Recommends 25 Steps for Effective Toxic Mold Removal, Remediation, and
four words neatly summarize what has to be done in effective and safe mold
removal, mold remediation, mold mitigation, and mold abatement: CONTAIN,
KILL, REMOVE, and PROTECT.
the mold from spreading into uncontaminated areas;
the dead mold; and
the cleaned out area against future mold infestations.
Whether you plan on doing your own mold removal and
remediation, or hiring a
Certified Mold Contractor or
Certified Mold Remediator, follow these twenty-five steps
to completely and safely remove mold problems, contamination, and
infestation from your home, condominium, rental apartments, office,
warehouse, retail store or other real estate building. Where relevant, mold
testing and mold remediation suggestions from the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency are included below.
Learn the techniques and procedures recommended for safe and successful
toxic mold inspection, testing, and remediation---whether
do-it-yourself or to hire a
Certified Mold Remediator (CMR).
How? Read mold
remediation self-help books and internet mold advice websites, plus get
professional guidance. Visit
Bleach Mold Myth. Read the
up-to-date, in depth ebook
Do-It-BEST-Yourself Mold Prevention, Inspection, Testing, and Remediation
[delivered within 24 hours by email attachments to you], plus
learn how to make your own, low-cost, easy-to-make homemade fungicides
and antimicrobial coatings [from readily available, non-bleach household
products and other items readily available in your community] in our
Home Mold Remedy Recipes or
boric acid formula. If
you are concerned about mold health problems, plus want to learn of all
available mold medical diagnostic and treatment procedures, please read our
Mold Health Guide [ebook]. If you need information about
prosecuting or defending a mold legal claim, read
Mold Legal Guide [ebook].
Locate and fix all sources of mold-causing water intrusion such as
recurring flooding, plumbing leaks, leaky roofs or siding, blocked
air-conditioning condensation drain lines, and
humidity [e.g., above 50 to 60%].
Follow the dozens of water-intrusion
prevention and remediation suggestions contained in the in-depth ebook
Do-It-BEST-Yourself Mold Prevention, Inspection, Testing, and Remediation,
available at our
online mold products catalog.
Inspect and mold test inside, above, and below each water-penetrated
ceiling, wall, and floor
with a fiber optics inspection device, a
meter, do-it-yourself mold test kits from a large hardware or
home improvement store, or a
mold inspection by a
Certified Mold Inspector [CMI], and by cutting small core dry wall
samples. Remove and look in the middle and back of each core for visible
mold growth. You can also cut off thin veneer
moldy slices from each core sampling, and then insert each veneer slice into
a do it yourself mold test kit to watch for mold growth over a 7 day time
period. More valuable to you in mold insights, would be to put each sample
into a separate ziplock bag properly labeled with property address, precise
testing location at that address, date of testing, name of tester [you
probably], and your full contact info, and then to mail your collected
samples to a mold analysis laboratory.
For low-cost mold testing, use inexpensive Scotch®Tape to do
lift tape mold sampling and/or do
bulk physical sampling [collect physical pieces of moldy building
materials or other items], and then send the tape samples or bulk samples to
the a mold analysis lab.
Find and locate all toxic mold infestations (visible and hidden) in the
entire home or building by thorough, all-around
mold inspection and
mold testing (with mold laboratory analysis and mold species
identification of collected mold samples).
suspect hidden mold if a building smells moldy, but you cannot see the
source, or if you know there has been water damage and residents are
reporting health problems. Mold may be hidden in places such as the back
side of dry wall, wallpaper, or paneling, the top side of ceiling tiles, the
underside of carpets and pads, etc. Other possible locations of hidden mold
include areas inside walls around pipes (with leaking or condensing pipes),
the surface of walls behind furniture (where condensation forms), inside
ductwork, and in roof materials above ceiling tiles (due to roof leaks or
insufficient insulation)," warns the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
For all building locations wherein you see visible mold, use the clear
lift sampling method that is explained in the
mold test kit
instructions section, or scrape visible mold particles into a mold test
kit available from a large hardware, home improvement, or safety store.
Conduct a mold control test using a do-it-yourself mold test kits
[available at a large hardware, home improvement, or safety store] outside your home or building with the test kit being at
least five feet out from any roof or porch overhang. You need this outdoor
control test for comparison of results from your indoor mold testing.
Use a fiber optics inspection device, a hidden moisture meter, and internal
wall and ceiling cavity mold testing to search for hidden mold growth.
5. Test the outward airflow from each
heating/cooling duct register for elevated levels of airborne mold spores.
