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What are the Different Options for Mold Abatement?

Article Details
  • Written By: T. L. Childree
  • Edited By: R. Halprin
  • Last Modified Date: 09 September 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Several different mold abatement options are possible depending on the severity of the problem. It is important to wear protective clothing and gear during any type of mold abatement to prevent the spread or inhalation of dangerous spores. Mildly contaminated areas may be cleaned with a wet vacuum or steam cleaner, but severe problems may require a High-Efficiency Particulate Arrestor (HEPA) vacuum cleaner. These mold abatement methods should always be followed by thorough cleaning with a brush or sponge. Items with extensive contamination will probably need to be discarded and replaced.

Mold inside a home or basement can sometimes cause serious respiratory ailments or allergic reactions. Mold abatement typically causes spores to become airborne, and it is very important to wear protective clothing and gear during this procedure. A filter mask should be worn at all times along with protective eyewear to avoid coming into contact with dangerous spores. Gloves and coverall-type clothing should also be worn during the mold abatement procedure and completely removed before entering non-contaminated areas. Thoroughly clean all clothing and equipment after the mold abatement procedure is completed.

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Areas with only mild contamination can usually be cleaned with a wet-or-dry vacuum cleaner. This device will effectively remove the surface mold without producing many airborne spores. It can be used on nonporous surfaces as well as fabrics such as draperies and upholstery. A steam cleaner may also be effective for removing the stains left behind during mold abatement. Larger areas of mold will probably require a HEPA filtered vacuum to avoid spreading active spores into non-contaminated areas.

After the surface mold is removed, all infected materials should be cleaned with a brush or sponge. A mild detergent or chlorine bleach mixture can be used for this purpose. Avoid using chlorine bleach on fabric or leather to prevent fading or spotting. Allow all surfaces to dry completely before using the room again. A humidifier or portable fan may help to speed the drying process.

Draperies, carpets, furniture, and building materials covered with large areas of mold must be discarded and replaced. Books and important documents infected with mold should be copied and disposed of. Heavily contaminated wall board, wallpaper, and ceiling tiles must also be replaced. In basement areas, mold-covered ceiling insulation will need to be removed and replaced to prevent reinfection. Painted walls with large areas of mold must be scrubbed with chlorine bleach and primed with a stain blocker before repainting.

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