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5 Simple Tips for Cleaning a Small Mold Infestation

Mold has been found. Now what?!

Don’t panic! The first thing that needs to be determined is whether or not the infestation is large or small.

Ask yourself, is the area affected with mold small and contained? How much mold can be seen and how much more may be unseen?

If the answer is only small amounts and the area is indeed contained, there are 5 easy tips tips according to Vicki Lankarge in her book “What Every Home Owner Needs to Know About Mold & What to Do About It” that can help you to rid yourself of any further mold problems:

5 Easy Tips for Small Area Mold Remediation

  • Make sure you’re free of allergy symptoms and/or asthma
  • Wear a mask and rubber gloves during clean up
  • Using water and detergent, scrub mold off nonporous surfaces and dry completely. (Perhaps a little bleach wouldn’t hurt as well)
  • Absorbent materials may have to be discarded if they are moldy. It is likely that hidden mold lurks beneath the surface and will grow back and fill in the crevices
  • Dispose of any sponges or rags used to clean the mold (It is best to double bag any mold contaminated items and remove them from the home entirely)

When do I need a mold professional?

If the area is small enough, there won’t be any need for professional help as it can be taken care of with do-it-yourself methods.

Further Recommended Reading :

Joslyn from the MoldBlogger Team

Source: Lankarge, Vicki. “What Every Home Owner Needs to Know about Mold & What to Do About It.” 50-53.

Mold in Jamaica

Moisture: The Reason for Mold

With Jamaica’s recent hurricanes, moisture has caused Mold to be a major problem in the homes and lives of local Jamaicans.

What are they having to deal with?

— It’s necessary to deal with the problem as it can cause burning and watering eyes; nasal and sinus congestion; skin irritation and coughing. It can also aggravate medical problems like asthma, allergies, conditions which weaken immune defences and lung disease, especially in the elderly and the young.

But what of the musty smell that usually accompanies the fuzz?

“Once the place is dried up … the odour will go away,” Mrs. Hincliffe said. This might be easier said than done, judging from the little sunlight we have had since the rains that have pelted the island for so long. —

Read the rest of ‘Mold in Jamaica’ at Moisture: The Mold Problem

6 Tips for Removing Mold

1. Protect your eyes, nose and skin when cleaning mould.

2. Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mould growth.

3. Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mould growth.

4. In areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting (i.e., by drinking fountains, by classroom sinks, or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation).

5. Clean mould off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely. Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles, carpets, linoleum that are mouldy, may need to be replaced.

6. Clean drapes and carpets when they can dry properly.

Further Recommended Reading :

Joslyn from the MoldBlogger Team

Source: Sacha Walters – Staff Reporter for the Jamaica Gleaner News

periscope

Find Mold, Stop Mold, Prevent Mold!

Mold Remediation in Florida

Janie Porter, a reporter from Tampa Bay 10 News, writes about a specific local mold remediation problem:

Visit Mold in Your Home to read the local story.

How to Find, Stop, and Prevent Mold

She also offers a list of steps to find mold, and then remove and prevent further growth.

Read the following:

  • Finding Mold

1. Mold is usually associated with a musty smell in the house.

2. Small surface patches of mold on bath tiles or around the shower usually aren’t a problem, unless the mold has reached the wallboard underneath.

3. To find mold, check beneath carpets and around windows. Also, check water hoses on appliances like refrigerators, water heaters and laundry machines.

Source: Consumer Reports

  • Stopping Mold

1. Use plastic sheeting to contain and prevent mold spores from spreading.

2. If the mold covers less than 10 square feet, you may be able to take care of the problem yourself.

3. Begin by protecting yourself with an N-95 disposable respirator approved by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health; goggles; and heavy-duty rubber, neoprene, or PVC gloves. Packages of N-95 respirators cost about $12 to $25 and are available in hardware and building-supply stores, by mail, and online.

4. Bag and discard any carpet, ceiling tiles, wallboard, paper, insulation, or other porous materials that have been wet for 48 hours or more.

5. Scrub other materials with a strong solution of detergent and water or 1 cup of chlorine bleach per 5 gallons of water.

6. Wood studs and exposed joists may have to be wire-scrubbed with bleach, sanded, and dried out before reinstalling wallboard and flooring.

