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Can I Handle a Mold Cleanup Problem On My Own?

mold cleanup bakersfield, mold removal bakersfield, mold damage cleanup bakerfieldMold growing in homes and buildings indicates that there is a problem with water or moisture. In order to handle the situation, you must first first identify and eliminate the source. Mold will grow where there is moisture, such as around leaks in roofs, windows, or pipes, or where there has been a flood. 

Second, the living areas must be cleared of all contaminated building materials. Carpet, insulation, ceiling tiles, drywall, and wallboard must be removed and replaced. At the same time, you must sterilize or dispose of your wet possessions  since mold even grows on paper, cardboard, ceiling tiles, dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery.

This process can be a large, multistep undertaking.  In order to determine if you should call for professional help; here are some tips from the EPA and the CDC. 

EPA Guidelines for Mold Cleanup

The Environmental Protection Agency has some suggestions to assess a number of factors. One consideration is the size of the mold problem. If the moldy area is less than about 10 square feet (less than roughly a 3 ft. by 3 ft. patch), in most cases, you can handle the job yourself, follow the Mold Cleanup Tips and Techniques. However:

  • If there has been a lot of water damage, and/or mold growth covers more than 10 square feet, consult EPA guide Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings. Although focused on schools and commercial buildings, this document is applicable to other building types.
  • If you choose to hire a contractor (or other professional service provider) to do the cleanup, make sure the contractor has experience cleaning up mold. Check references and ask the contractor to follow the recommendations in EPA guide Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings, the guidelines of the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), or other guidelines from professional or government organizations.
  • If you suspect that the heating/ventilation/air conditioning (HVAC) system may be contaminated with mold (it is part of an identified moisture problem, for instance, or there is mold near the intake to the system), consult EPA guide Should You Have the Air Ducts in Your Home Cleaned? before taking further action. Do not run the HVAC system if you know or suspect that it is contaminated with mold. The blower could spread mold throughout the home. 
  • If the water and/or mold damage was caused by sewage, definitely call in a professional with experience cleaning from contaminated water.
  • If you have health concerns, consult a health professional before starting cleanup. 

Alert Disaster suggests that if your project looks like more than you can accomplish is 24-48 hours, call for help. You don’t want clean-up (and dry-out) going beyond two days because mold can quickly develop and spread. 

Basic Steps

Get to it! Clean up and dry out your home thoroughly and quickly immediately after any flooding.  Dig out mud, then use a wet vacuum to remove remaining dirt. Scrub cleanable surfaces (such as wood, tile, stone) with soapy water and a bristle brush.  Thoroughly clean all hard surfaces (such as flooring, molding, wood and metal furniture, countertops, and sinks) with water and dish detergent. 

Dry surfaces quickly and thoroughly after cleaning. If you have fans or a dehumidifier that wasn’t affected by flooding, use them to dry cleaned surfaces.

According to the Centers of Disease Control, mold growth can be removed from hard surfaces with commercial products, soap and water, or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup (8 ounces) of bleach in 1 gallon of water to kill mold on surfaces. Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners. If you choose to use bleach:.

  • Open windows and doors to provide fresh air.
  • Wear non-porous gloves and protective eyewear.
  • Small areas (such as a shower, or an area the size of a door) can often be cleaned by residents, but larger areas might need more professional help.  Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using bleach or any other cleaning product.

In conclusion, if you have an extensive amount of mold and you do not think you can manage the cleanup on your own, contact the Bakersfield team with years of experience in cleaning mold in both commercial buildings and Central Valley homes.

Bakersfield’s Mold Cleanup Experts

Alert Disaster has created a mold solution to protect your family in three steps: 

  • Identifying the mold types and quantity of mold spores is done by certified inspectors and then analyzed in the lab. A variety of inspection options are available.
  • The contaminated area is first contained to prevent the spread of mold spores to “clean zones” and the mold is removed according to IICRC and AIQ standards. Then air filtration devices are used to eliminate airborne spores and we reconstruct if needed.
  • Following the restoration process, they verify a job well done through third party re-inspection.

Alert Disaster Restoration, a Bakersfield-born, female-founded, and family-run business, has been proudly servicing the Central Valley community for 15 years. Call for a full service disaster restoration contractor for water damage, fire damage and mold contamination.