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» Dealing with Household Mold

How Did I Do It? > Home & Garden > Dealing with Household Mold
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As a Firefighter I had the opportunity, and took it, of becoming certified in Hazardous Materials Operations. One of the things I learned from that, that I was not aware of in more than a minor degree, was how hazardous and toxic mold could actually be.
I believe that many kinds of mold are really a job for an ‘expert, and should be viewed in that light, however that being said, there are some kinds of mold and to some levels that home owners can take on, but they are not going to be easily cleaned and will take some time to get rid of.

THE EPA guidelines say that a home owner should not try to clean a mold problem that is larger tahn 3 feet by 3 feet, and that anything larger will require professional help. Cleaning mold environments that large is really a job for a professional because once you get into a very large amount, what can happen is that it is release into the air, creating far more problems than you had to begin with. Always use safety materials when you are cleaning mold or moldy substances.

These will include

Goggles for your eyes, the type without air holes.
N-95 or greater Filtration mask.
RUbber gloves such as neoprene or pvc.

THe EPA did used to recommend bleach and I personally like the biocidal qualities of chlorine when dealing with mold however, because many people were mixing it with other chemicals and because of its toxicity when mixed with those chemicals, they now recommend just a detergent and water.

You may also need a drywall saw or a small hand saw for taking out any materials that can’t be cleaned as well as a scraper or putty knife.

TAKE NOTE

Skin irritations can result from contact with molds. Be certain that your safety gloves are elbow long and have no tears, and that your goggles are of the variety that have no holes in them. Once you have completed the mold cleanup, you will discard whatever you are wearing so be sure that you do NOT reuse this equipment.

It is MORE than vital to assure that you wear a mask with the proper rating to keep from inhaling the mold spores that can create some quite diverse illnesses.

If you choose to take on this project, How Did I Do It, does not take any responsibility for your health or safety and you work with mold and mildews at your own risk.

A sponge or scraper will help you to remove surface mold from metal or wood and the epa recomments a sponge and a mixture of water and detergent for removing it.

For materials such as some unsealed wood or drywall, ther is no really easy method of removal, so your best bet will be to saw away the area that is molded, to wipe it with detergent around the area that you cut away and discard the moldy material prior to simply replacing it.

If you believe that you have taken on the mold and beaten it, so much the better because mold in your home can cause some illnesses that range from allergic reactions to serious illness.

If you believe that you were not able to take all of the mold from your home environment, do not fail to phone for professional help.

Some resources which may assist you in your mold cleanup, or provide you with information or assistance include:
Environmental Protection Agency Information EPA’s Mold Guide.

Indoor Air Quality Information Hotline: 800-438-4318 Safe Drinking Water Hotline: 800-426-4791 U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (Headquarters)
Washington, DC 20460
Phone: 202-260-2090
Website: www.epa.gov

Institute for Business & Home Safety Information
For a free (single) copy of the Institute for Business & Home Safety’s (IBHS) new water-damage prevention guide (“Is Your Home Protected From Water Damage?”), call toll-free: 866-657-IBHS (4247).
OR, you can also find this guide and all IBHS disaster safety publications by clicking here.

Institute for Business & Home Safety
Tampa, FL 33617
Phone: 813-286-3400
Fax: 813-286-9960
Website: www.ibhs.org

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