When it comes to mold in the house or workplace, remember one thing – you need to clean up the mold contamination, not just kill the mold.
Killing the mold may not kill the spores or prevent future contamination. Removing the mold and cleaning up the contamination prevents human exposure and prevents damage to building materials and furnishings.
You have to contain the mold, remove the mold, and clean what’s left. Dry Effect’s IICRC certified technicians have been removing mold from Cincinnati homes for years. Here are some steps in containing, removing, and cleaning:
One: Remove the moisture. Mold grows where it’s wet.
- You need to identify and correct the source of the moisture. Otherwise, the black mold will come right back after you’ve cleaned and fixed everything. So remove the moisture, and make sure it doesn’t come back.
Two: Seal off the area, Don’t let mold spores spread.
- You need to prevent the mold from spreading to household objects, furniture, walls, or other areas inside your house or business. Mold spores can drift in the air, collect and hide anywhere, so seal off the area.
- Dry Effect starts with six (6) mil plastic, and uses a negative air pressure containment system to prevent any air from leaving the sealed-off area. This keeps any airborne mold spores in the contained area.
Three: Clean the mold.
- This doesn’t mean just scrubbing things down with bleach. You need to clean-up the contamination, not just kill the mold. You need to clean the air, the floors, the carpet, the walls, the foundation. (This is even more complex than using a negative air pressure containment system.)
- Clean the air inside and outside the containment area.
- Install air scrubbers in interior of the home to remove airborne spores or particulates inside and outside of the contained area. Air scrubbers located outside of the contained area are also needed to filter the environment.
- HEPA vacuum all surfaces within your containment area.
- Microbial spores are really tiny – 0.3 microns. A vacuum system with HEPA filter is designed to capture 3 micron objects with 99.97 efficiency.
- Remove all the moldy material.
- Remove everything you can that contains the mold that includes drywall, wood, carpeting, flooring. And remove everything that’s just over 2 feet beyond the visible contaminated area. Bag everything up in a goose-necked bag, fold it over, and seal the bag completely using duct tape. Dispose of the bags. Then HEPA vacuum again, hitting all the newly exposed and surrounding contaminated areas.
Four: Clean the affected areas. Then seal the structural components.
- Just like removing the moldy material, there’a a lot a heavy work here. Using an EPA registered anti-microbial agent, apply and scrub the area inside your containment area, and scrub the contents of the containment area, too. The scrubbing might lift some parcels into the air in your containment area, so HEPA vacuum all surfaces within the containment to remove any settled spores after you’ve scrubbed.
- Clean and seal everything that you could not completely remove (structural components, studs, foundation.) Using the EPA registered anti-microbial agent, apply and scrub the material, let it dry. Encapsulate the affected components with two coats of an EPA registered microbial resistant paint, typically in white or clear applications.
- Fog the containment area with an EPA registered anti-microbial agent.
- Finally, clean the HVAC ducts (if needed) and steam clean the carpet inside and outside the containment area.
Five: Inspect and Test
- To confirm that all your work has been performed and completed correctly, conduct a final air quality test 24 hours after your last cleaning and sealing steps. We don’t recommend stopping at your local hardware store to get a home mold test, hire the professionals to complete the mold testing.
- If all this HEPA, 6 mill, 0.3 micron, encapsulation, EPA registered materials, final air testing, and inspection seems complicated, it’s because it is. It may be time to bring in professionals who offer mold remediation services to ensure you and your family aren’t compromising your health simply by living in your home.