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Homeowner Mold Cleanup

Can homeowners do mold removal? Can they be effective at mold cleanup? Yes! But you must do it right or you'll do more harm than good.

Small amounts of surface mold can be cleaned using routine household cleaning methods, especially when precautions are taken to avoid spreading mold spores, which can further contaminate the house. However, mold remediation equipment and instructions may be required.

Do-It-Yourself Mold Cleanup Considerations.

When do-it-yourself mold clean up may be considered:
1. You have appropriate remodeling skills and tools
2. Thoroughly read IICRS S520, Mold Remediation Standard
3. Can get your questions answered
4. You have access to mold remediation equipment

- Properly fitting respirator
- Appropriate clothing
- Air Scrubber
- HEPA Vacuum Cleaner

3. Diligent about complying with MSDSs for products used
4. Access to an emergency room
5. A purchase agreement isn't in progress
6. You and your family can temporarily live somewhere else
7. No legal action will be taken for the results
8. Mold is contained to an area (not spread by HVAC system)

Definition of Mold Remediation

Mold remediation is removing mold without further contamination.

Sometimes, this is easier said than done, but most of the time it's easy, but it can be time consuming to do right without damaging the house.

If you can't avoid contaminating other parts of the house in the process of mold clean up, don't do it yourself!

Heed Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs)

These documents can be downloaded from the Internet, and there is one for just about every chemical solution you can buy.

Read labels.  Follow directions.  Have the appropriate first air services available.

Most people who tried the bleach and water route have been irritated by the chlorine.  Some, who did not adequately protect themselves ended up in the emergency room with second degree chemical burns.

Develop a Mold Clean Up Protocol

Before you do any mold cleanup, write down all the procedures you'll use to do it.  Know why you're doing each process.  Know what order the steps are done in and why.  Don't start until you know exactly what you're going to do and why and know the safety procedures.  Homeowners who don't at a minimum don't get it right the first time and have to repeat the process.  Sometimes they do more harm than good.  Some end up in the hospital.

Know When the Job is Bigger Than You Are

Small jobs, contained to a specific area can be easily dealt with while taking proper precautions.  Other times, the job is too big or the contamination is too hard to remove on your own.  Have the sense to know when to quit and get professional mold removal help.

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