If there is a serious toxic mold infestation anywhere in a building,
airborne mold spores from such mold locations will usually enter and
contaminate the heating/cooling equipment and ducts, as well as the rest of
the building. Use do it yourself mold test kits to collect possible mold spores in the outward air flow
from each register with the system running on fan ventilation.
mold-infested heating/cooling equipment and ducts if the owner can afford to
do so. Otherwise, do repeated mold spraying with a
mold fogging machine
mold home remedy recipe or
boric acid formula into the return air duct while the system is
running on fan ventilation
to deliver the
fungicide to internal surfaces.
Air conditioning-heating equipment and duct
mold problems. When humid air passes
over chilled cooling coils, water condenses and drips through the coils into
a collection pan, from which it continuously drains. Problems with these
systems may occur when this water collects and becomes stagnant either on
the coils or in the drip pan. When standing water is present, a biofilm will
develop. This biofilm is composed of bacteria and fungi that are embedded in
a slimy matrix. Other organisms such as amoebae and algae may also occupy
this comfortable growth site, feeding off the accumulated organic material.
Learn how to deal with this important problem at
Cooling Coil. In addition, it is common for the condensation line from
the cooling equipment to become clogged, backing up water into the air
conditioning unit and then, from there, into the house or building.
If there is a serious mold problem anywhere in
a home or other building, airborne mold spores from those points of mold
contamination will enter into the heating/cooling ducts and/or equipment to
mold contaminate both, and thus the entire building. Of course, the opposite
is also true: if there is mold infestation growing inside the
heating/cooling ducts and/or equipment, the heating/cooling system will
efficiently spread airborne mold spores through out the entire home or
building through air distribution of the running system. In any home or
building with mold infestation, you need to mold test the outward air flow
from each heating/cooling duct register for the possible presence of
elevated levels of airborne mold spores in comparison with your outdoor mold
control test. Use either a
Certified Mold Inspector or do-it-yourself mold test kits from a large
hardware or home improvement store..
When doing mold remediation of a house or
building, the heating/cooling mold problems should be fixed first, and then
you can seal tightly with plastic sheeting all inward and outward duct
registers. Don't run the system until the rest of the home has been
effectively mold remediated and the building has passed mold clearance tests
done by an independent
Certified Mold Inspector not involved in the mold remediation work, or
by your use of do-it-yourself mold test kits.
If you fog a fungicide into the return air duct
while the system is running on fan ventilation, you can get substantial
amounts of fungicide delivered throughout the system. While spraying or
fogging a mold fungicide [spraying step 1] and subsequently a
Mold Home Remedy Recipe or
boric acid formula [spraying/fogging step 2] inside the
heating/cooling ducts and equipment, no one [except the protected
applicator] should be in the home or building during the spraying or
fogging application. The person doing the spraying or
fogging application needs to wear proper personal protective gear, as
explained at point 13 below.
residents or workers are experiencing any possible toxic
mold health symptoms,
or if there is a strong smell of mold, or if there are visible signs of
anywhere in the building, or if the building tests positive for elevated
levels of airborne mold spores, the occupants should move temporarily to a
mold-safe place until after successful mold remediation and clearance
Occupants moving out should not take any clothing, personal possessions,
furnishings, furniture, or equipment until after such items have been
effectively mold decontaminated outdoors [or in a clean room built from
plastic sheeting] to avoid mold cross contamination of the temporary living
or working quarters.
9. Do not paint over mold problems. Mold
loves to eat paint as a snack food. Don’t expect to kill mold successfully
by using paint containing a mildicide [too mild to kill existing toxic mold
infestation] or with a
primer sold to hide water damage stains. Do not rely on
Kilz to kill mold or anything---it does not kill mold, and the
product is NOT an EPA-registered fungicide. Kilz is a good product to hide
or camouflage defects like water damage stains prior to painting over
10. Before beginning to work in the
mold-afflicted areas, contain the moldy work area (and thus contain the
toxic mold spores that will be released into the air by opening up
mold-contaminated areas) by using wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling plastic
sheeting as containment walls. How to make effective mold containment
walls, including a mold-secure entry way into the mold containment area, is
explained in detail in the ebook
Do-It-Best-Yourself Mold Prevention, Inspection, Testing, and Remediation.
Use 6 mill thick, clear plastic sheeting that you can buy at a hardware
store or home improvement center. A photograph of a mold containment wall in
use is provided at the bottom of this page.
