What you should NOT do when faced with possible mold growth!
Cleaning Mold: Extreme caution should be exercised when attempting to clean up mold. Mold growth from condensation around windows or on bathroom tiles if it is topical in nature and minimal in growth can be cleaned up. Avoid bleaches or chemical biocides since these do not work and cause other environmental problems and health issues. Soapy water with white vinegar, borax and water solution, or a detergent works very well in cleaning up mold.
If the mold growth is on drywall, wood beams, carpeting, insulation, etc, you should have it tested to determine the type, quantity and toxic effects of the mold growth. The cause and extent of the mold problem must also be determined prior to any clean up procedure. Proper care must be taken to protect the individual, occupants as well as the remainder of the building when removing mold or materials suspected of mould.
Disturbing Mold Growth: Mold growth should be disturbed as little as possible. If mold growth areas are touched, scrubbed, dried out or otherwise disturbed, mold spores may aerosolize and became part of the breathable air. This may cause ingestion and inhalation of potentially toxic mold spores which could lead to a variety of serious health effects.
Avoid ripping up carpeting, destruction of drywall or any other destructive activities on building materials showing mold growth until you know what you are dealing with. If wall cavities need to be opened for the purposes of testing, this must be done by a qualified professional with minimal damage to the wall itself. Any of these types of destructive activities should only be performed under proper containment procedures appropriate for bioaerosols.
Entry points into a wall should be as small as possible (usually no more than 1/2 inch in diameter). All entry points or punctures in a wall suspected of mold growth must be properly sealed afterwards to avoid mold spores from aerosolizing.
Biocides: The use of biocides is not recommended by our company, The Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA) nor by (ACGIH) American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienist which is a leading body in North America for Occupational and Environmental Safety as well as bioaerosol testing and remediation. Biocides are not an easy fix for mold in buildings even though many manufacturers claim that they are. Biocides kill the viability of the mold spore and can prevent mold growth from spreading. However, biocides do not remove the toxic properties of a mold species. By spraying biocides on mold growth you will only retard mold growth itself. Dead mold spores can have the same toxic properties as viable or living mold spores. The possible toxic health effects are not properly addressed through this method.
Drying: Depending on the situation, it is not always advisable to dry out mold growth. By drying out mold growth you are removing part of its sustainability and food source. If a mold species is growing on building materials and the moisture is removed too soon before remediation, mold spores could aerosolize as a natural survival mechanism of the mold itself. Some species of mold like Stachybotrys needs a lot of moisture for growth. As long as it is wet this type of mold does not easily aerosolize. If this type of mold growth is dried out and not immediately removed, it may become aerosolized.
Moisture intrusion into a building should be addressed as soon as possible, but so should remediation of the mold growth.
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Note: The above information is a general overview only! It is not intended for use in diagnosis of health effects, or medical conditions in any way. Users of this site should consult with their doctor, or environmental health practitioner for specific information or health effects from exposure to mold and toxins. If you believe that you have been exposed to mold or are feeling any health symptoms – consult your physician immediately.
The above is not intended to be used as a guide or protocol for mould remediation since it is not complete by any means.