How Should Mold Be Cleaned?

Mold and Air Quality – Part V

How Should Mold Be Cleaned?

Mold should be cleaned as soon as it appears. Persons who clean the mold should be free of symptoms and allergies. Small areas of mold should be cleaned using a detergent/soapy water or a commercial mildew or mold cleaner. Gloves and goggles should be worn during cleaning. The cleaned area should then be thoroughly dried. Throw away any sponges or rags used to clean mold.

If the mold returns quickly or spreads, it may mean you have an underlying problem, such as a water leak. Any water leaks must first be fixed when solving mold problems. If the moldy material is not easily cleanable, such as drywall, carpet padding and insulation, then removal and replacement may be necessary.

Should bleach or other biocides (disinfectants, sanitizers, or fungicides) be used to kill mold?

Using bleach or other chemicals to kill indoor mold growth is not needed in most cases. The goal should be to remove mold growth by cleaning or removing moldy materials. Dead mold can still pose health risks if you are exposed. Using bleach or other disinfectants on surfaces after mold removal may be needed where people are thought to be susceptible to fungal infections (such as a person with immune system problems). Should you decide to use bleach or another chemical, please read and carefully follow the label directions and hazard statements (caution, warning, danger). Do not mix bleach with ammonia cleaners or acids, because a dangerous chlorine gas may be formed.

Should I use an ozone generator to address an existing mold problem?

No. Ozone irritates lungs, and is not likely to be effective at addressing an indoor mold problem. No one should expose themselves or others to ozone on purpose. Address the cause of the mold (usually moisture) and then remove the mold by cleaning surfaces or removing moldy materials.

Who should do the cleanup?

Who should do the cleanup depends on a number of factors. One consideration is the size of the mold problem. If the moldy area is less than about 10 square feet (less than roughly a 3 ft. by 3 ft. patch), in most cases, you can handle the job yourself. However,

  • If you choose to hire a contractor (or other professional service provider) to do the cleanup, make sure the contractor has experience cleaning up mold.
  • If you think the heating or air conditioning (HVAC) system may be contaminated with mold, read the EPA’s guide at www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/airduct.html before taking further action.
  • If you have concerns regarding your health before starting the cleanup, consult your doctor.

(Note: The EPA suggests the following: “Do not run the HVAC system if you know or suspect that it is contaminated with mold – it could spread mold throughout the building”. Unfortunately, it is thought that most, if not all, heating and air conditioning systems in Florida will support mold growth at some point. Stopping the use of an air conditioning system due to suspected mold growth would make most Florida buildings very uncomfortable during hot and humid weather. Should you turn off an air conditioner if a mold problem in the system is found? Ideally, yes. The system should be shut down while cleaning or mold removal is performed. If the water and/or mold damage was caused by sewage or other contaminated water, then call a professional who has experience cleaning and fixing buildings damaged by contaminated water.)

Who can I call if I suspect that I have a mold problem, or if I want more information on mold?

For additional information about the health effects of mold exposure and information on the safe removal of mold, please call 239-481-3977 Comprehensive Building Consultants where there is a Master Indoor environmental Specialist and a Certified Master Inspector and has Thermal Infrared Technology.

Where can I obtain additional information on the Internet?

FEMA- Clean Mold Thoroughly and Safely

FEMA – Mold Remediation

Feel free to leave a question or comment below.  You can also contact us at russell@bestinspector.com

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Posted on June 19, 2012, in Inspections and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Cleaning molds may be hard to do specially if you don’t know what could be the first step. This article may help you in configuring out what shall you do in cleaning your home with pesky mold growths.

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