If not dealt with quickly and properly, mold can too easily become a health issue and destroyer of household items. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) publishes a complete set of reference guides detailing how to respond. But since time is of the essence, here is a quick checklist to get remediation started.
1. Most importantly, ensure you have identified and fixed the source of the flooding, leak or other moisture source that is causing mold.
2. At the minimum, wear gloves, respirator and goggles are worn during the process to protect from mold exposure. It is also recommended that the clothing worn be disposed of to avoid the spread of spores. Exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people.
3. Open doors and windows and utilize fans to circulate air and facilitate drying, which should be done within 48 hours.
4. Take furniture household items outside to dry and leave cabinets and drawers open.
5. Vacuum floors, ceilings and walls to remove mildew spores. Sweep loose spores off of furniture and household items.
6. Clean and disinfect all surfaces (including floors, ceilings, walls, furniture, etc.) that were infected. Scrub with hot sudsy water followed by a rinse with solution of 1/4 cup bleach to a gallon of water. Repeat the process until the odor is completely gone.
7. be aware of hidden mold in crevices and other porous material. This damage may be difficult to remove completely, requiring professional assistance or disposal of the item.
8. Depending on the cause and extent of the contamination, considering having a professional check and clean the air ducts, as the system could potentially spread spores to other areas of the home.
9. Use a low-pressure spray containing a fungicide to completely dampen items.
10. To get rid of lingering unpleasant odor, use a deodorant, charcoal or freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Avoid future problems by eliminating moisture which can be done through two primary methods. First, reduce indoor humidity through the use of exhaust fans, de-humidifiers and venting dryers and showers. Second, prevent condensation in windows, walls, etc. by adding insulation. If the remediation process is performed quickly and thoroughly a homeowner will be rewarded with a healthy, clean home!