Mold – Part I
April 5, 2017
How Do I Know . . . ?
April 5, 2017

Mold – Part II

If you find you have mold, what is the best way to get rid of it? It really depends on how much mold is present and where it is located. If the mold is on furnishings or boxes, just discard the materials. Moldy materials are not considered hazardous waste; they can be sent to a regular landfill. However, it is smart to seal the mold material in heavy plastic to protect the people who handle it in transit and prevent spreading large amounts of the mold into the building as you carry the material out of it.

If the mold is on a hard surface but occupies less than 10 square feet, just wash the area with soapy water (scrubbing with a brush may be necessary), rinse and allow the area to dry before repainting. But, if you have asthma, severe allergies or a weakened immune system get someone else to do the clean up.

Larger areas (greater than 10 square feet in area) should be cleaned by someone with experience in doing this type of work. Remember, determine what caused the moisture problem and correct that problem. Otherwise, mold is likely to recur.

Should bleach be used to get rid of the mold? Bleach will kill and decolorize mold, but, it does not remove the mold. And, even dead mold can still cause allergic reactions. It is not necessary to the kill mold to remove it. Scrubbing with soap and water can remove mold from hard surfaces. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the New York City Health Department agree that bleach or other biocides should not routinely be used to clean up mold.

How do I know when the mold clean up is finished? The mold cleanup is finished when there is no visible mold remaining and there is no dust or dirt remaining that could contain large amounts of mold and mold spores. Routine clearance testing for mold is not necessary. Leaving a few mold spores behind is not a problem if the underlying moisture problem has been corrected. Remember that mold spores are virtually everywhere. Even if all mold and mold spores are removed as part of the cleanup, spores from outside will re-enter that space. But, the spores won’t be able to grow unless water is also present.

Where can I get more information about mold? There have been many recent articles written on this subject. Check out the Georgia REALTOR? magazine ? October 2001 ?The Mess with Molds? by Seth Weissman. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPD) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) are excellent sources of information, as well.