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What you should know about Mold!

Don't Ignore Mold

Mold only gets worse with time and it can become worse very rapidly. All areas of mold contamination should be addressed as soon as possible. This also means addressing any water damage situations immediately; mold can begin growing in as little as 24 hours after building materials or personal items have been wetted. Wetted items or materials should be cleaned and thoroughly dried immediately to prevent health and/or structural problems.

Don't Touch Mold

Some varieties of mold are infectious. These can cause skin rashes, irritation, and fungal infections on open wounds. You should never touch mold with bare hands or get it on your skin. Whenever you clean mold, protective gloves should be worn. The gloves should be the waterproof, rubber type. This will protect you from the mold, as well as, from any cleaning products or biocides that may be used during the cleaning process.

Don't Get Mold In Your Eyes

When cleaning mold, protective eye wear, such as non-vented safety glasses or goggles, should be worn. This will keep the mold out of your eyes which can help prevent eye irritation or infection , as well as, protect your eyes from any cleaning products or biocides that may be used during the cleanup process.

Don't Breathe Mold

All molds are considered allergenic and some are very toxic, therefore, inhalation should be avoided. A nose/mouth mask should always be worn when cleaning mold. Common dust masks are not sufficient. The mask should have a NIOSH rating of N95 and have an exhale port to keep the mask from clogging due to moisture saturation.

Don't Disturb Mold

Mold spores are very much like the seeds of a dandelion, only microscopic in size. If you bump or shake any items or building materials that have mold on them, particularly dry mold, the microscopic spores can easily be released into the air and spread the contamination to other locations in the building. Great care should be taken when handling any contaminated items or materials. If you will be destructing walls or ceilings to remove mold-infected building materials, it is recommended to seal off the area, including air vents, to help prevent the spreading of mold spores.

Don't Exceed Your Limitations

If a mold-contaminated area is larger than 10 square feet in size, you should consult with a mold specialist to determine a proper remediation procedure. If the area is larger than 100 square feet, you should have the mold professionally remediated. Also, keep in mind that in some cases even small areas can be dangerous if not properly handled. This is particularly true with toxic molds.

Don't Mess With Toxic Mold

Some molds are very toxic and dangerous to your health. In addition to respiratory problems and infections, some of the symptoms can include permanent brain damage, memory loss, cancer and death. It is possible to suffer permanent health problems from a single exposure to toxic mold. If you are in doubt, you should have your mold tested to determine the type or have the mold professionally remediated.

Don't Risk Your Health

If you have had mold tested and have discovered it to be of a toxic variety, you should consider having a specialist do the remediation work. Additionally, if you are pregnant, lactating, have allergies, asthma, chemical sensitivities, or a compromised immune system; you should have a mold specialist do the remediation work for you.

Spotting Mold

Sometimes mold is easy to spot. It is often a contrasting color to the material it is growing on. Other times it is almost invisible. If you are trying to spot mold, you will find it helpful to use a flash light and shine the light beam across the surface rather than at it. Because all molds are three-dimensional, it will become readily visible, regardless of the color.

Detergent and Water

If mold is growing on a smooth, hard surface, ordinary detergent and water will usually work well for cleaning. Wipe these surfaces slowly while frequently rinsing the wash cloth.

Chlorine Bleach

Common household bleach (chlorine) is still one of the best biocides for killing mold. It should be noted that full strength bleach should never be used. Contrary to popular thinking, more is not better. The solution should be approximately 10% bleach to 90% water. Keep in mind that bleach can discolor personal property and building materials. Caution should be used for the items being cleaned, as well as, the areas around the cleaning project. The cleaning solution can be used by either spraying or wiping. When wiping surfaces, the cloth or sponge should be half way between wet and wrung out. When spraying surfaces, it is important to adjust the nozzle on the sprayer to the mist setting and not the stream setting. If the stream setting is used, the water droplets can dislodge spores and send them flying into the air. The mist setting allows the mold to gently become dampened and helps to prevent the spreading of spores while soaking or cleaning the surfaces. Because bleach evaporates faster than the water it is mixed with, it can leave a significant amount of moisture behind for subsurface mold which was not killed. Therefore, a chemical biocide would likely be the best choice for use on more porous surfaces such as wood, sheetrock or concrete.

