The threshold per the IICRC S520 is once we’re greater than 10SF of visible contamination, it’s recommended to have the mold professionally remediated with full containment and negative air pressure established, HEPA air scrubbers, etc. Based on the amount of contamination, mold removal can be divided into five categories. Learning which level of mold remediation you’re dealing with is integral. If you want to learn more about how to deal with mold at every level, read on:
Level I — Up to 10 Square Feet
You can mostly find small mold infestations on baseboards or ceilings. If you’re dealing with less than 10 square feet of mold, you may be able to clean it without the help of a mold remediator. However, you should pay attention to a few key things. Firstly, if you suffer from a disorder such as asthma or allergies, don’t clean the mold by yourself. Even if you don’t have an autoimmune condition, you should still make sure to wear protective gear such as eye protection, gloves, and a disposable respirator.
Secondly, if you have children that are under a year old, remove them from the premises while you’re working. Similarly, if anyone in your home has chronic lung disease or is immunodeficient, they should also vacate the area. Lastly, make sure you clean the work area with a cloth and soapy water. Make sure to remove any furniture you can’t clean, as well.
Level II — 10 to 30 Square Feet
If you’re dealing with a level II mold infestation, it’s best to call a removal company. If mold has affected one wall panel in your home, you’re looking at category II mold damage. A level II mold remediation is a bit more complex than the first level is. However, no matter which level of damage you’re dealing with, it’s important to start with the safety precautions mentioned in level I.
The mold removal company should cover the mold-covered objects in plastic sheets. It’s important to also seal them with tape before you proceed with remediation, in order to contain dust and mold spores. Once the mold removal is done, they should vacuum the area thoroughly. Afterward, they will clean the surrounding area with a moist cloth.
Level III — 30 to 100 Square Feet
If you’re dealing with a level III mold infestation, it’s best to call a removal company. A level III contamination means you have mold patches on a few wall panels. If you’re dealing with mold damage of up to 100 square feet, the mold removal company will follow the steps mentioned above. Additionally, they will make sure to seal any air ducts and grills in and around the affected area with plastic sheets.
Make sure everyone leaves the premises before they start working. It’s integral that no one comes into the room until they finish the mold removal process. If you have children or live with a sick or immunodeficient person, make sure they leave the house, as well.
Level IV — More Than 100 Square Feet
If you’re dealing with a level IV mold infestation, it’s best to call a removal company. If you want to proceed with mold removal on your own, you should do so with caution. Make sure everyone involved is fully equipped and trained in managing hazardous materials. Isolate the mold-affected area completely.
The mold removal company will set up a decontamination area where they can wipe down the bags that contain contaminated objects and debris. Lastly, before moving back to your house, make sure they check whether the air quality is good.
Level V — HVAC and Air Conditioning Systems
If you’re dealing with a level V mold infestation, it’s best to call a removal company. If you notice mold near your HVAC or air conditioning systems, you should contact a professional. Removing mold from these areas is not safe unless you are a professional. However, there are some things you can do to stop the mold from spreading further.
Firstly, shut down the affected system. Secondly, remove any contaminated objects from the system and place them in a sealable bag. Lastly, if you want to stop the mold from reappearing, it’s smart to invest in a biocide for your HVAC system.
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