Cleaning Mold

Note: Before cleaning or repairing any mold infestation or damage discover and remediate the source of water that caused the mold growth. If the leak persists the mold will return, often with different strains.

1. Materials

– Plastic sheeting to cover door openings, windows floors and vents this can be sealed with regular blue painters tape (the plastic should be at least 6 mm in thickness)

– A breathing respirator (to cover mouth and nose) with replaceable HEPA cartridges. These cost around $35-70

– 3 full size spray bottles. If the area you are treating is very large purchase pump sprayers
- small fan to fit in window of treated area

– Large disposable rags

– Plastic garbage bags thick enough to hold the molded debris you are removing

– Household cleaner (only use cleaners without ammonia)

– Household bleach (5% chlorine).

– Rubber gloves and goggles

– 3 buckets that will hold at least a gallon of water each

– Commercial grade HEPA-Vacuum. Contact your Local Health Department to find out where to rent a HEPA-Vacuum in your area.

– Dehumidifier. Do not use a fan since it can cause mold spores to be released.

2. Mixing phase

WARNING: Do not mix bleach with other household cleaners. Some household cleaners contain ammonia. If ammonia is mixed with chlorine bleach, a toxic gas can form, causing serious injury or death.- Mix household cleaner and water in a bucket and transfer to a spray bottle.

– Using gloves and goggles, add one cup (8 ounces) bleach for every gallon of tap water. Bleach (the active ingredient is chlorine) can reduce mold and bacteria on treated surfaces.

– Transfer the bleach solution into the 2nd spray bottle (use gloves and goggles).

– Pour clean rinse water into the 3rd spray bottle.

CAUTION: The bleach solution is irritating and harmful to the skin, eyes, and clothing. Avoid direct contact with the bleach by wearing rubber gloves, respirator and goggles during the entire mixing and cleaning process.

3. Prepare and Contain the Area

– Set up work area by choosing spots that have a window or door so that your small fan can keep the air blowing out of the containment area. The fan does not need to be set to a high speed. It is not for drying but to keep the air from circulating (and recontaminating) the containment area.

– Seal off the room from the rest of the house with the plastic and tape.

– Set up fan in window, door or any passageway outside. 
- Keep children and animals out of the work area during the cleaning procedure.

– Use a dehumidifier prior to, during, and after the clean-up to keep areas dry and prevent mold from reoccurring.

4. Mold Removal

-If drywall has gotten very wet or is moldy on both sides it should be removed completely. This goes for any materials that are completely molded. This often is the case with carpet padding and carpet, furniture that sat in water at all, any mattress that was overrun by water. If these materials are molded past the point of cleaning or if the interior of the materials are not cleanable they should be bagged under containment like any other moldy debris. It is important to note here that if you suspect that the foundation is leaking or there is water behind the wall the mold will surely return. This point is mentioned here because it is during the cleaning phase that you will discover the areas where the mold is focusing on and likely where the moisture is gathering.

– Spray and then remove visible mold with household cleaner mix. Work top and work down. Change towels often. Discard towels and any moldy debris in plastic bag. Rinse the same area with clean water on a damp towel or lightly spray with warm rinse water in a spray bottle and wipe with a clean towel.

– Repeat the above step until all visible mold is gone. There may be some discoloration of the surface from both the mold and the cleaning solution.

– If a bleach solution is used, wipe the affected area and let set for 20 minutes. Rinse the area with a damp towel using clean warm water or by lightly spraying with warm rinse water in a spray bottle and wiping with a clean towel.

Once the area is dry
- HEPA Vacuum area. Dead mold and spore bodies can still be highly allergenic, so thoroughly HEPA-vacuum. Place HEPA-vacuum bag into a garbage bag.

– Tightly tie the garbage bag and dispose of it as you would your everyday household garbage.

– Change out of your cleaning clothes. Wash your hands and face.

– At this point, you can apply paint or other coating to the surface. You may wish to use a paint/coating that contains antimolding agents.