Dealing with Mold
I am providing some additional information on dealing with mold. Remember, we Care-A-Vanners are not licensed mold remediators and should not attempt work that is really best done by licensed professionals. This information is presented only to deepen Care-A-Vanner understanding of some remediation techniques. We are not expected to do this work. Below are comments from Kevin Gobble, building specialist for HFHI:
The key is to determine the size of the mold area and the type of mold. It is always best to leave mold cleanup to the professional crews. A specific type of mold may not affect one person but may have drastic effect on someone else.
Mold can also have a lasting effect on individuals as they are exposed to higher concentrations or more areas. At a minimum, homes with mold areas more than 9 square feet should hire experts.
Here are some steps that should be taken if mold is found:
- Seal off the moldy area from other areas.
- Set up fans blowing outside to create a negative air environment using HEPA filters.
- Clean the mold with detergent and water (borax mixed 1 cup per gallon and add a 1/2 cup of vinegar per gallon) or spray with hydrogen peroxide and wipe off.
- Dry the area with completely and fix the moisture problem (ventilation, proper drainage and slope).
- When cleaning up, use a HEPA vacuum otherwise the mold will be blown throughout the house.
Proper personal protection equipment for dealing with mold is N95 min (respirator preferred), with sealed goggles, because mold can get in your eyes. Full body coveralls and head cover or disposable covers such as the lead containment clean up should also be used, as the mold spores will become airborne when removed if they are not already.
Bleach solutions should only be used on nonporous surfaces, as it does not penetrate and kill the mold spores imbedded in porous materials like wood. Air samples can help determine types and amount of mold present and should be taken before and after a large project is remediated to ensure the problem is solved, especially before any area is covered up or sprayed with paint. Only lacquer-based and oil-based paint should be used after cleaning and inspection to seal the area.