Mold Remediation Safety
Mold remediation | Spangler can be a dangerous task. It not only puts clean-up workers at risk but also their families. Spores can cling to clothes, skin and tools and be carried home where they can be re-released.
The type of building material being remediated should be taken into consideration when developing a remediation plan. Porous materials such as drywall must be discarded if heavily infested.
Isolate the Infested Area
When it comes to mold remediation safety, the first step is identifying and properly isolating the infested area. This involves creating physical barriers between the infested areas and unaffected areas of a home or building.
This includes sealing vents to heating and air conditioning systems, covering open windows, constructing an airlock or decontamination chamber, and more. This is particularly important when it comes to addressing hidden or hard-to-reach areas like behind wall coverings.
It’s also recommended that you contact a medical professional before you begin the cleanup process, especially if you suffer from asthma or other breathing conditions. This is because mycotoxins produced by certain types of molds may cause health issues in susceptible individuals. These mycotoxins are absorbed through the skin or inhaled.
Wear Appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Mold spores stay pretty much attached to materials until the cleaning process disturbs them. When this happens, millions of microscopic spores become airborne and can easily land on your clothing (allowing them to travel to other parts of the house), skin, eyes and inhalation.
To help prevent these spores from entering your body, you’ll need to wear appropriate PPE. This includes a filter face mask, long gloves (preferably ones that go past the wrist to prevent contamination), and a breathable overgarment like Tyvek coveralls.
If you’re tackling a small area, an N-95 respirator and non-vented goggles should suffice. But if you’re tearing out drywall or rotten wood, a full-face respirator with organic and particulate vapor filters may be necessary. It’s also advisable to use disposable clothing and seal any gaps with duct tape.
Don’t Disperse Mold Spores
Mold spores constantly float through the air and can be inhaled by people. When they land on moist, organic material, such as drywall, paper or carpeting, they can grow. Mold growth can also release mycotoxins. These toxins can cause allergic and respiratory reactions, as well as irritate the eyes and skin. They can also be ingested through small breaks in the skin or through food contaminated with mycotoxins.
During the mold remediation process, it’s important not to disperse any mold spores. This can be done by avoiding eating, drinking and using cosmetics in the work area. Also, it’s important to keep non-porous materials separate from porous ones. Dry wet materials as soon as possible. This can be done with wet/dry vacs, dehumidifiers and fans.
Dispose of Damaged Materials
Once the mold is dead, it must be removed to prevent more damage and ensure that any toxins that can cause a reaction in humans are eliminated. This should always be done by a professional.
It is not safe to reuse porous building materials that have been contaminated by mold, including drywall, carpeting, and wood parts, even if they have been cleaned. It is recommended that any affected contaminated materials be bagged and thrown away.
It is important that any contaminated building material that has been touched during remediation is carefully bagged and sealed. This will reduce the risk of mold spores becoming airborne during handling and will help protect cleanup workers. It is also a good idea to use fans and dehumidifiers to help dry any damp building materials as quickly as possible.
Hire an Expert
Molds release spores into the air, which can lead to allergic reactions in sensitive individuals like nose congestion, rashes, runny eyes, or even asthma. Even if you don’t have allergies or a weakened immune system, prolonged exposure to molds can cause structural damage to wood-framed buildings and weaken floors and walls.
An expert home mold remediation company can help you with both the cleaning and addressing the moisture problem that allows molds to thrive. They start by isolating the affected area and protect clean surfaces with containment barriers. They then disinfect the contaminated areas and treat them with biocide/fungicide/moldicide solutions. They also fix any moisture or humidity issues to prevent the return of molds. They can also dispose of and safely store contaminated materials.