Mold Remediation

By Edmond VandenBosche, CIH
August 4, 2018

Causes of Mold:

Mold requires food (cardboard, wood, paper, dust), water, oxygen, and a temperature between 40 to 90 oF.  These are all in our home except the water.  If you control water, you control mold.

Most common water sources are humidity from showers, cooking, laundry, pipe leaks, and building envelope leaks. 

Before you clean up mold find the water source and stop it.

Mold Cleanup:

  • If it is porous (sheetrock, fabric, cardboard, etc.) throw it away.

  • If it is semi-porous (concrete with dust, wood, etc), clean it or throw it away.

  • If it is non-porous (vinyl, metal, smooth concrete, etc.) clean it.

Cleaning means to wash with soap water and a scrub brush.  If you have resolved the water problem you do not need to treat with a mold chemical.  If you think you need to treat with a mold chemical look for one that has low risks for humans.  Typically these contain quaternary ammonium compounds, but others are out there.  Bleach does a good job, but can burn your skin, blind you, or damage your respiratory system if it splashes.

Mold Health Effects:

The most common effect is allergic reaction.  Typically watery, burning eyes, running sinuses, swelling in bronchia.  Can contribute to bronchitis or asthma.  About 3 to 5% or population is allergic.

If your immune system is damaged by cancer drugs or chronic illness, your risk of a mold infection increases.  We normally don’t get internal mold infections because mold normally does not do well at 98.6 oF. 

Toxic byproducts from mold are primarily a concern when eating moldy food.  However, the processes of removing a large amount of mold (>10 square feet) can release so many spores that you could get a toxic dose. 

 

References:

https://www.epa.gov/mold

https://www.cdc.gov/mold/default.htm

 

Call Ed at 443-846-4748 or email at edvcih@LIFESeedsInc.com if you have questions.