Is Mold Serious?
Mold is a very serious issue and one that should not be avoided or ignored. Large collections of airborne spores can lead to allergic reactions or even respiratory problems. Toxic mold is a term that refers to molds which produce mycotoxins. These toxins can pose serious health risks to humans and animals. Exposure to high levels of mycotoxins can lead to neurological problems and even death. Exposure to mold in infants can cause asthma to develop as well. This is exactly why mold should always be treated as a serious problem and should never simply be ignored. Dealing with mold as soon as it has been detected, can prevent serious health issues.
The first step in getting rid of mold is to remove it’s source of moisture. New mold will begin to grown in moist porous conditions withing 24-48 hours. It is important to remove this moisture source as soon as possible to prevent this from happening.
Effective ways of dealing with mold can include using special detergents to remove it. Most commercially available detergents have an EPA approved anitifungal agent in them. Some more serious mold problems can require a professional mold remediation team however. These professionals will remove furniture or building materials affected by the mold and also cut off the moisture source. In the most extreme cases, it can save by simply condemning the building, rather than trying to reduce the mold to safer levels.
The goal of a successful mold remediation is to remove or clean up the mold, and to prevent fungi from moving to or entering a non-contaminated area, all the while protecting the workers who are performing the remediation.
Methods of Remediation
Evaluation. Before any attempt is made to remove the mold, the area must be assessed for safety, and the whole area needs to be cleaned up and approached appropriately. The EPA gives instructions for doing all of this.
- HVAC Cleaning. This should only be attempted by a trained professional.
- Dry Brushing. This is when a wire brush or sand paper is used to remove microbial growth which can be seen clearly on wooden surfaces such as framing or floors.
- Dry Ice Blasting. This is used to remove moldfrom wood or cement. However there is always a danger when using this method, that spore of the mold may be sprayed into the surrounding air.
- Wet Vacuum. This is used on wet materials and is a method that is fully approved by the EPA.
- Damp Wipe. This is a method that is reserved for non-porous surfaces. Scrubbing with water and detergent and drying quickly to remove the mold.
- HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) Vacuum. This is used after all materials have been cleand and dried, and any contaminated materials have been removed. Collected debris and dust should be stored in order to prevent debris release.
- Debris Disposal. This is simply disposing of contaminated debris which can be done just as you would any ordinary construction waste.
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