How to Clean Mold Contaminated Contents
Mold spores are always present around us, but when given the right conditions (temperature, moisture, and a food source), mold can attach and grow to various surfaces and present a health hazard.
Professional restoration technicians and contractors are often tasked to remove mold from more than just walls, floors, and ceilings. In some situations where mold has grown out of control, there may be items and building contents that also require treatment.
Each item that is afflicted with mold growth will require a specific and unique set of procedures for successful remediation. In some cases, due to the nature of the item with mold damage, remediation may not be possible, and the item will have to be discarded.
Basic Procedures for all Types of Mold-Contaminated Contents:
The first step of the cleaning process is to conduct a survey of the contaminated areas. While wearing appropriate personal protective equipment, the inspector should conduct a thorough visual or video inspection to determine the quantity and type of items that will have to be cleaned. This should include identifying surfaces that are porous (those that have tiny gaps or holes completely through them, such as cloth or paper), semi-porous (those that have some holes but are not completely permeable), and non-porous (those that have no gaps in the surface). (For our purposes, hard objects that allow air to circulate through them, such as computers, or objects with many contours, such as carvings, are treated as semi-porous items.)
Since it is often easiest to dispose of porous and semi-porous items, the owner should be consulted to identify items of high intrinsic value, such as art, historical documents, or photographs that should be cleaned rather than discarded. This type of cost/benefit analysis should be conducted with the owner after the survey has been conducted.
All porous or semi-porous items with visible mold growth should be disposed of unless their value justifies specialized cleaning techniques, such as freeze-drying, use of an ozone chamber, or solvent washes. For paper items, it may be more cost effective to make copies of the contaminated items and discard the originals.
Training Opportunity: Technicians who handle water and fire restoration jobs would benefit greatly from attending Microbial Remediation Technician and Microbial Remediation Supervisor. These courses offer thorough instruction on safety, standards, and techniques necessary to succeed in mold remediation. Beginning with a biological overview of mold contamination to the most effective remediation equipment and supplies, these hands-on courses provide a complete and thorough education.
Cleaning Appliances Contaminated with Mold
- Vacuum all surfaces using a HEPA vacuum.
- Blow compressed air through fan exhaust.
- Thoroughly clean the appliance using a mild detergent.
- Wipe all surfaces with a disinfectant solution.
- Vacuum all surfaces again using a HEPA vacuum.
- Have an independent hygienist verify your cleaning.
Cleaning Bedding Contaminated with Mold
- HEPA vacuum all bedding, mattresses, box springs, pillows, etc.
- Sheets, blankets, duvets, etc should be laundered as per label instructions.
- Pillows and stuffed animals should be laundered if possible.
- Clean mattresses and box springs via hot water extraction and speed dry using air movers.
- Apply Microban X-590 to mattresses and box springs and allow to air dry
- HEPA vacuum mattresses, box springs, and all non-launderable items.
Cleaning Clothing and Fabric Contaminated with Mold
- All machine washable clothing should be vacuumed with a HEPA vacuum, and then laundered.
- All dry-clean-only clothing should be either hand washed or replaced. Dry cleaning is not an effective remedy to remove mold.
- Area rugs should be HEPA vacuumed and cleaned either via hot water extraction or immersion cleaning.
Cleaning Electronics Contaminated with Mold
- HEPA vacuum all surfaces.
- Blow compressed air through fan exhaust and throughout the unit.
- Clean with Unsmoke Degrease-All E.
- Wipe with a disinfectant.
- HEPA vacuum all surfaces.
*Source: Wondermakers Environmental
ShockWave is an EPA-registered, quaternary ammonium chloride cleaner, disinfectant, and sanitizer designed for use on various surfaces subject to microbial contamination. Strong enough to be used as a hospital grade disinfectant.
- Quaternary ammonium chloride disinfectant
- EPA Registered (61178-1-73884)
- pH: 11.7
- Variable dilutions
- Over 140 organism kill claims
Starting at: $34.91
AfterShock is an EPA-registered antimicrobial coating designed to kill residual mold and mildew remaining after pre-cleaning contaminated surfaces. AfterShock also inhibits the future growth and spread of mold and mildew on the cured film surface.
- For use on interior surfaces
- Durable and easy to apply
- EPA-registered (EPA Reg No: 73884-1)
- 10 year warranty
- Kills and prevents mold and mildew
Starting at: $61.98
LESS TOXIC THAN VINEGAR - Benefect's groundbreaking botanical technology is proven to kill over 99.99% of bacteria & surpasses the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's efficacy requirements for broad spectrum hospital disinfectants.
- EPA-registered botanical disinfectant
- Ready to use with no mixing needed
- pH: 4.0–5.0
- 1,000–1,200 sq ft coverage per gallon
- No PPE required; registered for use in HVAC systems
Starting at: $39.87
Microban Germicidal Cleaner Concentrate Mint is a one-step, quat-based disinfectant that is effective against a broad spectrum of bacteria, viruses, mold, and mildew, including H1N1 (Swine Flu).
- EPA-registered quaternary disinfectant
- Mint Scent
- pH: 12.4
- Variable dilutions
Want to earn up to 70% more rental income on your air scrubber? Switch to the HEPA 1000 Air Scrubber. Its cutting-edge design delivers 1,000 CFM of clean, HEPA-filtered air.
- 1,000 CFM of clean HEPA-filtered air
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- Compact size allows for one-person operation
- Includes a standard HEPA filter and 2-inch pleated filter
- Weighs just 73.5 pounds
The Total Zone TZ-1 Ozone Generator produces 1,500 milligrams of ozone and is ideal for use in small rooms or containment zones (up to 60,000 cubic feet) with severe odors, such as cigar/cigarette odors, pet odors, cooking odors, painting odors, and many more!
- Produces 1,500 milligrams of ozone per hour
- Handles jobs up to 60,000 cubic feet
- 100 CFM fan
- Weighs less than 8 lbs; pulls only 1 amp
- For use in unoccupied areas only
Degrease-All E is a degreasing spray cleaner specially formulated for the restorative cleaning and maintenance of electronic components. This highly concentrated cleaner and degreaser instantly dissolves, liquefies, and safely suspends a wide variety of soils on delicate electronic equipment.
- Formulated for restorative and maintenance cleaning
- Designed for use on electronic devices
- pH: 11.5
- Variable dilutions
Starting at: $32.33
Concrobium Mold Control is a dual purpose, non-toxic antimicrobial that can be deployed during the “knock down” phases of restoration projects to control mold spore proliferation, and it can also be applied on restored surfaces for ongoing mold protection.
- Dual-purpose formula remediates and prevents mold
- EPA registered for use on hard surfaces and fabrics
- No bleach, ammonia, or VOCs
- Category IV rating—requires no PPE to apply
Starting at: $31.99
Concrobium Mold Stain Remover employs liquid oxidative technology to facilitate physical mold removal, but without the harsh chemicals associated with traditional oxidation products.
- Removes tough mold stains
- No brushing, blasting, or sanding required
- Non-foaming solution
- No special equipment or training required
- No scrubbing or cleanup required after application
Starting at: $34.99
The Minuteman Micro Vac is ideal for mold, lead, or asbestos remediation. It combats harmful allergens such as pollen, dust mites, and animal dander that collect in carpeting, draperies, and furniture.
- HEPA filter is 99.97% efficient at 0.3 microns
- Quiet, yet powerful vacuum motor won’t disturb occupants
- 4-gallon capacity
- Ideal for mold, lead, or asbestos remediation
- Tools included