“Why Can’t I Just Clean Up the Mold Myself?”

Abita Springs, LA

August 30, 2018

Well, of course you can!  Many people find that it is more cost effective to clean up mold problems by themselves and for that reason, NORMI™ provides a DIY (Do-It-Yourself) guidelines at both the www.NORMI.org and the www.NORMIProETF.org websites.  But, let me suggest that you consider these ideas before you begin the process so that you protect yourself and your family from future problems.

  • Molds can be very toxic to a certain subset of the population. Those especially susceptible include the elderly, the very young and those who are immune compromised.  If you fit into one of those categories, cleaning up a mold problem could exacerbate any symptoms you’ve been experiencing because of the problem and could, in some instances, even create new health problems.  You may not be the one to do this work.
  • Because of the potential health issues related to the clean-up process itself, it is imperative to utilize the proper PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) to protect yourself. This includes a proper face mask, goggles (that don’t have slits or vents on the side), Tyvek® coverall suit, booties and good gloves.  It may sound extreme to some, but these protections are necessary to avoid contaminating your clothes or exposing pathways for pathogens to enter your body.
  • Use a biocide that will kill the mold not just “bleach” it. Clorox®, for instance, makes some great biocides that will destroy mold but straight sodium hypochlorite by itself is not a solution.  Make sure that the chemical you use is registered with the EPA to “kill” mold and if it does not make this claim, it probably will not have the desired effect. 
  • Vacuum, vacuum and vacuum again. Did I say vacuum?  I just can’t stress enough the importance of removing all the “debris” left over during the cleanup process.  When someone is tested for mold allergies, they are typically tested by the insertion of a dead mold spore under the skin.  When the person reacts, it is determined they have mold allergies.  So, dead mold (debris) can be just a toxic as live mold and it, therefore, must be removed.  A room that has been cleaned up after a mold contamination problem should be the cleanest room in the house.  You should be able to eat off every surface.
  • Scrub the air using a good AFD (air filtration device). Continually filtering the air and purifying it while doing so will remove the remaining spores and other debris floating around in the air that could eventually settle out as dust.  This filtering process, when enhanced with an air purification system like the ones we use in our training, is one of the most effective ways to remove harmful particles and the odors from the chemicals you might have used.  It’s the best way to provide the cleanest possible result.

We live in a time when information is readily available to assist the do-it-yourselfer solve almost any problem.  However, don’t believe everything you read.  Be diligent to do your due diligence but get good information from a credible source and you’ll do well.  NORMI™ stands ready to assist you.  If you have any questions or need more information, contact NORMI™ at 877.251.2296 or email us at support@normi.org.  You can certainly save a lot of money, but you must be prepared to do it right!