Mold Remediation / Cleanup Methods
The goal of mold remediation is to rectify the moisture problem and to remove moldy and contaminated materials in order to prevent human exposure and further damage to building materials and furnishings. Remediation includes structural repairs to prevent additional water intrusion, removal of mold-contaminated materials that cannot be adequately cleaned and decontaminated, and cleaning and decontamination of mold-contaminated materials that can endure such action.Wet porous materials with mold growth have to be removed and discarded. These include paper, fiberglass and cellulose insulation, gypsum board, ceiling tiles, insulation, wall coverings, carpet, leather, and unprotected wood products. Such items cannot be easily retrieved and is not cost-effective to remove the mold.The key to successful remediation are:
1) Rectify the underlying moisture problem. Revise and carry out appropriate repair and maintenance plan if necessary.
2)Completely clean up mold and dry the water-damaged areas.
3) Select appropriate cleaning and drying methods for damaged / contaminated materials.
4) Control contaminants during remediation.
5) Use appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Arrange for outside professional support if necessary. A number of cleanup techniques are available for remediating damage to building materials and furnishings caused by mold growth. The specific method used will depend on the type of the material affected.
Some of the methods used include the following:
Wet Vacuum – Basically vacuum cleaners designed to remove water from floors, carpets, and hard surfaces where water has accumulated. Not to be used when sufficient liquid is not present. The tanks, hoses, and attachments of these vacuums should be thoroughly cleaned and dried after use since mold and mold spores may adhere to equipment surfaces. They should not be used to vacuum porous materials such as gypsum board.
Damp Wipe – Removal of molds from nonporous surfaces by wiping or scrubbing with water and detergent. Use non-ammonia soap or detergent, or a commercial cleaner, in hot water, and scrub the entire area affected by the molds. The surfaces should be quickly and thoroughly dried after scrubbing in order to avoid further growth of molds.
Follow instructions listed on the product label.High Efficiency Particulate (HEPA) Vacuum – Used for final cleanup of remediation areas after materials have been thoroughly dried and contaminated materials removed. HEPA vacuums also are recommended for cleanup of dust that may have settled on surfaces outside the remediation area. When changing the vacuum filter, use of PPE (respirators, appropriate personal protective clothing, gloves, and eye protection) is highly recommended to prevent exposure to any captured mold and other contaminants.
Use of Biocides (Disinfectants and Pesticides)- The use of a biocide such as chlorine bleach is not usually recommended as a routine practice during mold remediation. If used, always ventilate the area with outside air, and exhaust the air to the outdoors. When applied, use appropriate PPE, including respirators. Always, read and follow product label precautions. Do not mix chlorine bleach solution with other cleaning solutions that contain ammonia as this may produce highly toxic vapors and create a hazard to workers.
Disposal of Damaged Materials – Building materials and furnishings that cannot be remediated Contents must be sealed in impermeable bags or closed containers. Large items may be covered in polyethylene sheeting and sealed with duct tape before being removed from the remediation area.