Surface cleaning and disinfection can proceed before the building has been fully dried, but this process cannot be reliably completed until the building has been dried. Cleaning debris while it is still wet has the advantage of less spreading of mold and pathogens by airborne dust. Cleaning workers should still be careful to avoid being splashed by dirty water or cleaning fluids. |
If mold is already visible or suspected, use containment to avoid air movement from the damaged (moldy) area to other building areas. Disturbing mold colonies can cause a massive release of spores, so seal off the contaminated area from the rest of the house. If power is on, use a fan to exhaust air to the outdoors.
Containment (of moldy dust or demolition dust and debris) generally means negative air and poly plastic barriers. "Negative air" in a moldy or dusty work area: by use of fans blowing outdoors from the work area and plastic barriers at its entry keep the work area at negative air pressure with respect to the rest of the building. So dust in the work area does not tend to escape to other building areas."Containment" means that plastic barriers are set up and other steps are taken to isolate a moldy or dusty work area from the rest of a building.
Moldy Surface Cleaning: after rough demolition to remove wet and porous or visibly moldy materials and other items listed above, all remaining loose dirt and debris should be removed, and the remaining exposed surfaces such as wall studs and framing, masonry walls, floors, plywood sheathing, should be cleaned to remove all loose and surface debris. Stains in wood do not have to be removed provided there is no remaining surface mold or debris.
Surface mold on non-porous materials such as hard plastic, concrete, glass, metal and solid wood can be usually cleaned. Cleaning must remove, not just kill, the mold, because dead spores can still cause health problems.
After cleaning, you may choose to use a disinfectant to kill any mold missed by the cleaning. In the case of sewage contamination, disinfection must be performed. Contact your local health department for appropriate advice.
On colorfast, nonmetal surfaces, you may disinfect with a solution of 1/4 to 1/2 cup bleach per gallon of water. Do not use in the air system. Milder, less-corrosive disinfectants include alcohols, disinfecting cleaners and hydrogen peroxide. Always handle bleach with caution. Never mix it with ammonia; test on a small area before treatment.
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