7. If the mold covers more than 10 square feet, you’ll need to hire a professional mold remediator.

Source: Consumer Reports

  • Preventing Mold

1. Check water hoses on things like refrigerators and water heaters once a month.

2. Don’t use wallpaper or carpets in bathrooms and other damp areas.

3. Repair leaky roofs, poor or missing chimney and window flashing, missing or damaged shingles or siding, and leaky pipes.

4. Repair or replace damaged gutters and leaders.

5. Keep humidity levels in the house between 30 and 50 percent by running the air conditioner and installing outside-venting fans in bathrooms. Also, invest in a dehumidifier. For tips on buying a dehumidifier, click here.

6. To grow, mold needs about 65 percent relative humidity for three to six days. You can measure relative humidity using a hygrometer.

Source: Consumer Reports

Further Recommended Reading :

Joslyn from the Moldblogger Team

Source: Janie Porter from Tampa Bay 10 News

2 Easy Steps to Mold Removal

What Should I Remember When Removing Mold?

There are two easy to remember steps when it comes to knowing how to remove mold.

  • Cleanup
  • Prevention

Combine these two easy steps together and you know how to remove mold. It is nearly impossible to completely remove mold spores from the air around us, because they’re floating everywhere looking for an optimal place to land and reproduce.

Preventing mold from growing is the main goal every individual trying to remove mold must have.

Getting rid of mold would never be necessary if prevention worked every time. Yet, there are still times when mold DOES grow even when everything is done to prevent it.

If you were to clean the area affected with mold and remove all visible signs of mold invasion, but leave the problem unfixed, will the mold magically be gone forever? Of course not! Mold will always grow back if the problem is not taken care of. In the same way, if the problem is fixed, yet the visible mold is left to grow and prosper – it will continue to grow and thrive happily.

But together – Fixing the problem by removing moisture (in most cases) from the equation AND cleaning the affected area – Mold Removal is easy AND it works!

Further Recommended Reading :

Joslyn from The MoldBlogger Team

Tips for Mold Clean Up

When Does the Maximum Amount of Mold Exposure Occur?

According to Real Estate Magazine, the most exposure a person can have to mold is acquired during the clean up process. The good news? There are so many ways to prevent sickness or other side affects! Here is what they have to say:

Note :

The following is directed for large or extreme areas of mold infestation. Smaller levels or few spots of mold can be cleaned without professional help.

Large Areas :

    • Consider having a professional cleanup the areaTo find a professional, check under “Fire and Water Damage Restoration” in your Yellow Pages. If you decide to clean up on your own, follow the guidance below.
    • Protect yourself by using goggles, gloves, and breathing protection while working in the areaFor large consolidated areas of mold growth, you should use an OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) approved particle mask.
    • Seal off area from the rest of your homeCover heat registers or ventilation ducts/grills. Open a window before you start to clean up.
    • Remove all your furnishings to a neutral area to be cleaned laterFollow cleaning directions below.
    • Bag all moldy materials, you will be discarding

.

  • Scrub all affected hard surfaces: First with a mild detergent solution, such as laundry detergent and warm water. Then use a solution of 1/4 cup bleach to one quart of water. Wait 20 minutes and repeat. Wait another 20 minutes.

    Last, apply a borate-based detergent solution and do not rinse. This will help prevent mold from growing again. To find a borate-based detergent, read the ingredients listed on the package label for borates.

  • Give the entire area a good cleaning Vacuum floors, and wash bedding and clothes if exposed.

Small Areas :

  • Protect yourself by using goggles, gloves, and breathing protection while working in the areaFor small isolated areas of mold growth, a cotton dust mask should do.
  • Seal off area from the rest of your home Cover heat registers or ventilation ducts/grills. Cover all your furniture. Open a window before you start clean up.
  • Bag all moldy materials, you will be discarding.
  • Scrub all affected hard surfaces:First with a mild detergent solution, such as laundry detergent and warm water. Then use a solution of 1/4 cup bleach to one quart of water. Wait 20 minutes and repeat. Wait another 20 minutes.

    Last, apply a borate-based detergent solution and do not rinse. This will help prevent mold from growing again. To find a borate-based detergent, read the ingredients listed on the package label for borates.

  • Give the entire area a good cleaningVacuum floors, and wash bedding and clothes if exposed.

Further Recommended Reading :

Joslyn from the MoldBlogger Team

Source: Real Estate Magazine Post

mold remediator

Do You Need to Hire a Mold Remediator?

