A professional guide to mold removal in your home.
Mold removal can be a daunting task. Terms like toxic black mold and black mold infestation encourage our fear of tackling a mold removal project. However, if performed properly, small mold removal projects can be performed by a diligent home owner. The following is a brief guide to mold removal and cleanup in your home.
Before starting a mold removal project, first ask a few questions.
- How much mold removal is necessary? According to the EPA if the size of affected materials is less than 10sqft, a homeowner can typically perform the work. Larger areas of mold growth or mold growth in difficult to reach areas require a professional. (link – directory)
- Will the mold removal require removing the affected material, for example, the underlying sheetrock? Or can you remove the mold growth through cleaning?
- Setup: Containing the mold growth is critical. Many mold removal projects create more problems by disturbing the spores and spreading contamination to clean parts of the home.
- Protection: Do not perform mold removal if you have health concerns which could be exacerbated by exposure to mold. People with asthma, allergies, compromised immune system, decreased lung function, etc. are not advised to handle mold damaged materials. EPA guidelines recommend using n95 rated respiratory protection. More effective HEPA rated respiratory protection, such as those used in asbestos abatement can be purchased at your local hardware store. Additionally, use protective clothing and gloves during the mold removal process. Clothing should either be disposed of after the project or cleaned. Do not wear clothing in clean areas of the home until fully cleaned.
- Removal: The proper technique for mold removal depends on the underlying material. Place all mold damaged materials in doubled 3 mil contractor cleanup bags. If possible, pass damaged material through an opening to the outside such as a window or external door.
- Cleaning: Clean remaining materials not requiring mold removal. Often underlying framing can be easily cleaned without requiring replacement.
- Reinstallation: Install replacement materials only after ensuring the initial source of the water intrusion was properly identified and addressed.