, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

From the EPA site –

If you are a building manager, custodian, or other person responsible for commercial building and school maintenance, Read “Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings”

This document presents guidelines for the remediation/cleanup of mold and moisture problems in schools and commercial buildings; these guidelines include measures designed to protect the health of building occupants and remediators. It has been designed primarily for building managers, custodians, and others who are responsible for commercial building and school maintenance. It should serve as a reference for potential mold and moisture remediators. Using this document, individuals with little or no experience with mold remediation should be able to make a reasonable judgment as to whether the situation can be handled in-house. It will help those in charge of maintenance to evaluate an in-house remediation plan or a remediation plan submitted by an outside contractor. Contractors and other professionals who respond to mold and moisture situations in commercial buildings and schools may also want to refer to these guidelines.




Mold Remediation/Cleanup and Biocides

The purpose of mold remediation is to remove the mold to prevent human exposure and damage to building materials and furnishings. It is necessary to clean up mold contamination, not just to kill the mold. Dead mold is still allergenic, and some dead molds are potentially toxic. The use of a biocide, such as chlorine bleach, is not recommended as a routine practice during mold remediation, although there may be instances where professional judgment may indicate its use (for example, when immune-compromised individuals are present). In most cases, it is not possible or desirable to sterilize an area; a background level of mold spores will remain in the air (roughly equivalent to or lower than the level in outside air). These spores will not grow if the moisture problem in the building has been resolved.

If you choose to use disinfectants or biocides, always ventilate the area. Outdoor air may need to be brought in with fans. When using fans, take care not to distribute mold spores throughout an unaffected area. Biocides are toxic to humans, as well as to mold. You should also use appropriate PPE and read and follow label precautions. Never mix chlorine bleach solution with cleaning solutions or detergents that contain ammonia; toxic fumes could be produced.

Some biocides are considered pesticides, and some States require that only registered pesticide applicators apply these products in schools. Make sure anyone applying a biocide is properly licensed, if necessary. Fungicides are commonly applied to outdoor plants, soil, and grains as a dust or spray — examples include hexachlorobenzene, organomercurials, pentachlorophenol, phthalimides, and dithiocarbamates. Do not use fungicides developed for use outdoors for mold remediation or for any other indoor situation.


Method 4: Discard — Remove Damaged Materials and Seal in Plastic Bags

Building materials and furnishings that are contaminated with mold growth and are not salvageable should be double-bagged using 6-mil polyethylene sheeting. These materials can then usually be discarded as ordinary construction waste. It is important to package mold-contaminated materials in sealed bags before removal from the containment area to minimize the dispersion of mold spores throughout the building. Large items that have heavy mold growth should be covered with polyethylene sheeting and sealed with duct tape before they are removed from the containment area.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Always use gloves and eye protection when cleaning up mold!

If the remediation job disturbs mold and mold spores become airborne, then the risk of respiratory exposure goes up. Actions that are likely to stir up mold include: breakup of moldy porous materials such as wallboard; invasive procedures used to examine or remediate mold growth in a wall cavity; actively stripping or peeling wallpaper to remove it; and using fans to dry items.

The primary function of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is to avoid inhaling mold and mold spores and to avoid mold contact with the skin or eyes.


Mold and Paint

Don’t paint or caulk moldy surfaces; clean and dry surfaces before painting. Paint applied over moldy surfaces is likely to peel.


HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) vacuums are recommended for final cleanup of remediation areas after materials have been thoroughly dried and contaminated materials removed. HEPA vacuums are also recommended for cleanup of dust that may have settled on surfaces outside the remediation area. Care must be taken to assure that the filter is properly seated in the vacuum so that all the air must pass through the filter. When changing the vacuum filter, remediators should wear Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) to prevent exposure to the mold that has been captured. The filter and contents of the HEPA vacuum must be disposed of in well-sealed plastic bags.


(the above information excerpt from the pamphlet described at the beginning of this post is found here with a tremendous amount of step by step procedures for mold removal after flooding, storm surge from hurricanes such as Hurricane Sandy, and other massive water saturating events – this brochure was created by EPA experts and contractors after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans to help with the aftermath of these types of events. )



There are also new products to help remove moisture and water from rooms, homes, businesses, basements and to some degree, structural materials within a home or building – one of these is Damp Rid which can be found online through this link or purchased at Home Depot, Sears, Lowe’s, some Ace and True Value Hardware Stores and through some online retailers as well –



This brief news article describes some of the early evidence of health and respiratory problems associated with the cleanup of Hurricane Sandy water. sludge, mold, damp materials, inundated areas and saturated structures –




There are UV-C light additions to air cleaner and air-filtering systems which can be installed in air duct work along with some air filtering free-standing home units which include the UV-C light in their design. There is evidence that the UV-C light kills bacteria, germs, mold and mold spores as the air is passed under or “through” the UV-C light. These can be purchased from retailers carrying air filtration systems (at one time Radio Shack and Lowe’s carried them), found online or through online retailers (including Sharper Image, Amazon, and directly from manufacturers.)

Ozone producing machines (called 0-3 machines) actually produce temporary, unstable volumes of ozone within a structure, room, school, hallway, basement or other space. These machines can be found online through the manufacturers and can be rented from their district retailers and distributors for about $200. These machines kill all of the mold, mildew, mold spores, germs, bacterias, mites, dust mites and other microbiotics within the space where they are used. The air filled with the ozone (O-3) will need to be aired out after the process and nothing human, animal or living plant can be in the room when the process is done.

The open studs and framework within a previously damp structure which are exposed after wet materials have been removed does allow the O-3 to permeate internal structural air spaces within walls where mold and mildew often thrive.

These machines that process air into ozone for this purpose, create an unstable version of O-3 which quickly dissipates and returns to “normal” oxygen types when the machine has cycled off. Then the structure has been sterilized of these things without harm to people (which must NOT be in the structure while the O-3 machines are used). Although once the area is “aired out” and ventilated, the re-introduction of these undesirable spores and microbiotics can occur, with a good air purifier system in place – such as one free-standing unit per room or one central air duct work placed air purifier for the entire system, then air quality can be free or very nearly free of those contaminants going forward.

– cricketdiane

There are also dehumidifiers available at the industrial level of efficiency – some of which can be rented or leased rather than purchased. For buildings, building owners, homeowners, property owners, renters, and business owners intending to stay in the hurricane Sandy ravaged evacuation zone A areas – it may very well be worth the investment to purchase an industrial level air purification system and an industrial use dehumidifier. Since some future events could actually destroy the equipment during the storm surge, flooding, fire or whatever other disaster scenario it might be – it may be worthwhile to store these types of equipment elsewhere (upland in a storage unit, for instance) once the current Hurricane Sandy cleanup uses of them has been completed. Then, they will be available for whatever future needs will require them.