Is Your Home Mold Infested?

Your first reaction when you discover mold in your home is to grab a sponge and some disinfectant, roll up your sleeves and scrub it clean. If the area is small this can be the best approach.

However, if you are dealing with a larger space or the mold is within the confines of a wall or heating vent, you will need to call in the services of a professional.

A mold remediator does much more than simply taking on the task of removing the mold. Their services include:

  • Inspecting your home for mold contamination: If you suspect that you may have a mold problem in your home, yet you have been unable to locate it yourself, a professional has the insight and tools to find it.
  • Identify the underlying cause of the mold: Mold is actually a symptom of a larger problem. If you have mold in your home, it is indicative of a collection of moisture. A professional who specializes in mold remediation will be able to explain why the mold is there and how to treat the root cause.
  • Treat the underlying cause of the mold: After identifying the cause of the mold they can help treat the problem so that once the mold is removed, it won’t reoccur.
  • Mold remediation: They will remove the mold for you. Removing mold can be a dangerous operation and needs to be done with the least amount of danger to those living there.
  • Arrange for contractors to fix any mold-damaged areas: Sometimes during mold remediation, damage is done to the home. This is usually unavoidable because if the mold has invested the walls, they may need to be removed.
  • Testing of the home after remediation: After the home has been cleared of mold, the homeowner should insist on air quality tests to ensure the mold has indeed been completely removed.

How Do I Find a Mold Remediation Service?

Finding a company that handles mold remediation services can be as simple as perusing the local yellow pages. It’s important to choose a company that is experienced in mold removal as opposed to a company that specializes in general cleaning.

The mold spores need to be removed properly without the risk of re-infestation. It’s also very important that the reason the mold appeared be treated. Simply removing the mold may solve the temporary problem but it will do little long-term.

It is also important to consider that the mold may have migrated into the heating or cooling systems of your home. If this is the case, the mold can spread quickly and also can become a health risk because you are constantly breathing the spores in.

Simply calling a cleaning company that specializes in cleaning vents may not be enough. They need to be aware that there is a for mold and take the necessary precautions to remove it safely.

If you are facing removing a large amount of mold from your home you should call a mold removal professional. They have the knowledge and equipment you need to ensure the safety of everyone who lives in your home.

Further Recommended Reading

mold remediator tips

3 Tips for Choosing a Mold Remediator

Do You Suspect Mold in Your Home?

If you suspect mold in your home, you are probably anxious to get the problem taken care of as soon as possible. If you have small children, older adults, or animals in your home, it is even more important to rid your home of mold effectively so that it doesn’t adversely affect their health.

Follow these three tips for choosing a reliable and competent mold remediator:

Only choose mold remediators that are certified

To ensure the highest quality of service, go with mold remediators that perform all of their own inspections and remediations. You can find this out by asking if they hire subcontractors.You can also find out if a mold remediation company is reliable by asking for a list of past clients. Generally, mold remediators who have been in business for a while and who have worked in a variety of settings including commercial and residential areas will be able to perform the most reliable services for you and your home.

Find a mold remediator that will inspect your home before they begin work

You can find mold remediation companies that will test for asbestos and lead as well as different types of mold. When the mold remediators visit your home for the first time, expect them to do a visual pre-inspection of your property before proceeding. Later, the mold remediators should perform both an air-quality check and a swab check to test for mold.After your home is checked by the mold remediators, get a proposal of services that the remediators plan on providing for you home. Look for a remediation company that will give you general information about mold and its health risks, thorough lab results, and a detailed list of the procedures that will be performed on your behalf to fix the mold problem. Make sure that contact information is included in the proposal so you’ll know who to get in touch with in case of problems.The best mold remediators will be prepared to stand by their service. After your home has been disinfected, it should be retested for any remaining traces of mold. Even a little leftover mold can reproduce quickly and undo all the work that you paid for. Look for a mold remediator that will give you a written document certifying that your home has been cleared of all mold.

Check for a warranty

Check that the mold remediator also offers to come back and redo any area that shows signs of mold within six months to a year. If the mold remediator is not confident enough to back up their service with this guarantee, look elsewhere.

By taking a little extra time to choose the best mold remediator for your home, you will enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you have hired the very best to take care of a serious problem.

Further Recommended Reading

Do You Need to Hire a Mold Remediator?

