There are five general principles of mold cleanup – or remediating – mold. These guidelines will help you deal effectively with small areas of mold contamination (e.g., less than 10 square feet). Leave larger areas (e.g., more than 10 square feet) to professionals with special training and who will apply these same principles in performing their work.
#1 Be Safe with Mold Cleanup San Diego CA
Moldy houses and contents are a health hazard. Mold has been associated with allergic rhinitis, asthma, and hypersensitivity pneumonitis, and infections such as histoplasmosis and cryptococcosis. Mold mycotoxins can also produce toxin-related illnesses.
Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as an N-95 respirator (available from home improvement stores), gloves, and goggles, to reduce your exposure to mold spores and fragments.
Major contamination – best handled by professionals – requires special steps. These may include extra-protective garments and respirators, “full containment” such as sealing off the mold zones with polyethylene sheeting, running HEPA filtered fans to create negative pressure and airflow so no contaminated air escapes from the moldy area or affects clean areas, and sealing off HVAC ductto prevent spreading mold spores throughout your home.
#2 Document Details
An effective mold cleanup starts with knowing the extent of contamination. This means inspecting the area thoroughly, and knowing your home and the materials involved. In addition to a visual and “sniff” inspection (mold often has a distinct accompanying odor), questions to answer include: What materials are contaminated? How large an area – visible or hidden – is affected? Have all the sources of moisture been identified and corrected?
For larger jobs, an indoor environmental professional (IEP) such as an independent Clean Trust-Certified technician can use this basic information as well as data gathered by moisture, mold and other detection tools to perform an initial assessment, on-going assessment, and to verify afterwards that the cleanup has been thorough and effective.
Thorough documentation will help you when it comes time to file an insurance claim, and should be performed and maintained throughout a major mold cleanup project.
#3 Contain Mold
Mold contamination should be controlled and contained. When mold spores from infestations become airborne they are harder to capture, unhealthy to breathe, and can spread mold to other areas.
Start by covering areas awaiting mold cleanup with polyethylene or clear plastic sheeting to prevent airborne dispersal of spores. Other source containment methods including keeping surfaces wet during initial cleanup to minimize dust, using vacuums equipped with HEPA filtration to capture spores and fragments, and running HEPA air purifiers close to the work areas. If an entire area can be ventilated or continually flushed with fresh air without moving contaminated air into clean areas then this is also appropriate. More elaborate containment for large and complex cleanups is best left to professionals.