPA vacuums are also recommended for cleanup of dust that may have
settled on surfaces outside the remediation area. Care must be taken to
assure that the filter is properly seated in the vacuum so that all the
air must pass through the filter. When changing the vacuum filter,
remediators should wear PPE to prevent exposure to what has been
captured. The filter and contents of the HEPA vacuum must be disposed of
in well-sealed plastic bags.
Method 4: Discard
— Remove Damaged Materials
and Seal in Plastic Bags
Building materials and furnishings that are
contaminated with and are not salvageable should be
double-bagged using 6-mil polyethylene sheeting. These materials can then
usually be discarded as ordinary construction waste. It is important to
package contaminated materials in sealed bags before removal from the
containment area to minimize the dispersion of spores throughout the
building. Large items that have heavy growth should be covered with
polyethylene sheeting and sealed with duct tape before they are removed
from the containment area.