Tips on Removing Surface Mold

mold removal costs

Mold Removal: 3 Tips to Do-It-Yourself

Mold Removal Tips

A flooded home can leave you feeling frustrated, especially when mold is involved, but what can you do? Are you worried about the dangers of black mold to you and your family?

Take back some control with these do-it-yourself mold removal tips.

Follow these three tips to ensure that your do-it-yourself mold removal project will run smoothly and safely.

Prepare Your Home

If the wiring in your home has been affected by mold, you’ll want to turn off the main power. When you’re done disinfecting your home, enlist the help of a professional electrician to make sure it’s safe to turn the electricity on again.

Check for leaks in the water system before you spray your home down. Rent a hose that allows you to spray a soap and water solution together.

Spray down every moldy item in your home from floor to ceiling.
If you haven’t spent time with heavy cleaning chemicals before, test yourself out by disinfecting a small area of your home to start.

If the fumes affect you too much, hire a professional mold remediator to disinfect the rest of your home.

Be Thorough

Mold removal requires you to be as meticulous as possible. After the mold has been washed away, use cleaning pads or a stiff brush to scour each surface.

You can use a commercial cleaner to scrub moldy surfaces after they’ve been sprayed, but any non-ammonia detergent will work just as well. Try a mixture of 1 ½ cups bleach* with a gallon of water for a simple, homemade solution. (Update: We no longer recommend using bleach for mold.)

Furniture, walls, floors, ceilings, and heating and cooling registers and ducts must all be disinfected with a solution that has a quaternary, pine-oil, or phenolic base.

To be safe, get rid of a foot extra of drywall above the flooding level. Call in a professional to get any area that you aren’t able to reach on your own.

Dry each area for at least two days. If you don’t, the mold will return.

Soft materials such as rags, clothes, paper and even heavily affected carpet will retain mold spores even after disinfecting and drying. Throw these items away in sealed bags.

Protect Yourself

When you’re ridding your home of mold, the cure can be as dangerous as the illness.

To keep yourself safe from both mold and cleaning solution fumes, keep your home well ventilated throughout the cleaning. Take frequent breaks to get some fresh air.

Buy a mask or a particle remover respirator at a hardware store to protect you from mold spores released during the drying process.

Because respirators don’t protect you from fumes coming from disinfectants such as bleach, spend as little time as possible around these chemicals.

Always wear gloves when you’re handling anything containing mold and dispose of the gloves when you are finished with your project.

Disinfect Your Home

When you’re finished doing all you can to disinfect your home, you may want to hire a licensed contractor to check your work.

A professional can help you find any mold that you missed or assure you that your do-it-yourself mold removal project was a success.

Further Recommended Reading

cleaning mold

Types of Mold Cleaners

What Are Some Mold Cleaners that Work?

If you’re battling a mold problem, here are some cleaning solutions recommended by others who have waged war on mold.

  • Lysol – Lysol is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a product recommended for spray disinfecting of mold mildew.You can find Lysol spray cleansers that claim to kill bacteria, as well as spray disinfectants that can be applied to surfaces before the mold or mildew has a chance to develop.
  • X-14 and Tilex – Products like X-14, Tilex, and Clorox cleansers are very similar to bleach, and often the main ingredient is chlorine bleach.They are inexpensive, and while they may not completely remove the mold roots, they are affective at removing the unsightliness of the mold.Keep in mind, however, that on porous surfaces, a stronger mold killer will need to be used. Even Clorox concedes that bleach is a somewhat effective tool in the removal of mold on hard surfaces.
  • H2Orange2® – This is a popular new green product on the market used for eliminating mold problems. It is user-friendly and environmentally safe, having the lowest level of toxicity of any mold killer on the market.It contains citrus oil (from orange peels) to cut through the dirt, surfactants which clean the dirt, and hydrogen peroxide, which oxides the mold and mildew and brightens the surface by bleaching out the stains.
  • AntiGrowth® – This is actually a mold, mildew, and algae preventative solution, and therefore regular use of this can actually prevent and control mold problems just as easily as cleaning up an established stain.The good thing about this product is that it works on almost all surfaces, porous and non-porous alike. It is also safe for all surfaces, made for outdoor and indoor use, and is relatively affordable.
  • Air Ionizers – While an air ionizer is not a liquid cleaner, it does in fact clean the air. Ionizers are powerful air purifiers that remove dust, allergens, and mold spores from the air.These spores land inside the house, using moisture in the environment to grow into troublesome patches. Regular use of an air ionizer may prevent future mold outbreaks by removing the source of the colony.

