How do you clean up the mold?

If you have more than a square foot of mold growth you should seek professional advice on how to perform the clean-up.

  • The source of the water problem must first be corrected. All roof or plumbing leaks/flooding must be fixed.
  • All moldy surfaces should be cleaned with a household bleach (like Clorox) and water mix = 1  cup of bleach mixed in 1 gallon of water. You can add a little dish soap to the bleach water to cut dirt and oil on the wall that can hold mold. With good ventilation, apply the bleach water mix to the surface with a sponge, let it sit for 15 minutes, then thoroughly dry the surface. Be sure to wear a dust mask, rubber gloves and open lots of windows when cleaning with bleach water.
  • If the area cannot be cleaned (like some wet broken ceiling tiles), is too damaged, or is disposable (like cardboard boxes) discard them and replace with new ones.

It may be necessary to do more clean up in the home (carpets, crawl spaces) if you have a bad mold problem.

Call your city or county health department if you have questions or need assistance.

HOME CLEAN-UP RECOMMENDATIONS

The Cuyahoga County Board of Health and the Cleveland Health Department recommend clean-up in homes where water damage may have occurred due to flooding, serious plumbing problems, or roof leaks. This fungus associated with Pulmonary Hemosiderosis in infants requires water-soaked cellulose to grow.

NOTE: IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE STACHYBOTRYS AND HAVE EXTENSIVE MOLD GROWTH (>2 SQ. FT), SEEK PROFESSIONAL ADVICE FROM YOUR HEALTH DEPARTMENT BEFORE PROCEEDING.

PERSONAL PROTECTION

  • During clean up activities only those individuals doing the clean up should be in the home. Persons with any respiratory health problem (e.g. asthma, emphysema) should NOT perform the clean-up. Keep safety in mind.
  • During all clean up activities, a tight-fitting dust mask and goggles should be worn.
  • Rubber or vinyl gloves and waterproof boots should also be worn during all phases of the clean up.
  • Open all windows for drying and ventilation.

CLEAN-UP PROCEDURES AND MATERIALS

If necessary, pump the basement dry and clean out debris. In case of floods, wait until flood waters have receded before attempting to pump out the basement area.

  • Eliminate or correct the water problems or leaks associated with any existing source of water damage.
  • Carpets, rugs, furniture, and any other items with absorbent material must be removed and discarded if not thoroughly dried within twenty-four hours. Soiled curtains, clothes, linens, and any other items that can be laundered should be removed and cleaned. Any other contaminated items or materials should be discarded or disinfected for at least fifteen minutes with one cup of laundry bleach per gallon of water. Dark stained ceiling tiles or wall board should be replaced.  Full strength bleach may be necessary in situations of heavy contamination; however, adequate ventilation and personal protection will be necessary.  Please consult an expert.
  • All accumulated residue should be removed from the area including corners, edges of the floors, and under and around fixtures. Material should be lightly wetted to minimize dust. Replace the furnace filter and vacuum cleaner bag. Shovel any bulk waste material into bags and dispose with weekly trash.
  • Floors, walls and any other surfaces contacted by the flood waters should be properly disinfected for at least fifteen minutes with a chlorine solution of one cup of laundry bleach per gallon of water. Do not mix any other cleaning agents with the chlorine solution. Apply solution with mops and sponges.

Attention should also be paid to any other soiled areas in the basement including pipes, heating ducts, ceilings, etc. The above cleaning procedures should be followed in those areas as well. Caution should be taken around electrical equipment and fixtures.

Contact your local health department if you any further questions.

*Source: Cleveland Reserve University