Safely Remove Mold-Infested Material
It is critical to be cautious and smart when removing mold-infested material in a home. Follow this process in order to safely remove mold-infested material during a mitigation project.
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Step 1: Find and fix the source of the damage
If you remove the moldy material without finding the source of the water that is causing mold to grow, the mold will re-grow.
Water intrusion testing can be useful here, if the source is unknown.
Step 2: Pull back a section of carpet to look at the padding and material underneath, assessing for mold growth
Look at the tack strip and the baseboards.
Step 3: Inspect the wall cavity to look for mold growth by using a three-sided hole cut
Step 4: Put up a containment in order to protect the occupants of the home
Ensure to cover the doors, any AC or heating vents, and the windows.
Step 5: Set up your negative air machine with the ducting going outside
Ensure the negative air machine is ducted outside. If the pressure in the containment is too high and the plastic is struggling to hold, cut a section 10*10 section out and place a 10*10 air filter (or whatever size air filter you have available) on that area and seal into place with tape. This will reduce the pressure in the containment while allowing the negative pressure to be ducted outside.
Step 6: Don proper personal protective equipment (PPE)
See KnowHow on how to don PPE.
Step 7: Remove all items from the affected area
This may include:
- carpet, padding and tack strips
- insulating material in wall cavities
- affected drywall
You are going to be removing 2ft past the affected areas. Your are also going to be removing any items like carpet in the containment that a could hold any mold spores that are kicked up during the demo process.
Step 8: Bag all removed materials within the containment area, properly sealing the bags
The "goose-neck" method is a popular one for sealing bagged material.
Step 9: Hepa-vacuum the entire area including concrete, wall cavities and anywhere dust could have settled during removal of materials
Step 10: Clean wood with a mild detergent using a wire brush or cloth, scrubbing until it appears visibly clean
You can sand wood down 1/8 of an inch to remove the damaged area. Once the wood is down to its bare or clean state you will apply an antimicrobial paint to seal the area for any additional damage.
Step 11: Dry out the wall cavities and other affected areas using a dehumidifier
Perform a moisture test to ensure the wood is dry before continuing. Do not use air movers in a mold containment as they will spread any mold spores in the area.
Step 12: Hepa-vacuum the area once more to remove construction debris
Step 13: Sanitize the area
Step 14: Schedule the PRV Testing
Now that the containment area has been cleaned, we will schedule our Hygienist to come out and do his clearance testing. Find out from your hygienist if he wants the dehumidifier and negative air machine running during the test or when he wants them shut off.
Step 15: Receive PRV clearance and remove containment
Once you receive notification from your hygienist that the containment has passed its post remediation verification testing, you can remove the containment.
You will want to take photos once the containment is down for the reconstruction crews as well as any additional damage that may occur while removing the containment. These items happen and will need to be supplemented on the structure repair.
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