Further Recommended Reading

Mold Cleaners

When trying to win a war against mold, having the right weapon is necessary.  Many people, if asked which disinfectant they would use to kill or fight mold, would instantly reply with the answer of ‘chlorine bleach’.  However, studies have shown that not only is chlorine bleach a weak substance to fight mold, but it also is highly ineffective on porous surfaces, which is where mold is most likely to grow.  

Having a great cleaner is essential removing mold both effectively and completely from the affected surface.  While you may be tempted by ease, and money, to try bleach first, you will quickly discover that spending a little more money will save a lot more time in the long term. Not only do those who try to disinfect and remove mold with chlorine bleach spend more time trying to remove the mold, but they soon find that their efforts were for not when the roots begin to grow back and require a second attempt at removal.

-The Moldblogger Team

The Dangers of Toxic Mold in the Home

Why Is Toxic Mold in Your Home Dangerous?

Here are a few reasons why mold is so dangerous when growing in your home :

  • Health problems:Stachybotrys can be responsible for a large variety of health and upper respiratory-related problems.Among these are allergies, asthma, and other breathing difficulties.

    Some studies have shown that mold can increase a child’s chances of developing asthma by double.

    Other symptoms related to mold exposure include headaches, unusual skin rashes, nosebleeds, itchy or burning eyes, or any other allergy or cold-related symptoms.

    Memory problems, and even death, have been reported by those exposed to Stachybotrys.

  • Decreased home value:A home’s value will greatly decrease depending on the type and scope of the mold infestation.Stachybotrys can cause extensive damage within the home, and may do damage that the current homeowner can’t afford to repair.

    Getting out from under a house in this situation is sure to bring a significant decrease in the sale price, as the new homeowner will be left with much renovating to complete.

  • Expensive clean up:This black type of toxic mold is well known for its ability to extensively damage homes.We’ve all seen the news footage of camera crews filming the interior homes ravaged by flooding due to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

    The mold grows fast, and it grows tough to clean as well. Stachybotrys is not the kind of mold most homeowners will want to clean up themselves.

    A good, reliable mold remediator will be needed for most clean-ups, and depending on the damage, it could be very costly for them to complete the job.

  • Structural damage:
    When mold grows in certain situations, such as during natural disasters, it will grow fast due to the excess moisture that cannot be removed. Even when cleaning crews are finally able to enter the homes and remove the moldy flooring and furnishings, often times too much damage has already been done.
    Sometimes, the best way to make sure mold is fully eradicated is to forgo killing and scraping it, and completely remove it by removing all the surfaces with which it has come into contact. This can be dry walls, wood structures, flooring, and even the roof. The damage can be extensive.


Further Recommended Reading :

Joslyn from the MoldBlogger Team

Why do it yourself Mold Remediation?

The killing and removal of mold by professionals is known as mold remediation. This can be timely and therefore a costly solution to your mold problem. For many homeowners, a small mold problem is just as easily taken care of by themselves. There are necessary items needed when attempting a do-it-yourself mold removal, including having the proper equipment and attire. Mold is a serious threat to human health, and even dead mold can cause allergy or asthma problems in those with good health.

By using the proper equipment, and wearing the proper attire, homeowners can make sure they kill and remove the mold in the safest, most effective way. We will be sharing more on Mold Remediation and these tips tomorrow! We’ll see you then.

-The Moldblogger Team

Tips on Removing Surface Molds

How Do I Remove Surface Mold?

Here are some tips in removing molds in different kinds of surfaces :


How to Remove Mold from Leather

If mold is found on leather, it is best to use a moistened cloth with a solution of one cup of denatured alcohol to 1 cup water. Remove the mold by wiping the moist cloth and dry in a place where air is circulating.

How to Remove Mold from Carpet

If mold is found on carpets and rugs and you would like to remove it yourself rather than hire a professional, it is recommended that you use rug shampoo with a carpet shampoo according to a manufacturers instructions.

Sanitize your carpet by applying a solution containing 1/4 teaspoon chlorine bleach with 1 cup water or any sanitizing products. After shampooing and sanitizing, rinse the carpet or rug several times then quickly dry it outdoors or by using fans to speed up drying.

