If you’ve recently discovered mold on your property, it can be difficult to decide if you need to hire a mold remediation firm or if you can take care of it yourself. Here are the five levels of mold contamination and a guideline to go by when removing mold from your property.
Level 1 (10 sq ft or less):
Smaller infestations in Level 1 are usually found on ceilings or baseboards. Level 1 mold can be cleaned without professional help, but here are some safety precautions you need to know.
1) Don’t clean the mold if you have allergies, or suffer from asthma or immune disorders.
2) Wear gloves, eye protection, and a N95 disposable respirator.
3) Don’t let infants, patients recovering from surgery, people with immune disorders, or people with chronic lung disorders stay anywhere near where the mold is.
4) Contaminated items that can’t be cleaned should be removed from your home in a sealed plastic bag to prevent contamination to any other parts of your home.
5) Clean the work area when you’re finished with a mop or damp cloth.
6) Make sure all areas are completely dry and free of mold.
Level 2 (10-30 sq ft):
To get rid of mold from a level 2 size (about the size of one wall panel), you will want to take the same precautions used in level 1, and these precautions as well.
1) Materials covered with mold should be put in plastic sheets and sealed with tape before handling or removing them. This will contain dust as well as debris. It will be in your best interest to also wrap them twice in plastic before taking it from your home.
2) When the removal of mold is finished, vacuum the work area with a HEPA vacuum, and then clean the area with a damp cloth or mop.
Level 3 (30-100 sq ft):
Mold contamination of this size, which could be patches of mold on several wall panels, should still be handled with the same precautions as level 1 and level 2, with some more added safety precautions.
1) Seal any ventilation ducts/grills in the work area and some areas around it with plastic sheeting.
2) Move everyone from your work area until work is completed, and move people out of adjacent work areas as well.
Level 4 (greater than 100 sq ft):
Any infestation greater than 100 sq ft will probably require the help of professionals. If it isn’t much larger than 100 sq ft and you want to take on the job yourself, here are some further safety precautions to follow.
1) Anyone working with you, including yourself must be trained in the handling of hazardous materials and equipped with full face respirators with HEPA cartridges, and with disposable protective clothing covering both the head and shoes.
2) Make sure that all workers isolate their work area from the rest of your home with sheeting sealed with duct tape, including ventilation ducts, fixtures and any other openings.
3) Have a “decontamination room” set up, or a chamber taped off with plastic sheeting. The outside of sealed bags containing contaminated material should be wiped down with a damp cloth or HEPA vacuumed in the decontamination chamber prior to removal.
4) Air monitoring should be conducted prior to moving back into your home to determine if its it to reoccupy.
Level 5 (Air conditioners and HVAC systems):
If there is a small area of mold growing underneath air conditioning systems, it would be safe to apply precautions from levels 1-2 and remediate the mold contamination. But, all remediation procedures for air conditioning units and HVAC systems should be left to the professionals. The following precautions should be taken:
1) Shut down the HVAC system prior to mold removal.
2) Any materials supporting mold growth should be removed and sealed in plastic bags. This should be anything from the paper on the insulation or the interior of the lined ducts and filters.
3) There are a variety of biocides – which are broad spectrum antimicrobial agents that inhibit mold growth – are recommended by HVAC manufacturers for use with HVAC components, such as cooling coils and condensation pans. HVAC manufacturers should be consulted for the products they recommend for use in their systems.
If you find mold on your property and are in need of professional help, do not hesitate to call the Forida Mold Removal Pros!