Mold prevention and removal are commonplace chores for most homeowners. And, in small quantities, mold can be fairly easy to manage. However, if left unchecked or given the right environment, these microscopic invaders can do costly damage, lower your property value, and even make you ill.
How to Keep Your Home Mold Free
There are a few things you can do to manage mold problems in your home. The first is basic prevention. Mold needs moisture, prefers low light, and breeds best in areas with minimal ventilation. So be sure to address leaks, faulty structures, and stay up on the upkeep of your home. (To read about our seasonal mold prevention tips, feel free to visit our blogs.) When mold does occur, as is sometimes unavoidable, be sure to follow the EPA’s guidelines on proper remediation. Though, in general, we suggest leaving larger mold remediation projects to professionals. This is because certain types of mold are dangerous and spread quickly. Furthermore, some materials (like wood) require specific techniques to disinfect. Furthermore, mold remediation specialists have the training to identify where the problem started. (It is also possible to exasperate mold issues if you don’t know what you’re doing.)
If your mold problem is small, or you do choose to move forward on your own, then feel free to reference our guide on How To Clean Up Mold.
How to Clean Up Mold
- Naturally, the first step is inspection, which should include proper testing and assessment. That will help you build a plan, and inform every other step thereafter.
- Next, you’ll want to purchase your safety gear, which should include a proper mask, such as a P-100 respirator. Remember to wear goggles or gloves during the entire process and be sure to avoid cross-contamination.
- Now turn off your furnace or air conditioner and cover ducts and doors to contain spores. (If you suspect mold in your ventilation system, we strongly recommend a professional consultation.)
- Seal off the room and utilize air filtration devices to generate negative pressure and create containment for the infected space.
- Remove or cover furniture and personal items. (Be aware that anything you keep may contain spores. Use good judgment about what to hold on to or clean, or seek professional advice.)
Step Two – Remove Contaminated Materials
- Depending on the extent of the damage, you may have to remove carpet, walls, baseboards, tiles, and more.
- Make sure to contain discarded materials in plastic bags to avoid spreading spores and vacuum up all debris. In general, we recommend using a shop vac HEPA vacuum over household vacuums, since you don’t want to spread spores throughout your home. Be sure to wash the tank and hoses and change the filter after the job’s complete.
Treating Remaining Surfaces
- Thoroughly vacuum the entire surface with a HPVA HEPA vacuum. This must include an area two feet beyond any visible mold.
- Mix the fungicide you have selected per the recommendations on the label. Then, scrub the contaminated surface and leave to dry. Wiping away excess moisture is acceptable, but do not rinse.
- Encapsulate the treated area with a nonpermeable barrier.
- Once the treatment is complete, containment and ventilation should remain in effect for three days.
- Immediately wash your clothing after treating mold, and dispose of rags in a sealed garbage bag.
- If the mold removal process succeeded (have a professional test if you aren’t sure), you may now begin repair work.
Finding Help For More Severe Problems
Mold cleanup can be a lengthy and specialized process. As such, you may find you have several questions as you go. Don’t be afraid to call a mold remediation company in your area for more information. Or, if you’re in Utah, you can call us. AEI Decon has over a decade of experience in mold removal and mitigation, and we’re happy to help. You can reach us at (801) 888-6698.