Different Materials Require Different Cleaning Methods
Non-porous: Materials that are hard surfaced and non-porous (such as glass, metals, and plastics) with mold growth can easily be fully cleaned and dried out. You’ll want to use a detergent and rinse with a disinfectant that is about half cup household bleach mixed with about a gallon of water. It’s crucial that you DO NOT mix bleach with any products that contain ammonia. This produces a highly toxic chlorine gas that is harmful when inhaled.
Semi-porous: Materials that are semi-porous (such as wood and concrete) with mold growth should only be cleaned if they are structurally sound. If wood beams are showing signs of rot or degradation, replacement is necessary for safety reasons. However, if all looks good, clean these materials with a similar solution as with non-porous materials. If mold is extensive, you may want to consider a professional cleaning.
Porous: Materials that are porous (such as carpet, insulation, ceiling tiles, drywall, etc.) are much more difficult to fully clean. There is a general rule that if a porous material has been saturated for more than 48 hours, it’s probably safest and best to remove and replace.
As you begin your mold-cleaning journey, it’s always best to be safe rather than sorry. If you’re concerned about a cleaning product or method, do some research before you begin. When working with mold, or anything similar, a N-95 respirator mask is recommended. Respiratory protection only works if you use it correctly and if it’s in good condition. Often if you’re dealing with extensive mold issues, you may have other concerns such as asbestos contact or contaminated dust particles. You also want to ensure you do not touch the mold spores with your bare hands. Goggles are necessary for eye protection as mold spores can get into your eyes and cause irritation and infection.
If you do come in contact with the mold spores and are concerned, make sure you have a first aid kit on hand that includes mold-specific washes and products, and contact a medical professional for additional help. Mold can be serious, and in many extensive cases, a professional cleanup crew may be needed. Your health should always be your top priority, and not just during the cleaning process, but in the future as well. This means you must ensure the problem is addressed at the source so that mold doesn’t form again.
If you have any questions about mold mitigation products and assistance with safety during your cleanup efforts, reach out to Shield-Safety for advice. We have a wide selection of masks, goggles, gloves, cleaning products, and many first aid necessities at the ready. We can also get you in touch with mold experts.