11. After the installation of air tight mold
containment walls, dry the work area [especially if still wet from flooding
or a now fixed water leak or roof leak] with one or more large dehumidifiers
or an industrial size dehumidifier. Improper fan drying can spread mold
spores to cross contaminate an entire building and its heating/cooling
12. Inside the mold containment area, use a
large fan in the window to exhaust air directly outside on a continuous
basis to expel airborne mold spores and remediation-caused dust---or
better yet, use an industrial hepa filter to filter out mold, with a
flexible hose directly venting the exhaust air flow to the outdoors. You
need to exhaust more air to the outside than is entering the containment
area to create negative air pressure. (You know you have negative air
pressure when the plastic containment sheets are being sucked inward toward
the work area rather than bulging outward away from the work area.). A
photograph of a mold containment wall in use with negative air pressure is
provided at the bottom of this page.
13. While working inside the mold
containment area, always wear effective protective gear such as
protective biohazard suit. [$10 at safety stores] or painter's coveralls and
booties or a long sleeve shirt and pants; gloves; and a one piece, full
face breathing respirator mask using an organic vapor cartridge filtration,
available from local safety, hardware, and home improvement stores. You also
need such personal protective gear when you spray
Mold Home Remedy Recipes] or
boric acid formula, followed up with a low-cost, homemade
or boric acid formula. Here
are more details on advisable personal protective gear--
protective biohazard suit.
[available at safety stores] or painter's coveralls and booties,
or long sleeve
shirt and pants.
° Gloves: either disposable latex or
good work gloves. "Long gloves that extend to the middle of the forearm are
recommended. When working with water and a mild detergent, ordinary
household rubber gloves may be used. If you are using a disinfectant, a
biocide such as chlorine bleach, or a strong cleaning solution, you should
select gloves made from natural rubber, neoprene, nitrile, polyurethane, or
PVC. Avoid touching mold or moldy items with your bare hands," recommends
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
° Avoid breathing in mold or
mold spores. Wear a 3M brand one
piece, full face breathing respirator mask using an organic vapor cartridge
filtration, available from your local safety store, Home Depot, Lowe’s and
other home centers and hardware stores. Alternatively (but less comfortable
in your ease of breathing) you can use hole-free Chem-Splash eye goggles
($4) along with a separate breathing mask with cartridge filters ($30) from
the same stores. Alternatively, "In order to limit your exposure to airborne
mold, you may want to wear an N-95 respirator, available at many hardware
stores and from companies that advertise on the Internet. (They cost about
$12 to $25.) Some N-95 respirators resemble a paper dust mask with a nozzle
on the front, others are made primarily of plastic or rubber and have
removable cartridges that trap most of the mold spores from entering. In
order to be effective, the respirator or mask must fit properly, so
carefully follow the instructions supplied with the respirator. Please note
that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that
respirators fit properly (fit testing) when used in an occupational setting;
consult OSHA for more information (800-321-OSHA or
osha.gov," advises the U.S. Environmental
° Wear goggles. Wear eye
goggles with no holes [such as Chem-Splish] if you are not wearing the 3M
brand one piece, full face breathing respirator. "Goggles that do
not have ventilation holes are recommended. Avoid getting mold or mold
spores in your eyes," advises the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
You can order a custom-fitted full face breathing mask by contacting your
local 3M branch. Custom-fitted full face masks do a better job of keeping
mold spores from entering inside the mask [and therefore into your body].
If you have a beard, shave it off prior to wearing a full face mask
breathing respirator to obtain a tighter fit to your face to help keep mold
stores from entering inside the mask and your body.
14. Hand spray visible mold with one or two
wet sprayings of an effective mold home remedy if the mold remediation
funds are low---read
Mold Home Remedy Recipes. While spraying a fungicide, no one else should
be inside until the spray or fog has dried.
15. Do not use chlorine bleach [sodium
hypochlorite] to kill mold or disinfect moldy areas. Bleach is not
an effective or lasting killer of toxic mold growth and mold spores on and
inside porous, cellulose building materials such as wood timbers, drywall,
plywood, plywood substitutes,
and carpeting/padding. Learn more about the ineffectiveness of
bleach and mold.
16. After the killing of all visible surface
mold, the next step is to remove and to clean off as much surface mold
growth, mold stains, and mold odors as possible. "Dead
mold may still cause allergic reactions in some people, so it is not enough
to simply kill the mold, it must also be removed," recommends the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency.
