Guidelines for Mold Clean Up
The following guidelines apply to small mold clean up projects not exceeding approximately 10 square feet of impacted surface area. Remediation of larger areas of mold contamination may require additional safeguards that are not included in these basic guidelines. The Environmental Health and Safety Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) coordinator should be contacted to review the remediation procedures prior to commencing any large scale mold clean up.
Surface Mold Growth on Non-porous Surfaces
- Non-porous surfaces can typically be satisfactorily cleaned to remove any visible mold growth. Plastic, vinyl, glass, sealed wood and concrete fall into this category.
- Mold growth on non-porous surfaces can be removed by damp wiping with a water and detergent solution. Wiping cloths must be damp, not wet or soaked, in order to minimize the amount of water added to the materials being cleaned.
- Wiping cloths should be replaced frequently particularly if numerous pieces of furniture or large surface areas are involved. All wiping cloths must be disposed of following completion of the job.
- The use of biocides (i.e. chlorine bleach) is not recommended except under special circumstances. (contact EH&S for additional guidance)
- Minimum personal protective equipment must include eye protection and disposable gloves.
Removal of Small Areas of Mold Contaminated Porous Building Materials
- Porous building materials (i.e. drywall, ceiling tiles, insulation, carpet) that are visibly moldy as a result of water damage cannot be satisfactorily cleaned and therefore must be discarded.
- Removal of the material must be done with a minimum of disturbance to limit the chance of worker exposure and to prevent the spread of mold contamination to areas outside of the work area.
- Drop cloths to protect the floor and relocating or covering furniture in the general work area should be done as needed to lessen the risk of additional contamination of surrounding surfaces.
- Moldy materials should be lightly misted with water prior to removal to reduce the threat of spore and dust dispersal.
- Areas surrounding the removed material must be damp wiped, HEPA vacuumed or both following removal of the mold. The extent of additional cleaning will be determined by what is removed.
- Minimum personal protective equipment must include eye protection and disposable gloves. The use of an N-95 NIOSH approved respirator is also recommended. (Please note that the University has certain requirements that must be satisfied prior to wearing a respirator.)
Removal of Large Areas of Mold Contaminated Building Materials
- This refers to areas of contamination exceeding 10 square feet.
- Large areas of mold remediation may require the use of special techniques and procedures including full containments and upgraded respiratory protection.
- The EH&S IEQ Coordinator must be contacted to review the work plan for any planned large scale mold remediation activities prior to the start of work.
General Mold Clean Up Considerations
- Mold contaminated material is not regulated and can be disposed of as regular waste. In order to prevent the spread of mold to non-affected areas in a building, contaminated material must be removed from the work area in a sealed disposal bag or wrapped in plastic.
- A commercial HEPA vacuum cleaner must be used whenever vacuuming of a work area as part of the mold remediation process is required.
- Be aware that the removal of moldy material may result in an impact on asbestos particularly if carpet or plaster is involved. Please check with EH&S to verify whether a remediation project might also impact an asbestos containing material, particularly in buildings constructed prior to 1985.
- Whenever possible, work areas should be unoccupied during mold clean up activities.
- Removal of mold from an air conditioning system requires specialized work procedures. The EH&S office should be contacted for additional information.