If mould is left undisturbed, it does not pose a major health hazard to most people. However, it still needs to be removed. There are significant safety tips that a person should follow during the mould removal process. There are also steps that need to be taken to prevent it from growing back.
Safety Considerations When Removing Mould
Certain people should not remove mould or be in the area where it is being removed. Children, pregnant women, people with respiratory diseases, people with chronic lung diseases such as COPD, and people with weakened immune systems should be far away while the process is taking place. If a person has COPD or a weakened immune system and they are around during the mould removal process, they can develop infections. If you have a sensitivity to mould or if you are allergic to it, you could develop symptoms if you are around it such as irritated eyes, a stuffy nose, skin irritation, wheezing, and difficulty breathing.
When at-risk people are out of the home, you need to prepare yourself and the area for the mould removal. Make sure that the area is well ventilated. You should wear protective clothing such as eye protection, a shower cap, rubber gloves, overalls, and suitable footwear. You should also wear either a P1 or a P2 face mask. These can be purchased at any hardware store. There are a few things that you should understand about face masks.
• Face masks are not always comfortable. You can get hot under the mask.
• If the seal around your mouth is poor, the mask won’t be as effective. This is a common problem for men with beards. ‘
• Face masks can make it difficult to breathe. If you have a heart condition or any type of lung condition you should talk to your doctor before using a face mask.
• If you have asthma and you are handling the mould removal, keep your inhaler with you at all times. If you start showing signs of an attack, follow your asthma treatment plan immediately.
Before starting the project, you should know the best way to remove the mould. You should never try to dry brush the mould. If you do, you can flick spores into the air where they can be breathed in easily. If you are going to vacuum the area, you should only use a HEPA filter. This type of filter will trap very small particles in large quantities in the vacuum. Typical vacuum cleaners will put the mould back into the air.
Steps For Removing Mould in the Home
When removing mould from homes, there are three steps that you should take. First, remove the source of the mould. Second, remove the actual mould. Finally, prevent re-growth.
• Remove the source of the mould: Mould can only grow in rooms that are damp and unventilated. Be sure the check for any water sources such as a leak in the home, damaged pipes and damaged drains. If necessary, contact a licensed plumber.
• Remove the mould: You should wash all of the bedding, clothing, and other soft fabric articles including stuffed toys. They should be washed on the hot cycle. If any contaminated items cannot go in the washing machine, you should have them cleaned professionally. If it isn’t possible, throw the items away. When you wash the clothes that you used for the project, wash them separately from the rest of your laundry.
You also need to clean the hard surfaces thoroughly. Your regular household detergent should do the job. Make sure that you don’t mix any detergent with bleach. Mixed with certain cleaners, the fumes can be toxic. When you apply the cleaner, let it set in for a few minutes before you mop it up. When the room is clean, go over it again with an antibacterial disinfectant. This will kill any lingering germs, and it will remove the smell of mould.
• Prevent the re-growth of mould: Regardless of how thoroughly you clean the area, mould can grow back. If you notice small areas of re-growth, treat the area with one part vinegar and three parts water. You can also try two teaspoons of tea tree oil mixed with two cups of water. Finally, hydrogen peroxide will also work well. If large areas of mould are growing back, you should contact a mould remediation professional.
To prevent the re-growth, make sure to keep the area dry. The best way to do this is to open the doors and the windows to air out the whole house. You can also use a portable heater to dry out the area. If you are going to do this on your own, you should understand that if you dry out a flooded area too quickly that it can damage the building. Before using these dryers, you should contact a building surveyor. Also, diesel or gas generators and heaters should never be used inside.
If the area has flooded, you might need to remove the plaster on the wall so that the interior of the walls can be properly dried out.
For further advice and information regarding mould testing and mould removal, contact your local Environmental Health agency.
Thanks to Safety Coordination Edmonton Mould Removal, Testing, Inspection & Detection for this excellent post on mold removal in Edmonton. Check them out here:
Safety Coordination Services
7633 50 st, 2nd floor, Meridian Place, Edmonton, AB T6B 2W9