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source: EPA.gov

Read what the EPA says about mold clean up.  You may be able to do it yourself safely and save a lot of money.

 

 

 

 

 

Mold Removal - EPA Guidelines

source EPA.gov

* Use professional judgment to determine prudent levels of Personal Protective Equipment and containment for each situation, particularly as the remediation site size increases and the potential for exposure and health effects rises.  Assess the need for increased Personal Protective Equipment, if, during the remediation, more extensive contamination is encountered than was expected. Consult  Table 1  if materials have been wet for less than 48 hours, and mold growth is not apparent. These guidelines are for damage caused by clean water. If you know or suspect that the water source is contaminated with sewage, or chemical or biological pollutants, then the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires PPE and containment. An experienced professional should be consulted if you and/or your remediators do not have expertise in remediating contaminated water situations.

† Select method most appropriate to situation. Since molds gradually destroy the things they grow on, if mold growth is not addressed promptly, some items may be damaged such that cleaning will not restore their original appearance. If mold growth is heavy and items are valuable or important, you may wish to consult a restoration/water damage/remediation expert. Please note that these are guidelines; other cleaning methods may be preferred by some professionals.

Cleanup Methods

  • Method 1: Wet vacuum (in the case of porous materials, some mold spores/fragments will remain in the material but will not grow if the material is completely dried). Steam cleaning may be an alternative for carpets and some upholstered furniture.
  • Method 2: Damp-wipe surfaces with plain water or with water and detergent solution (except wood —use wood floor cleaner); scrub as needed.
  • Method 3: High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) vacuum after the material has been thoroughly dried. Dispose of the contents of the HEPA vacuum in well-sealed plastic bags.
  • Method 4: Discard – remove water-damaged materials and seal in plastic bags while inside of containment, if present. Dispose of as normal waste. HEPA vacuum area after it is dried.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Minimum: Gloves, N-95 respirator, goggles/eye protection
  • Limited: Gloves, N-95 respirator or half-face respirator with HEPA filter, disposable overalls, goggles/eye protection
  • Full: Gloves, disposable full body clothing, head gear, foot coverings, full-face respirator with HEPA filter

Containment

  • Limited: Use polyethylene sheeting ceiling to floor around affected area with a slit entry and covering flap; maintain area under negative pressure with HEPA filtered fan unit. Block supply and return air vents within containment area.
  • Full: Use two layers of fire-retardant polyethylene sheeting with one airlock chamber. Maintain area under negative pressure with HEPA filtered fan exhausted outside of building. Block supply and return air vents within containment area.

Table developed from literature and remediation documents including Bioaerosols: Assessment and Control (American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, 1999) and IICRC S500, Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration, (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration, 1999); see Resources List for more information.

Footnotes:

  1. Please note that Table 1 and Table 2 contain general guidelines. Their purpose is to provide basic information for remediation managers to first assess the extent of the damage and then to determine whether the remediation should be managed by in-house personnel or outside professionals. The remediation manager can then use the guidelines to help design a remediation plan or to assess a plan submitted by outside professionals.
  2. Although this document has a residential focus, it is applicable to other building types.