Monthly Archives: January 2014

Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings

“Table 1: Water Damage – Cleanup and Mold Prevention

Table 1 presents strategies to respond to water damage within 24-48 hours. These guidelines are designed to help avoid the need for remediation of mold growth by taking quick action before growth starts. If mold growth is found on the materials listed in Table 1, refer to Table 2 for guidance on remediation. Depending on the size of the area involved and resources available, professional assistance may be needed to dry an area quickly and thoroughly.

An Adobe Acrobat PDF version of this table is available here (PDF, 1 page, 209 K, about PDF)

Go to Table 2 | Go back to Investigating, Evaluating, and Remediating Moisture and Mold Problems

Water-Damaged Material  Actions
Books and papers
  • For non-valuable items, discard books and papers.
  • Photocopy valuable/important items, discard originals.
  • Freeze (in frost-free freezer or meat locker) or freeze-dry.
Carpet and backing – dry within 24-48 hours §
  • Remove water with water extraction vacuum.
  • Reduce ambient humidity levels with dehumidifier.
  • Accelerate drying process with fans.
Ceiling tiles
  • Discard and replace.
Cellulose insulation
  • Discard and replace.
Concrete or cinder block surfaces
  • Remove water with water extraction vacuum.
  • Accelerate drying process with dehumidifiers, fans, and/or heaters.
Fiberglass insulation
  • Discard and replace.
Hard surface, porous flooring§ (Linoleum, ceramic tile, vinyl)
  • Vacuum or damp wipe with water and mild detergent and allow to dry; scrub if necessary.
  • Check to make sure underflooring is dry; dry underflooring if necessary.
Non-porous, hard surfaces
(Plastics, metals)
  • Vacuum or damp wipe with water and mild detergent and allow to dry; scrub if necessary.
Upholstered furniture
  • Remove water with water extraction vacuum.
  • Accelerate drying process with dehumidifiers, fans, and/or heaters.
  • May be difficult to completely dry within 48 hours. If the piece is valuable, you may wish to consult a restoration/water damage professional who specializes in furniture.
Wallboard
(Drywall and gypsum board)
  • May be dried in place if there is no obvious swelling and the seams are intact. If not, remove, discard, and replace.
  • Ventilate the wall cavity, if possible.
Window drapes
  • Follow laundering or cleaning instructions recommended by the manufacturer.
Wood surfaces
  • Remove moisture immediately and use dehumidifiers, gentle heat, and fans for drying. (Use caution when applying heat to hardwood floors.)
  • Treated or finished wood surfaces may be cleaned with mild detergent and clean water and allowed to dry.
  • Wet paneling should be pried away from wall for drying.

* If mold growth has occurred or materials have been wet for more than 48 hours, consult Table 2 guidelines. Even if materials are dried within 48 hours, mold growth may have occurred. Items may be tested by professionals if there is doubt. Note that mold growth will not always occur after 48 hours; this is only a guideline.

These guidelines are for damage caused by clean water. If you know or suspect that the water source is contaminated with sewage, or chemical or biological pollutants, then Personal Protective Equipment and containment are required by OSHA. An experienced professional should be consulted if you and/or your remediators do not have expertise remediating in contaminated water situations. Do not use fans before determining that the water is clean or sanitary.

† If a particular item(s) has high monetary or sentimental value, you may wish to consult a restoration/water damage specialist.

§ The subfloor under the carpet or other flooring material must also be cleaned and dried. See the appropriate section of this table for recommended actions depending on the composition of the subfloor.”

Information sourced from: http://www.epa.gov/mold/table1.html

Hard Surface Cleaning

“In today’s home decor, hard surface flooring is playing an increasingly important role. Examples of popular flooring materials include stone, concrete, ceramic/clay, wood, resilient and specialty flooring. These materials appear to be easy to clean, maintain and restore, however, soils on hard surface flooring have a tendency to build up progressively, resulting in erosion. Sooner or later, it’s necessary to clean beyond routine dusting and damp mopping; that’s the time to call in a certified professional for help.

Certified technicians have the specialized training and experience it takes to select the proper cleaning chemicals, equipment, tools and materials in conjunction with the proper methodologies for maintaining or restoring hard surface flooring to its original beauty. Certified technicians can offer advice on how to clean and maintain the appearance of hard surface flooring and how to maximize your investment and extend flooring life.

xamples of popular flooring materials today include stone, concrete, ceramic/clay, wood, resilient and specialty flooring.

To protect and preserve the life and durability of your hard surface floors the cleantrust offers the following general guidelines for care:

  • Use Entry Mats. 80 percent to 90 percent of the soil found on floors is tracked in from outside.
  • Remove Dry Soil Often. Vacuuming is the most efficient method of dry soil removal.
  • Wet Clean Regularly. Use a neutral floor cleaner or one formulated for the floor surface you are cleaning. Note, when cleaning wood floors keep moisture to a minimum.
    • Identification is Key. There are six categories of hard surface floor covering: natural stone, concrete, ceramic/clay, wood, resilient and specialty. Within these categories are numerous classifications that require different cleaning methodologies. By knowing what the flooring material is, a proper floor maintenance program can be developed.
    • Use Walk off Mats. The number one enemy of flooring materials is soil because of the damage caused by eroding the surface of the floor, keeping it out is paramount to a successful program. Studies  indicate that five feet of walk off mat will reduce 33 percent of the soil  entering into a building, and 25 feet of walk off mat will reduce almost all of the soil entering a building.
    • Spot Mopping. Slip and falls are a significan challenge with hard surface maintenance. Spills should be removed as soon as they occur. When a spill occurs, cordon off the area with wet floor signs, placards, cones or tape, remove the spill with appropriate cleaning solution, wet mop, bucket and wringer and dry the floor completely with floor fan before leaving the area.
    • Daily/Routine Maintenance. Reducing or eliminating the soil that gets past the walk off mats on a daily or routine basis is the best way to reduce the damaging effects caused by erosion to the floor surface. This is accomplished with the dry service procedures (sweeping, dust mopping or microfiber cloth systems and vacuuming) followed by wet service procedures (spot, damp, and wet mopping) using the appropriate cleaning solutions in conjunction with mop buckets and wringers ,microfiber cloth systems or automatic scrubbing machines in large open areas.
    • Periodic and Restorative Maintenance. Professional floor maintenance technicians are the best choice for the periodic and restorative maintenance of hard surface flooring. Because of the number of categories and classifications of hard surface flooring available, mistakes can be made. A certified floor maintenance technician will know how to identify and provide the proper floor maintenance solutions.”

Information sourced from: http://www.iicrc.org/consumers/care/hard-surface-cleaning/