Precautions for mold clean-up after flooding

Thursday, May 19, 2011

If you or someone you know has received flood damage, there are many precautions to be taken during clean-up operations due to possible mold contamination.

During all mold cleanup operations, individuals should wear proper personal protection equipment, which includes gloves, goggles and a respirator. However, the type of respirator varies on the size of the mold-affected area and on the work area; workers who wear respirators should be medically cleared to use such protection, and trained in the use of their equipment.


*Avoid direct contact with affected mold areas as much as possible.

*If it can be thrown away, throw it away. Replacements may be less expensive in the long term (and short term) than attempting to decontaminate some surfaces.

*If it cannot be disposed of, decontaminate and then dry as thoroughly as possible. Moisture removal is a key factor to preventing future growth.

*Wallboard can often be cut to the point of contamination and replaced with new sections.

*Clean all tools after use, or dispose if possible, and also clean tools after each shift.

*When in doubt about the structural integrity of a facility, obtain an evaluation by a licensed and qualified builder or structural engineer before entering. Medical clearance may also be necessary based upon the severity of mold in the area.

*Individuals involved in mold remediation should be aware that attempts to mix chemicals to clean surfaces can cause further damage, such as the toxic gases that can be released when ammonia and bleach are mixed. Workers need to exercise caution, so as not to create additional hazards. The power supply (circuit breakers) should be turned off in the specific damaged areas/ high levels of moisture to avoid electrical shock hazards.