How to Remove Mold, Level 1

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Photo by Kristopha Hohn

What Have You Tried To Clean Up Mold and Did It Work?

For removing a larger amount of mold see How to How to Remove Mold, Level 2.  Removing mold can be very easy or very laborious to remove depending on the amount and whether or not it has grown into the buildings materials.  Use caution and protect yourself and others from the hazards of mold when attempting to clean it. Most mold problems are small and easily taken care of with no harmful side effects. Larger mold problems can cause serious health problems from flu like symptoms, loss of eyesight, and even death. If you have a major mold problem, hire a professional.

When dealing with a small amount of mold, mold growing on some grout lines or mold spores showing up in the corner of the shower ceiling etc., properly trained owners and maintenance staff can complete the cleaning and decontamination themselves. Tools and equipment required:

● Rubber gloves
● N95 approved dust mask
● Eye protection
● Antimicrobial chemical
● Long sleeves, pants, and close toed shoes
● Spray bottle (if you end up buying a bulk product)
● Terry cloth rags
● Painters tape
● Demolition knife
● Framing hammer
● 6 mil clear plastic

For a simple mold wipe down: Put on the N95 mask, gloves, and eye protection. Containment of the affected area is not required when dealing with a small amount of mold. Treat the affected area by following the directions of the antimicrobial you purchased.  Using the rags wipe off and clean the affected area and continue to clean 4’ beyond the visibly affected area.

Pro Tip: Benefect since it is hypoallergenic mold removal product that does not require users to use personal protective equipment when using.

For a small mold removal: If the mold does not wipe off and or has grown into the building material, removal of the building material may be required. In order to keep the dust down first cover the area around the removal site with plastic. For a removal less than 10 square feet all flooring, furniture, etc should be covered and taped off using the plastic. A containment is not required, but it may be easier to move contents and set up a containment rather than trying to cover and tape everything off.

To keep the dust down, the material being removed should be misted often with a spray bottle containing an antimicrobial solution. The material removed should be disposed of in 3 mil plastic bags and then have them twisted and taped shut. The exposed framing should be treated with an antimicrobial and allowed to dry before repairs begin. After the demolition has been completed HEPA vacuum the work area. Roll up all of the plastic and close up all trash bags and dispose in an outside trash bin. There are no special trash receptacles for throwing anything away that is contaminated by mold. Double check the work site and run the vacuum through one more time to make sure the demolition area is left clean, dust, and mold free.

Before repairs begin, make sure the cause of the mold has been eliminated. Now How to Keep Mold From Coming Back!

Reference: New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene November 2008

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