Mold 101

Mold clean up Marietta

Fungi (mold) are present almost everywhere. In an indoor environment hundreds of different kinds of mold are able to grow wherever there is moisture and an organic substrate (food source). They can grow on building and other materials, including: the paper on gypsum wallboard (drywall); ceiling tiles; wood products; paint; wallpaper; carpeting; some furnishings; books/papers; clothes; and other fabrics. Mold can also grow on moist, dirty surfaces such as concrete, fiberglass insulation, and ceramic tiles. It is neither possible nor warranted to eliminate the presence of all indoor fungal spores and fragments; however, mold growth indoors can and should be prevented and removed if present.

A visual inspection is the most important initial step in identifying a possible mold problem and in determining remedial strategies. The extent of any water damage and mold growth should be visually assessed and the affected building materials identified. A visual inspection should also include observations of hidden areas where damages may be present, such as crawl spaces, attics, and behind wallboard. Carpet backing and padding, wallpaper, moldings (e.g. baseboards), insulation and other materials that are suspected of hiding mold growth should also be assessed.

The goal of remediation is to remove or clean mold-damaged materials using work practices that protect occupants by controlling the dispersion of mold from the work area and protect remediation workers from exposures to mold.

Non-porous materials (e.g. metals, glass, and hard plastics) can almost always be cleaned. Semi-porous and porous structural materials, such as wood and concrete can be cleaned if they are structurally sound. Porous materials, such as ceiling tiles and insulation, and wallboards (with more than a small area of mold growth) should be removed and discarded. Wallboard should be cleaned or removed at least six inches beyond visually assessed mold growth (including hidden areas) or wet or water-damaged areas.

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