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Cleaning Up Mould

How should I clean up the mould?

 

In general, once mould has been discovered, it is recommended that porous materials such as dry wall, ceiling tiles, fabric or carpet be thrown out and replaced rather than cleaned whenever possible. Non-porous materials such as metal, glass, hard plastic and semi-porous materials such as wood and concrete can be cleaned and reused (if structurally sound).

How to clean the mould depends of the size or extent of the damage.

 

For small areas (less than 30 square feet):

  • Use a disposable respirator as well as glove and eye protection. A high-efficiency particulate air filter (HEPA) respirator will provide a higher level of protection.
  • It is not necessary to vacate the building, but persons who work close by or those who are immuno-suppressed, those with chronic lung problems (such as asthma, allergies, etc) or those recovering from surgery may wish to work in a different section or area on those days.
  • Dust suppression methods such as misting the surface lightly before cleaning is recommended.
  • Clean the area with water and detergent.
  • Area should be dry and free of any visible contamination when the work is completed.

 

For larger areas or areas of high contamination:

While large remediation projects should be done by trained professionals, some good work practices include:

  • Persons working in this situation have appropriate training in disposal and removal the biological contamination.
  • Wear a high-efficiency particulate air filter (HEPA) respirator plus appropriate glove and eye protection. Wear disposable protective clothes such as coveralls, head cover and shoes.
  • Isolate the area from the rest of the working space with plastic sheeting and by sealing ventilation ducts and other openings.
  • Use an exhaust fan with a HEPA filter to create a negative pressure in the space.
  • It is not necessary to vacate the building, but persons who work close by or those who are immuno-suppressed, those with chronic lung problems (such as asthma, allergies, etc.) or those recovering from surgery may wish to work in a different section or area on those days.
  • Discarded materials should be sealed in plastic bags for disposal. HEPA vacuum or wipe the sides of the bags before carrying outside of the sealed area.
  • The contained area, as well as the entrance to it, should be HEPA vacuumed and cleaned with a detergent solution.

 

If the contamination is in the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system:

  • Small amounts of contamination can be cleaned as above for small surface areas. Large scale contaminations should be handled by trained professionals.
  • The HVAC system should be turned off during cleaning.
  • All areas should be dried before the system is turned on again.
  • Biocide products are available for various HVAC components such as condensation pans and cooling coils. Check with the manufacture for specifications and for handling instructions.
  • The work area should be HEPA vacuumed and cleaned with a detergent solution.

 

Precautions:

  • The use of chemical disinfectants such as chlorine for remedial purposes is not recommended.
  • The use of chemical disinfectants can pose health concerns for people in occupied spaces of the building.
  • Vacuuming may increase exposure to mould and spores by making them airborne. Central vacuums that exhaust to the outside, or those equipped with high-efficiency particulate air filters (HEPA) will minimize this exposure.
  • No special requirements are necessary for the disposal of mouldy materials although it is recommended that the materials be sealed in plastic bags if possible.