Black Mold Air Purifiers and Filters
Black Mold Air Purifiers and Filters
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Information and solutions for black mold, mildew, and black mold fungus.

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Cleaning Options For Mold Removal From Your Environment

Cleanup Methods

A variety of mold removal and cleanup methods are 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 Vacuum

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.

The Solution: Ozone Generators - Learn More

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 organizations.

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 completely.

Method 3: HEPA Vacuum

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.

 

What Can You Do Now?

Finally...

Relief from Black Mold & Mildew. 

Our ozone generators and ionizers provide the necessary environment to reduce the effects of black mold and Stachybotrys.

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How Do You Know When You Have Finished Remediation/Cleanup?

  1. You must have completely fixed the water or moisture problem.
  2. Use professional judgment to determine if the cleanup of mildew is sufficient. Visible mildew, mildew-damaged materials, and musty odors should not be present.
  3. If you have sampled, the kinds and concentrations of mildew and spores in the building should be similar to those found outside, once cleanup activities have been completed.
  4. You should revisit the site(s) shortly after remediation, and it should show no signs of water damage or mildew growth.
  5. People should be able to occupy or re-occupy the space without health complaints or physical symptoms.
  6. Ultimately, this is a judgment call; there is no easy answer.

Remediation/Cleanup and Biocides

The purpose of mold removal and remediation is to remove the mold to prevent human exposure and damage to building materials and furnishings. It is necessary to clean up mold contamination, not just to kill the mold. Dead spores are still allergenic, and some dead spores are potentially toxic. The use of a biocide, such as chlorine bleach, is not recommended as a routine practice during mold remediation, although there may be instances where professional judgment may indicate its use (for example, when immune-compromised individuals are present). In most cases, it is not possible or desirable to sterilize an area; a background level of spores will remain in the air (roughly equivalent to or lower than the level in outside air). These spores will not grow if the moisture problem in the building has been resolved.

If you choose to use disinfectants or biocides, always ventilate the area. Outdoor air may need to be brought in with fans. When using fans, take care not to distribute spores throughout an unaffected area. Biocides are toxic to humans, as well as to mold. You should also use appropriate PPE and read and follow label precautions. Never mix chlorine bleach solution with cleaning solutions or detergents that contain ammonia; toxic fumes could be produced.

Some biocides are considered pesticides, and some States require that only registered pesticide applicators apply these products in schools. Make sure anyone applying a biocide is properly licensed, if necessary. Fungicides are commonly applied to outdoor plants, soil, and grains as a dust or spray—examples include hexachlorobenzene, organomercurials, pentachlorophenol, phthalimides, and dithiocarbamates. Do not use fungicides developed for use outdoors for remediation or for any other indoor situation.

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