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Remove Mold, If Possible

Mold can be removed from hard surfaces such as hard plastic, glass, metal and countertops. Completely removing moisture and mold from porous surfaces such as paper, drywall and carpet padding is impossible, so these materials must be removed and discarded.
  • When cleaning, wear a two-strap (N-95 rated or better) protective mask to prevent breathing mold spores.
  • Remove mold from nonporous materials with a three-step process:
  1. Brush or vacuum.
    1. If mold and mildew already have developed, brush off items outdoors to prevent scattering spores in the house.
    2. If items can’t be moved outdoors, dampen them to minimize the number of airborne mold spores.
    3. Vacuum non-porous surfaces with a HEPA vacuum to remove loose mold and spores.
  2. Scrub.
    1. Using a stiff brush, scrub with a non-ammonia soap or detergent. (Do not mix ammonia and bleach; the fumes are toxic.)
    2. Scrubbing may not completely remove mold growth on structural wood, such as wall studs, so it may need to be removed by sanding.
    3. Wear personal protective gear and isolate the work area from the rest of the home.
  3. Disinfect.
    1. After the mold is removed, disinfect the area using a bleach and water solution or another disinfectant.
    2. The amount of bleach recommended per gallon of water varies considerably.
    3. A clean surface requires less bleach than a dirty surface.
    4. A solution of 1 cup of chlorine bleach to 1 gallon of water should be adequate for clean surfaces.
    5. The surface must remain wet for about 15 minutes to allow the solution to disinfect.
    6. Concentrations as high as 1½ cups of bleach per gallon of water are recommended for wood and concrete surfaces that could not be thoroughly cleaned.
    7. Provide adequate ventilation during disinfecting and wear rubber gloves.
    8. Rinse the entire area with clean water, and then rapidly dry the surfaces.
    9. Use fans and dehumidifiers or natural ventilation that exchanges inside air with outside air.
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