Persons cleaning mold should be free of mold symptoms and allergies. Gloves
should be worn during cleaning. A good first step is to use a hepa vacuum
cleaner to remove loose [invisible to the eye] airborne mold spores and mold
growths deposited on all surfaces such as ceilings, walls, floors, and
upholstered furniture. Vacuum at least twice, going in a different movement
direction each time you do the vacuuming---e.g., horizontally the first time
and vertically the second time. Scrub and clean thoroughly and completely
all surfaces [including furniture and appliances] with highly-effective,
Borax laundry detergent, a natural mold cleaner, in warm water to remove mold colony growths, mold
stains, and mold odors. The cleaned area should then be thoroughly dried. Dispose
of any sponges or rags used to clean mold. If
you cannot clean off the mold growth and mold stains with Borax and hard scrubbing, then you probably need to replace the
building materials themselves with new ones---preventively-treated with a
Mold Home Remedy Recipe fungicidal coating. "If you
are unsure about how to clean an item, or if the item is expensive or of
sentimental value, you may wish to consult a specialist. Specialists in
furniture repair, restoration, painting, art restoration and conservation,
carpet and rug cleaning, water damage, and fire or water restoration are
commonly listed in phone books. Be sure to ask for and check references.
Look for specialists who are affiliated with professional organizations,"
recommends the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
17. Except for wood support timbers
and building materials to be saved, remove and safely discard all other
mold-contaminated building materials (such as particle board, drywall,
plaster, plasterboard, ceiling tiles, paper-backed insulation, mold-laden
insulation, plywood, plywood substitutes, and carpeting/padding) in doubled
up construction trash bags (double bagging) with a 6 mil thickness.
"Absorbent or porous materials, such as ceiling tiles and carpet, may have
to be thrown away if they become moldy. Mold can grow on or fill in the
empty spaces and crevices of porous materials, so the mold may be difficult
or impossible to remove completely," advises the U.S. Environmental
mold growth from the mold-infested wood surfaces. All wood beams, wall
timbers, roof trusses, floor joists, plywood surfaces, and other lumber to
be saved need to be totally cleaned of mold growth by using power tools such
as a planer, grinder with wire brush attachment, and sander---or replace the
moldy timbers. Mold cannot eat
polystyrene insulating board such as Pinkboard or Blueboard, but mold can
grow on organic dust which lands on the insulating board. "The only
sure way to [kill mold] requires the physical elimination of mold and moldy
materials by thorough cleaning or removal of the affected
materials."---American Industrial Hygiene Association.
19. Re-spray twice the cleaned out area
with another wet spraying of an effective
remedy to kill any remaining, living toxic mold spores or mold
20. Spray a protective fungicidal coating on
all remediated-surfaces prior to rebuilding and closing in the mold-remediated
area. The fungicidal coating helps to protect the wood and other
cellulose-based building materials against future mold growth. After the
second spraying of a
mold home remedy recipe or
boric acid formula
has dried, spray one or two wet coatings of the fungicidal coating, which is an
EPA-registered fungicidal coating designed to protect wood against future
wood infestation problems.
21. After the final drying of the fungicidal
coat spraying, it would be helpful to spray all cleaned timbers and other
wood surfaces with a clear, liquid, plastic coating [available from a
well-stocked local paint dealer, hardware store, or home improvement
center] to make a hard, impenetrable water barrier [upon drying] to protect
the wood from future high humidity and water leaks.
22. After the toxic mold remediation is
completed, mold test (clearance testing) all of the remediated surfaces plus
the air of each room, attic, basement, crawl space, garage, and the outward
air flow from each heating/cooling duct register to find out if those
areas are now mold safe prior to rebuilding the cleaned out areas with new
building materials. "Surface sampling may be useful to determine if an area
has been adequately cleaned or remediated," advices the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency.
mold growth, mold stains, and mold odors
from all personal property, furnishings, furniture, and equipment
that have been exposed to mold infestation by washing and scrubbing the
items thoroughly and completely outdoors [or in a plastic-sheet-built clean
room] with Borax laundry detergent, a natural mold cleaner, in warm
water. Learn the recommended mold
decontamination procedures for each type of clothing, furniture, electronics
equipment, and other personal property in the ebook
Do-It-Best-Yourself Mold Prevention, Inspection, Testing, and Remediation,
Close in the mold-remediated area with mold-free, new building materials
that been have carefully inspected to be mold-growth-free,
and which have been pre-treated by spraying with one to two wet coatings of
mold home remedy recipe and/or boric
On-going cleaning, building maintenance, mold maintenance, and all-around
building inspection on a regular basis (including air conditioning/heating
equipment and ducts, plumbing, roof, siding, windows, and water supply/sewer
lines) are required to help prevent the re-occurrence of toxic mold
infestation problems. A mold-safe building is not a one-time effort.
mold removal, and
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