Mold cleanup and removal methods

The purpose of the clean-up process is to eliminate the mold and fungal growth and to remove contaminated materials. As a rule, simply killing the mold with a biocide is not enough. The mold must be removed since the chemicals and proteins, which cause a reaction in humans, are still present even in dead mold.

Vacuum

Wet vacuum cleaners are designed to remove water from floors, carpets and other hard surfaces where water has accumulated. Wet vacuuming should only be used on wet materials, as spores may be exhausted into the indoor environment if insufficient liquid is present. After use, this equipment must be thoroughly cleaned and dried as spores can adhere to the inner surfaces of the tank, hoses, and other attachments.

Damp wipe

Damp wipe is the removal of mold from non-porous surfaces by wiping or scrubbing with water and a detergent. Care must be exercised to make sure the material is allowed to quickly dry to discourage any further mold growth. With surfaces such as metal, glass, hardwood, plastics, and concrete, you should scrape off as much of the mold as possible. Then, scrub the surface with a moldicide or fungicide cleaner.

HEPA vacuum

High Efficiency Particulate Air filtered vacuum cleaners are used in the final cleanup of remediation areas after materials have been thoroughly dried and all contaminated materials have been removed. HEPA vacuum cleaners are recommended for the cleanup of the outside areas surrounding the remediation area. During this process, the workers wear proper personal protective equipment (PPE) to prevent exposure to mold and other contaminants. The collected debris and dust should be stored in impervious bags or containers in a manner to prevent any release of debris.

Disposal of debris and damaged materials

Building materials and furnishings contaminated with mold should be placed into impervious bags or closed containers while in the remediation area. These materials can usually be discarded as regular construction waste.

Equipment

Several types of equipment may be used in the remediation process and may include:

Moisture meter: a tool that measures the moisture level in building materials. It can also be used to measure the progress of the drying of damaged materials. Pin moisture meters have a small probe that is inserted into the material. Pinless moisture meters usually have a flat sensing area that is pressed directly against the material’s surface. Moisture meters can be used on carpet, wallboard, woods, brick, and other masonry.

Humidity gauge: measures the amount of humidity in the indoor environment. Often gauges are paired with a thermometer to measure the temperature.

Borescope: a hand-held tool that allows the user to see potential mold problems inside walls, ceilings, crawl spaces, and other tight spaces. It consists of a camera on the end of a flexible “snake”. No major drilling or cutting of dry wall is required.

Digital camera: used to document findings during assessment.

Personal protective equipment (PPE): includes respirators, gloves, impervious suit, and eye protection. These items can be used during the assessment and remediation processes.

Thermographic camera: Infrared thermal imaging cameras are often used (and effective) in addition to moisture meters to double check moisture meter findings, and look at the broader picture. They help mainly in identifying auxiliary points of moisture intrusion.

Dehumidifier : If you have high humidity in your home from things like aquariums or house plants, a dehumidifier can help bring down the level of moisture in the air. This in turn will reduce the chances that mold can build up within these areas of your home.

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