After you have addressed any water and humidity problems with your home, you then can work on removing mold. If you need to clean an area of mold in your home, keep the following precautions in mind. To clean areas larger than 10 square feet, consult an industrial hygenist.
- When handling or cleaning moldy materials and cleaning solutions, wear protective gloves, eye goggles, a N-95 respirator, and dress in long sleeves and pants that can be easily removed in the work area and laundered.
- Minimize exposure to mold spores by using a respirator designed for particle removal for protection against inhaling mold spores. Respirators can be purchased from hardware stores. Be advised that such respirators will not protect you from fumes.
- Make sure the room is properly ventilated while you are cleaning.
- Start by trying to remove a small amount of mold to determine if you will have a health reaction to either the mold or the cleaning products. If you have a reaction, or if your home has so much mold that you cannot manage the cleanup on your own, contact a professional experienced in cleaning mold in homes. You also may need to hire a professional if mold is growing in an area of your home that is difficult to access, such as in ductwork, or if there is more than 10 square feet of area affected by mold.
- Make sure you prevent the spores and mold-contaminated dust from going into other parts of your home by hanging plastic sheeting to separate the area. Use polyethylene sheeting ceiling to floor around affected area with a slit entry and covering flap, and maintain the area under negative pressure with HEPA filtered fan unit. Also, block supply and return air vents within the containment area.
- Place the moldy items, cleaning rags and anything else that comes in contact with the mold in airtight plastic trash bags. Seal the bags before disposing of them.
- When you finish cleaning, immediately wash the clothing you were wearing.
For more information, consult the EPA’s recommendations for Investigating, Evaluating, and Remediating Moisture and Mold Problems – Table 1: Water Damage – Cleanup and Mold Prevention