What Should I Do If The Mold Is Fuzzy?

If the mold that is found is fuzzy in appearance, the homeowner should vacuum it as thoroughly as possible. If the mold is abundant, it is advised that the filter should be replaced after vacuuming.

After vacuuming, the area where the mold once grew in, should be scrubbed thoroughly with bleach using a scrub brush. After all of the molds are removed, the area should be rinsed thoroughly with clean water and dried completely with towels and rags.

What If The Mold Grows Back?

Mold will no longer be a problem as long as the moisture problem has been eliminated in your home. If, after all of that work, the mold still comes back, there is no other choice but to call in a professional and have him do the work for you.

Not only will he remove all existing molds in your house, he’ll also eliminate the source from where they’re coming from. But remember, that if the moisture isn’t completely taken care of or removed from the home, it’s just an invitation for the mold to come back.

Further Recommended Reading :

Joslyn from the MoldBlogger Team

mold cleaning solution

How Do I Stop Mold from Spreading?

What About Mold?

Mold is a kind of fungus that grows virtually everywhere. It feeds on plants and fibers and thrives in damp, musty locations such as bathrooms, basements and attics.

Molds multiply by traveling through the air as tiny spores which like to make their home in wet areas, where they will breed. Molds grow on organic materials such as paper, leather, dirt and soap scum.

Mold grows best and multiplies fastest in warm temperatures, between 77 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit, although they can also grow in temperatures between 32 and 95 degrees.

If molds are spotted in the house, it is advised to nip it immediately in the bud before it spreads to other areas. Rampant mold growth can also be a good indication of a moisture problem, which should be dealt with as soon as possible.
Read More

flooding and mold

Dealing With the Threat of Mold After Flooding

When Can I Safely Re-Occupy My Home?

This is the most common question often asked after a major calamity. Homes that have sustained any flood damage should expect to have a mold contamination with visible growth, and should not be re-occupied until the necessary mold remediation is performed.

Mold is a now considered as a national health crisis of epidemic proportions due to the health effects from exposure that most commonly occur by inhalation, skin contact, and sometimes, ingestion can be extremely dangerous to anyone, depending on indoor air counts and length of exposure.

It is strongly advised that mold remediation work involving large areas (100 sq ft or 10 ft x 10 ft) should be performed by trained mold remediation experts.

In normal circumstances, areas exceeding 25 to 30 sq ft should also be remediated by trained personnel who can contain the area and remove the mold effectively and safely. By following this suggestion, you don’t risk being exposed to harmful molds and their effects.

Do-It-Yourself Mold Remediation

If you decide to do mold clean up by yourselves, it is strongly advised to use protective equipment and dutifully follow these tips. Use dust masks and gloves, when inspecting areas small that have severe presence of molds.

Always remember to stay for a maximum of 15 minutes only on places were there is severe mold contamination. As much as possible minimize dust release as it also includes mold spores.

If you are trying to clean up an area of at least 100 square feet or a total area of 10 feet by 10 feet, use half-face air purifying respirators with goggles and gloves for safety purposes.

In the event that you are covering an area of 100 square feet it is highly advised to use a full-face air purifying respirator, gloves and disposable cover all. Doing so lowers your chance to exposure to mold spore to zero. But it is still highly suggested that a professional do this.

Mold Remediation in a Two Story Home

If you are doing clean up on a two story house, thoroughly seal-off the second floor by using poly sheeting. Remember to always run a high power exhaust fan in the area where you are working to provide ventilation and prevent possible infiltration of any airborne mold or bacteria into adjoining spaces.

To clean up small debris and dust, use vacuum cleaners with filters. After all these, clean off and disinfect the area with a detergent and bleach solution.

Health and safety advisories to remember when cleaning up after flooding:

