Mold removal and remediation techniques have been developed for use where there is extensive mold growth inside an occupied building. Mold growth in homes and offices is unacceptable since it poses a health risk to occupants. Current mold removal and remediation guidelines recommend that all visually moldy porous materials that cannot be easily cleaned be discarded. Mold removal and remediation should be performed by qualified professionals equipped to be able to control the spread of dust and mold spores.
The objectives of mold removal
The objectives of mold removal are to:
- Remove mold growth from interior services,
- Prevent cross-contamination or spread of mold spores and dust to occupied or clean areas,
- Remove settled dust containing spores and other microbial particulates.
Physical removal of mold contaminated porous materials is recommended since these type of materials cannot be easily cleaned. Therefore, moldy porous materials such gypsum wallboard, ceiling tiles, insulation, and carpet are discarded. Mold growth on nonporous materials such as sheetmetal, ceramic tiles, and glass is removed by cleaning with tap water and detergent.
Mold removal on semi-porous materials such as wood can be achieved by sanding and then treating the sanded surfaces with an approved biocide if necessary.
Black mold removal
There are no special methods for removal of black mold. Mold removal methods are the same regardless of the type of mold present in a building. However, the amount of mold present in a building as determined by the total area covered by mold determines the appropriate level of mold removal and remediation required. Based on the area covered by mold growth, there are generally 3 levels of mold removal. These are:
- Level 1 (or Small): This is a small area of mold growth covering less than 1 m² (10 square feet) in size
- Level 2 (or Moderate): This refers to mold growth covering greater than 1 m² but less than 3 m² (32 square feet)
- Level 3 (or Extensive): Extensive refers to mold growth covering than 3 m²
The categorization of mold removal levels differs slightly depending on the mold guideline you choose to use. The Guidelines on Assessment and Remediation of Fungi in Indoor Environments describes five levels of mold removal and remediation.
Each level has recommended procedures to protect the health of clean-up personnel, occupants and people working nearby during the mold removal and remediation.