Chemical Biocides

There are biocides available which not only kill mold, but help prevent the recurrence of mold. They can be used for general mold cleaning but will also more effectively penetrate, kill and sanitize mold on porous surfaces. Surfaces should be kept damp with the biocide for at least 10 minutes for the best result. On some porous surfaces, second or third applications may be necessary. When using biocides, it is important to avoid aerosol type disinfectants or products that contain alcohol. The biocide should also be certified by the EPA for use in occupied spaces.

Sporicidin has some features that other biocides do not. First, it is the only biocide certified by the EPA for use indoors, including inside of air ducts. Second, it does not stain surfaces like bleach or other biocides. Third, it provides a guaranteed kill and after decontaminating a surface, it leaves a residual bacteriostatic affect for up to six months. Fourth, it has a pH level of only 7.5 which means it can be painted over with most paints. Instructions for use are included.

One of the primary uses for Sporicidin is on mold contaminated gypsum wall board and OSB (oriented strand board) that has not been seriously water damaged. Sporicidin is the product of choice because it is far more economical than wall and ceiling replacements and is much less likely to ever become recontaminated than brand new wall board or OSB. The reason is that new OSB and wall board already have the mold spores present in the materials they are made of and only require moisture to start the growth process. Building materials have a residual protection within the materials after they have been treated. The University of Maryland and Georgia State University have both proven this to be true.

Vacuuming

Light areas of dry mold contamination can be carefully vacuumed from many surfaces and fabrics. Never vacuum mold without the use of HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) or similarly rated filter media in the vacuum cleaner. Common vacuum cleaner filters and bags do not have the ability to trap mold spores and will only spread the contamination around the building. Mold-contaminated carpet needs to have special attention with steam cleaning, a biocidal treatment, and followed by HEPA vacuuming. This process will likely require a professional cleaning company. Heavily contaminated carpet should simply be discarded, particularly if it is older carpet, or if it is being used over a concrete floor.

Ozone

On June 26, 2001, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration formally approved the use of ozone in both air and water as an anti-microbial agent. The drawback with mold remediation is that ozone can kill mold, but it does not clean the mold. Therefore, ozone should only be used after traditional cleaning methods have been performed on visible mold. Sometimes, however, it is simply impossible to clean every small crevice where mold spores can hide. Examples of this would be in the air conditioner's A-coil hidden inside of the air ducts, or the area within a crawl space or attic. These are the areas where ozone works well on its own or in harmony with other methods. In order to sanitize these or other difficult areas, an ozone purifier should be used on its highest setting and the area should be left unoccupied while the sanitizing is being performed. This process can take from several hours to several days depending on the area of contamination and the power of the ozone generator. Follow the instructions on the ozone air purifier.

Discarding

Depending on the severity of the contamination and the porosity of the building materials being cleaned, it may simply be best to discard contaminated materials. The root structure of the mold may penetrate far below the visible surface of the material making true sanitizing nearly impossible. This is particularly true with water damaged sheetrock and manmade wood products which are commonly used in home construction and furniture. These materials should be carefully enclosed in plastic trash bags and disposed of in the common trash. Dampening contaminated materials with a spray mister before handling can help prevent dry spores from spreading through the air while being handled.

Chemical Biocides

There are biocides available which not only kill mold, but help prevent the recurrence of mold. They can be used for general mold cleaning but will also more effectively penetrate, kill and sanitize mold on porous surfaces. Surfaces should be kept damp with the biocide for at least 10 minutes for the best result. On some porous surfaces, second or third applications may be necessary. When using biocides, it is important to avoid aerosol type disinfectants or products that contain alcohol. The biocide should also be certified by the EPA for use in occupied spaces.

We carry Sporicidin because it has some features that other biocides do not:

  • It is the only biocide certified by the EPA for use indoors, including inside of air ducts.
  • Does not stain surfaces like bleach or other biocides.
  • Provides a guaranteed kill and after decontaminating a surface, it leaves a residual bacteriostatic affect for up to six months.
  • Has a pH level of only 7.5 which means it can be painted over with most paints. Instructions for use are included. is on mold contaminated gypsum wall board and OSB (oriented strand board) that has not been seriously water damaged. Sporicidin is the product of choice because it is far more economical than wall and ceiling replacements and is much less likely to ever become recontaminated than brand new wall board or OSB. The reason is that new OSB and wall board already have the mold spores present in the materials they are made of and only require moisture to start the growth process. Building materials have a residual protection within the materials after they have been treated. The University of Maryland and Georgia State University have both proven this to be true.

 

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