COMMON MISTAKES IN MOLD CLEANING:
BLEACH, BORAX, BAKING SODA & FANS
Don't use ineffective bleach to kill mold on porous surfaces such as wood, drywall, and carpeting.
Do not use ineffective bleach to try to kill mold growth on, in, or behind porous surfaces like drywall, wood timbers, plywood/chipboard, insulation backing paper, carpeting/padding, and other construction materials made from cellulose-containing materials.
Consider using non-bleach mold home remedy recipes with Borax or baking soda on non-porous areas.
The EPA reports the benefit of a borate-based detergent solution and applying without a rinse. This will help prevent mold from growing again. To find a borate-based detergent, read the ingredients listed on the package label for borates.
During the cleaning process, you may be exposed to mold, strong detergents, and disinfectants. Spore counts may rise 10 to 1000 times once you begin cleaning or moving the mold.
You should discard moldy items that are porous. Some items are so porous it is almost impossible to redeem them:
- Rotten wood
- Upholstered furniture
Contaminated carpet is often difficult to thoroughly clean, especially when the backing and/or padding can become moldy.
Solid materials -- glass, plastic, and metal -- can generally be kept after they are thoroughly cleaned.
Never mix bleach with ammonia. You will form toxic fumes that are dangerous.
Do NOT use fans if mold may have already started to grow -- more than 48 hours since flooding. You will contaminate the entire structure with mold spores--sending them into flight.
BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF
If you do not understand the need for special equipment, and especially air control, you do not know what you are doing. People train ten years to handle mold damage and are still learning. It is more than scrubbing a wall, and removing some dry wall with mold! You would not let your uncle or neighbor operate on your spleen—unless they had special surgical training. Your home or other structures also commonly require expert evaluation, and perhaps professional remediation. Doing it yourself could make you very sick, and ruin any real chance at restoring your structure.
Any possible errors listed above are Dr. Schaller's, and while he treats humans with mold illness, he leaves the structural evaluation and remediation and consultations to real experts. Dr. Schaller treats people, and lets experts like Dr. Lipsey evaluate and handle homes, schools, and other structures.
He is one of the leading national experts in mold, and here is his contact information:
Dr. Richard Lipsey
Professor and Toxicologist
Univ. of North Fla, OSHA Cert.
Univ of Florida Jax Poison Control Board
Lipsey's CV -- Toxicology And Environmental Health Associates, www.richardlipsey.com