Mold Remediation Procedures
Molds Can Damage Building Materials and Furnishings
Mold can eventually cause structural damage to a school or substantial building, if a mold/moisture problem remains unaddressed for quite a long time. In the case of a long term roof escape, for instance, molds can weaken floorings and walls as the molds feed on wet wood. If you suspect that mold has damaged building integrity, you need to consult a structural engineer or another professional with expertise in mold remediation.
Various mold cleaning procedures and emergency service companies are available for remediating damage to building materials and furnishings caused by moisture control problems and mold growth. The specific approach or group of processes used will depend on the type of material affected, as presented in Table 2. Please be aware that professional remediators may use some processes not covered in these guidelines; lack of a procedure in the guidelines will not absolutely mean that it’s not useful.
Wet vacuums are vacuum cleaners designed to gather water. They can be utilized to eliminate water from floors, carpets, and hard surfaces where water has accumulated. They shouldn’t be used to vacuum porous substances, including gypsum board. They need to be utilized only when substances are still wet wet vacuums may disperse spores if adequate liquid isn’t present. The tanks, hoses, and fasteners of these vacuums should be thoroughly cleaned and dried after use since mold and mold spores may stick to the surfaces.
Whether dead or alive, mold is allergenic, and some molds may be poisonous. Mold can generally be removed from nonporous (hard) surfaces by wiping or scrubbing with water, or water and detergent. It’s important to dry these surfaces immediately and completely to discourage further mold growth. Directions for cleaning surfaces, as listed on product labels, should always be read and followed. Porous materials which are wet and have mold growing on them may have to be lost. Since molds will infiltrate porous materials and grow on or fill in empty spaces or crevices, the mold may be hard or impossible to remove entirely.
Mold and Paint
Paint applied over moldy surfaces will probably peel off.
HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) vacuums are recommended for final cleanup of remediation places after materials have been thoroughly dry and contaminated materials removed. HEPA vacuums are also recommended for cleanup of dust that may have settled on surfaces outside the remediation area. Care should be taken to assure that the filter is correctly seated in the vacuum so that all the air must pass through the filter.
Mold Remediation/Cleanup and Biocides
The purpose of mold remediation would be to take out the mold to prevent human exposure and damage to building materials and furnishings. It is necessary to clean up mold contaminants, not simply to kill the mold. Dead mold is still allergenic, and some dead molds are potentially hazardous. Using a biocide, such as chlorine bleach, isn’t advocated as a routine practice during mold remediation, although there may be cases where professional judgment may indicate its use (for example, when immune-compromised individuals are present). These spores won’t grow if the moisture problem in the building has been worked out.
If you choose to use disinfectants or biocides, always ventilate the region. Outdoor atmosphere might have to be brought in with fans. When using fans, take care not to spread mold spores throughout an unaffected region. Biocides are toxic to people, also as to mold. You need to also use appropriate PPE and read and follow label precautions. Never mix chlorine bleach solution with cleaning solutions or detergents which contain ammonia; toxic fumes could be generated.
Some biocides are considered pesticides, and some States require that only registered pesticide applicators apply these products in schools. Make sure anyone applying a biocide is correctly licensed, if necessary. Fungicides are commonly applied to outdoor plants, soil, and grains as a dust or spray examples include hexachlorobenzene, organomercurials, pentachlorophenol, phthalimides, and dithiocarbamates. Do not use fungicides developed for use outdoors for mold remediation or for any other indoor situation.
Method 4: Discard Remove Damaged Materials and Seal in Plastic Bags
Building materials and furnishings which are contaminated with mold growing and aren’t salvageable should be double-bagged using 6-mil polyethylene sheeting. These substances can then normally be discarded as ordinary construction waste. It is necessary to package mold-contaminated materials in sealed bags before removal from the containment area to minimize the dispersion of mold spores through the building. Big items which have significant mold growth should be covered with polyethylene sheeting and sealed with duct tape before they’re removed from the containment region.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
If the remediation occupation disturbs mold and mold spores become airborne, then the danger of respiratory exposure goes up. Actions that are likely to stir up mold comprise: break up of moldy porous materials including wallboard; invasive procedures used to analyze or remediate mold growth in a wall cavity; actively stripping or peeling wallpaper to remove it; and using fans to dry things.
These sections discuss the various kinds of PPE that can be used during remediation activities. Please be aware that all people using specific PPE gear, such as half-face or full face respirators, must be trained, must have medical clearance, and must be fit-tested by a skilled professional. Additionally, using respirators must follow a complete respiratory protection program as stipulated by the Occupational Security and Health Administration (see Resources List for more advice).
Skin and Eye Protection
Private Protective Gear
Gloves are required to protect the skin from contact with mold allergens (and in some situations mold toxins) and from potentially irritating cleaning solutions. Long gloves that extend to the middle of the forearm are recommended. The glove material should be selected on the basis of the type of materials being handled. In case you are employing a biocide (for example chlorine bleach) or a strong cleaning solution, you need to select gloves produced from natural rubber, neoprene, nitrile, polyurethane, or PVC. In case you are employing a mild detergent or plain water, average household rubber gloves could be utilized. To guard your eyes, use properly fitted goggles or a full-face respirator with HEPA filter. Goggles must be made to forbid the entrance of dust and small particles. Safety glasses or goggles with open vent holes are not adequate.
Respirators protect clean-up workers from inhaling airborne mold, mold spores, and dust.
Minimum: When cleaning up a little area affected by mold, you should use an N-95 respirator. In situations where a full face respirator is in use, additional eye protection is not needed.
Small: Small PPE comprises use of a half-face or full-face air purifying respirator (APR) equipped with a HEPA filter cartridge. These respirators include both inhalation and exhalation valves that filter the atmosphere and ensure that it’s free of mold particles. Note that half-face APRs do not provide eye protection. Additionally, the HEPA filters do not remove vapors or gases. You must always use respirators approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (see Resources List).
Full: In situations in which high levels of airborne dust or mold spores are likely or when intense or long-term exposures are anticipated (e.g., the cleaning of large areas of contamination), a full-face, powered air purifying respirator (PAPR) is recommended. Fullface PAPRs use a blower to force air through a HEPA filter. The HEPA-filtered air is furnished to a mask that covers the entire face or a hood that covers the entire head. Individuals must be trained to make use of their respirators before they begin remediation. The use of these respirators must be in compliance with OSHA regulations (see Resources List).
Disposable Protective Clothing
Disposable clothing is recommended during a medium or large remediation job to stop the transfer and spread of mold to clothing and to remove skin contact with mold.
Limited: Disposable paper overalls may be used.
Full: Mold-impervious disposable head and foot coverings, and a body suit made of a breathable material, such as TYVEK, should be used. All gaps, like those around ankles and wrists, ought to be sealed with duct tape.