Last Updated on October 8, 2014
Knowing the different levels of mold infestation will give you a better understanding of what you can do in order to deal with your problems on mold contamination inside your homes and offices. These levels will actually explain which among them will require professional mold remediation services. Let us get to know more about them through the following facts.
First level – smaller mold infestations
Mold infestations are categorised under the first level if they basically cover an area of up to 10 square feet. This level of infestation is mostly found on baseboards and ceilings. With a very small area of infestation, hiring a mold remediation specialist in this case is not required. You can actually clean the affected area by yourself.
While hiring mold remediation services is not necessary with this level of infestation, you have to be reminded of the safety precautions to take in the cleaning process. Cleaning mold infestation is not recommended if you are prone to allergies or have asthma and other immune system disorders. Make sure that you use enough protection while doing the process. You should have eye protection, gloves and an N95 disposable respirator.
Additionally, infants and individuals with an existing immune system disorder or are recovering from a recent surgery should be out of your work area perimeters once you do the job. If there are any contaminated materials that can no longer be cleaned, make sure you remove them from the work area using a sealed plastic bag. Clean up the work area once you are done with the job and check that mold contamination will no longer find a breathing ground once you have removed them.
Second level – the size of one wall panel
Second-level mold infestation is one where up to 30 square feet is affected. This is around the size of one wall panel. On top of all the recommendations made for cleaning mold contaminations in the first level of infestation, you should also consider the following pointers.
Cover all moldy materials using plastic sheets. Seal them with tape before you even remove such material. Using double wraps can be a great idea especially that these materials contain dust and debris on them. Once you are done removing the moldy material, you can vacuum the work area with the help of HEPA vacuums. End the job up by cleaning the area using a damp mop or cloth.
Third level – molds in several patches
Third level mold infestation can occupy up to a hundred square feet of your building materials. In many cases, this infestation is not limited to one area only. It can spread to various wall panels in several patches. You should take all the necessary precautions recommended for the first and second levels of infestation but likewise add the following safety measures to your list.
Make sure that ventilation grills in the work area are sealed. Consider sealing directly adjacent areas too using plastic sheeting. Everyone should vacate the work area until such time you have completed the work. Adjacent work areas should be vacated by infants and sickly individuals to ensure their safety.
Fourth level – requires help from a professional mold remediation specialist
The fourth level of mold infestation goes way beyond the 100 square feet area of the third level. This infestation would now require the help of a mold remediation service provider. In addition to the help extended by these service providers, you can also combine all the recommendations from the first to the third levels of mold infestation then consider a few more important points to bear in mind:
• Make sure that you will only handle mold infestation at this level if you are trained in handling these and all other hazardous materials. Wear a full-face respirator containing HEPA or high-efficiency particulate air cartridges. You should also invest in disposable protective clothing.
• The work area should also be isolated from the rest of the home or office. Sheeting, fixtures, ventilation grills and ducts and all other openings should be sealed with duct tape.
• A decontamination room should be set up. Sealed bags should also be either HEPA vacuumed or wiped with a damp cloth inside this room.
• Air monitoring should also be made before you go back to your home or office to help you know if it is fit to return to the place.
Fifth level – mold in HVAC and air conditioning systems
There is a great chance that your air conditioning and HVAC systems can be contaminated with mold. When this is the case, you have the choice to either clean the contaminated systems using the recommendations in the first and second levels. However, it will always be best to seek mold remediation services for this more complicated job.
Additionally, you should also shut down the HVAC and air conditioning systems before mold remediation. Any supporting material contaminated with mold should be removed and sealed using plastic bags. You can also use biocides that help prevent microorganism growth, preferably those recommended by HVAC manufacturers.