  • Be aware of black mold that are growing on sheetrock. There is a possibility that it may be Stachybotrys chartarum. This kind of mold produces a toxin which has been associated with severe health problems in humans.
  • Be vigilant in looking for a whitish or yellowish cotton candy-like mold growth that is observed in many homes.This mold growth has been identified in some testing as Fusarium, which like the black mold or Stachybotrys chartarum, also produces a toxin that is associated with adverse health problems in humans.
  • If you smell a gas leak, it is highly advised to call your utility company. Doing so prevents the possibility of fire or explosion that may lead to more damaged property or loss of life.
  • Be aware to stay away from downed power lines and damaged electrical wires. A sudden electrical surge may prove fatal.
  • Usually, mold clean-up activities may result in the release of lead paint dust. It is recommended for households that have children under the age of 7 to have a lead dust wipe post clearance testing.Doing this ensures the safety of everyone in your household from possible lead poisoning.
  • There is a probability that the plaster that you may be working on may contain asbestos. More extensive testing is required to really understand and know the scope of this potential problem.It is good to know that plaster can be inexpensively tested for asbestos content. Cleaning-up of asbestos-containing plaster surfaces poses a very severe health risk to workers and occupants.
  • In the event that you are using a gas powered generator, place them outside the house. Long term exposure to carbon monoxide will kill anyone.

Further Recommended Reading

mold on the roof

10 Tips for Removing Mold from Your Home

Remove Mold From Your Home

The removal of mold will prevent many diseases from attacking you and your family. The absense of mold will also give your home a fresh, clean scent.

Here are some steps on how best to remove mold from your home

  • Clean Roofs and Gutters

    One of the hiding places of mold is in blocked gutters or on top of roofs. Leaves and other wet debris can become trapped and stagnant, providing a great place for mold to fester and grow.

  • Watch out for compost piles

    If you have a compost pile, keep it far from the house to prevent mold spores from entering the house via the basement or walls. If you are moving your compost pile, make sure a protective mask is worn to prevent the inhilation of toxic mold released in the air.

  • Sunshine is important to reduce external moisture

    Homes that are heavily shaded by large trees or overhangs are more likely to have damp, moldy areas. Direct sunlight on the area can reduce the probability of mold. If you have mold allergies, this step is especially important.

  • Disposal of Damaged Materials

    Building materials and furnishings contaminated with mold growth should be placed in sealed water-resistant bags or closed containers while in the remediation area. These materials can usually be discarded as ordinary construction waste. Large items with heavy mold growth should be covered with polyethylene sheeting and sealed with duct tape before being removed from the remediation area.

  • Control moisture levels

    Keeping moisture levels in check is a great way to prevent mold from growing at all. Air conditioning or dehumidifiers can work as an effective check to mold growth. These appliances must be kept clean to avoid contaminating them with mold that can add to the problems for sensitive individuals. They can be cleaned through scrubbing or by spraying them with an aerosol mold remover. The ideal level of humidity inside a home should be between 35 and 40 percent. Levels above 50% allow molds to grow.

  • Remove mold with bleach*

    One of the best ways to get rid of mold is to simply treat it like your toughest laundry stains. In these cases, try bleaching them out.

    The ideal solution is one cup of bleach to 10 cups of water, or a cup of bleach in a gallon of water. Scrub those places inside your home where mold exists. Places best for mold growth are basements, shower curtains, bathrooms, fixtures, floors and walls, shower curtains, tile and behind the toilet, window panes, basement walls, floors and ceilings; and areas around the laundry room.

    *Note: We no longer recommend bleach for dealing with most mold issues. See this article on the 3 reasons why you should not use bleach on mold.

  • Clean your closets

    Mold is often found in shoes or even on clothing. Closets can be a festering ground for mold growth. If asthmatic or allergic reactions do not seem to be getting better, this may be a necessary step. If your closets are carpeted, it may be time to replace them. If mold exposure is unavoidable while cleaning, sensitive people should wear a tight-fitting facemask.

  • Inspect appliances

    Appliances that have mold inside them can increase a sensitized individual’s mold allergies. Proper outdoor ventilation of indoor appliances is especially important for clothes dryers and stoves. Another potential mold spawning ground is the refrigerator drip pan, which can collect great amounts of moisture.

  • Be careful on vacations

    Vacations can be times when mold allergies or reactions worsen. This is especially true for vacations at the beach, woods, or any place where the accommodations are damp or moist. If you have a cabin that you only visit a few times a year, you should properly clean it before each use.

  • Water leakage inside your home

    Replace or remove porous materials such as ceiling tiles, sheet rock, carpeting, and wood products if they have become water logged.

    Drying does not remove all of the dead spores on heavily-molded carpet. Remove all sheet rock to at least 12 inches above the high-water mark. Visually inspect the wall interior and remove any other intrusive molds. This may need to be carried out by a licensed contractor. Any insulation that is damp or wet should be replaced with dry insulation.

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