Identify the problem

Clean, disinfect and dry the moldy area

Bag and dispose any material that has moldy residues, such as rags, paper, leaves, or debris

Substances that are porous and can trap molds, such as paper, rags, wallboard and rotten wood should be decontaminated and thrown out. Harder materials such as glass, plastic, or metal can be kept after they are cleaned and disinfected.

Ultimately, it is critical to remove the source of moisture first, before beginning remedial action, since mold growth will return shortly if an affected area becomes re-wetted.

Removal of Moldy Materials

After fixing the moisture source and removing excess moisture, the cleanup can begin:

• Wear gloves when handling moldy materials

  Remove porous materials (example: ceiling tiles, sheet rock, carpeting, wood products)

  Carpeting can be a difficult problem - drying does not remove the dead spores. If there is a heavy mold, disposal of the carpet should be considered.

  Bag and discard the moldy substances

  Allow the area 2 or 3 days

  If flooded, remove all sheet rock to at least 12 inches above the high water mark. Visually inspect the wall

interior and remove any other intrusive molds. (This step may have to be carried out by a licensed

contractor) Caution: Spores are easily released when moldy material is dried out.

Soap Cleanup

Before disinfecting contaminated areas, clean the areas to remove as much of the mold (and food it is growing on) as possible.

• Wear gloves when doing clean up

  Use non-ammonia soap or detergent, or a commercial cleaner, in hot water, and scrub the entire area affected by the mold.

  Use a stiff brush or cleaning pad on block walls or uneven surfaces

   Rinse clean with water. A wet/dry vacuum is handy at this.

Disinfect Surfaces

  Wear gloves when using disinfectants

  After thorough cleaning and rinsing, disinfect the area with a solution of 10% household bleach (e.g. 11/2 cup bleach per gallon of water). Using bleach straight from the bottle will not be more effective.

• Never mix bleach with ammonia - the fumes are toxic.

  For spraying exterior large areas, a garden hose and nozzle can be used

  When disinfecting a large structure, make sure the entire surface is wetted (floors, joists, and posts)

• Avoid excessive amounts of runoff or standing bleach

   Let disinfecting areas dry naturally overnight - this extended time is important to kill all the mold.

Caution: Bleach fumes can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat, and damage clothing and shoes. Make sure the working area is ventilated well.

This document is not a legal mandate and should be used for informational purposes only. The client is solely responsible for the use and interpretation of these recommended action guidelines. Pro-Spec makes no express or implied warranties as to such use or interpretation.

Cleaning up Mold can be Hazardous to your Health

Exposure to mold can occur during the cleaning stage. Mold counts are typically 10 to 1,000 times higher than background levels during the cleaning of mold damaged materials. Take steps to protect your health during cleanup:

  When handling or cleaning moldy materials, consider using a mask or respirator to protect you from breathing airborne spores. Respirators can be purchased from hardware stores; select one for particle removal (sometimes referred to as a N95 or TC-21C particulate respirator). Respirators are not as effective removing bleach fumes, so minimize your exposure when using bleach or other disinfectants.

  Wear protective clothing that is easily cleaned or discarded

  Use rubber gloves

  Try cleaning a small test patch of mold first. If you feel that this adversely affected your health, you should consider paying a licensed contractor or professional to carry out the work

• Ask family members or bystanders to leave areas when being cleaned

  Work over short time spans and rest in a fresh air location

  Air your house well during/after the work.

Caution: Never use a gasoline engine indoors (e.g. pressure washer, generator) - you could expose yourself and your family to carbon monoxide.

Air Ducts can become Contaminated with Mold

Air duct systems can become contaminated with mold. Duct systems can be constructed of bare sheet metal, sheet

metal with exterior fibrous glass insulation, sheet metal with an internal fibrous glass liner, or made entirely of

fibrous glass. If your home's air duct system has had water damage, first identify the type of air duct construction

that you have. Bare sheet metal systems or sheet metal exterior fibrous glass insulation, can be cleaned and


If your system has sheet metal with an internal fibrous glass liner, or are made entirely of fibrous glass, the

ductwork normally will need to be removed and discarded. Ductwork in difficult locations may have been


If you have other questions, contact an air duct cleaning professional or licensed contractor.

It is possible that odors may persist after everything is cleaned as thoroughly as possible. Continue to dry out the area and search for any hidden areas of mold. If the area continues to smell musty, you may have to re-clean the area again (follow the cleaning steps given in this sheet). Continue to dry and ventilate the area. Don't replace until the area has dried completely.

Further damage to your Home can be Prevented Check regularly for the following:

  Moisture condensation on windows

  Cracking of plasterboard

  Drywall tape loosening

• Wood warping

• Musty odor

If you have any of the above, seek out and take steps to eliminate the source of water penetration, as quickly as possible.

Some air cleaners are designed to produce ozone. Ozone is a strong oxidizing agent used as a disinfectant in water and sometimes to eliminate odors. However, ozone is a known lung irritant. Symptoms associated with exposure include cough, chest pain, and eye, nose, and throat irritation. Ozone generators have been shown to generate indoor levels above the safe limit. Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that ozone is not effective in controlling molds and fungi, even at high concentrations far above safe health levels. Also, ozone may damage materials in the home. For these reasons, The California Department of Health Services strongly recommends that you do not use an ozone air cleaner in any occupied residential space. Refer to the CDHS IAQ Info Sheet: Health Hazards of Ozone-generating Air Cleaning Devices (January 1998).

This document is not a legal mandate and should be used for informational purposes only. The client is solely responsible for the use and interpretation of these recommended action guidelines. Pro-Spec makes no express or implied warranties as to such use or interpretation.