A “moderate” amount of toxic black mold (penicillium/aspergillius) has been found in my basement, which is as a result of humidity and having a carpet down there. The mold remediation company is recommending an “air scrubber”, in addition to cleaning/removal. I plan to put in tile to ensure that the problem does not reoccur. Can anyone tell me if the “air scrubber” really works, and what is the best way to clean the contents down there, considering there is no visible mold on any of them. I am concerned because I have stored some of my five month old’s things down there. Any advice would be helpful.
If the Mold company is A reputable company and Licensed I would go with what they say , Most home inspectors do not qualify for Mold Remediation.
[font=arial][size=1]**[font=arial black][size=2]penicillium/aspergillus this group is considered common to indoor environments. It is widespread in the soil and on plants and is also considered a common contaminant of food. It has a musty odor. It is commonly being implicated in pulmonary disease in immunocompromised hosts. It has also been reported to cause skin infections. Many species produce mycotoxins, which may be associated with disease in humans and other animals. Toxin production is dependent on the **strain, or on the food source on which it grows. Some of these toxins have been found to be carcinogenic in animal species. Several toxins are considered potential human carcinogens.
Here is a good website that explains the use of air scrubbers among other things. MOLD
I don’t know about an air scrubber, but a dehumidifier (draining directly into a waste pipe) should alleviate any future excessive humidity issues. And get rid of carpet in a basement.
Your clean-up will consist of …
2 parts water
1 part bleach
1 scoop powdered laundry soap
Dawn rubber gloves and protective clothing. Fill a spray bottle with the mixture, and spray it on the wall and any other areas that may be mold covered. Allow it sit for a while, then wipe the wall down. It’s possible that you will need to do this a few times to remove the mold completely.
As for your child’s belongings…
Materials that are porous and can trap molds, such as paper, rags, wallboard, and rotten wood should be decontaminated and thrown away.
Other items or toys such as glass, plastic, or metal can be kept after they are cleaned and disinfected.
All to often we rely soley on the remediation company to tell us the right way, but let me first say that we need to really fix the problem, if you allow them to clean it up without fixing the problem then it will come back. This happens way to much.
Consider getting additional bids with different kinds of equipment used. Once you fully understand the uses of all applications then you can make a better decision.
Also let me say that if the problem is not fixed then laying tile will be a problem, you will get lifting and then more additional repairs will be needed.
- Clean Surfaces - surface mold growing on non-porous or semi-porous materials such as hard plastic, concrete, glass, metal, and solid wood can usually be cleaned. Cleaning to remove and capture all mold contamination, is very important because dead spores and mold particles may cause health problems if they are left in place.
- Thoroughly scrub all contaminated surfaces using a still brush, hot water and a non-ammonia soap/ detergent or commercial cleaner.
- Collect excess cleaning liquid with a wet/dry vacuum, mop or sponge
- Rinse area with clean water and collect excess rinse water.
- Disinfect Surfaces (if desired) - after cleaning has removed all visible mold and other soiling from contaminated surfaces, a disinfectant may be used to kill mold missed by the cleaning. In the case of sewage contamination, disinfection is strongly suggested–contact the Minnesota Department of Health for appropriate advice.
Mix 1/4 to 1/2 cup bleach per gallon of water and apply to surfaces where mold growth was visible before cleaning. Apply the solution with a sponge or by other methods that do not over saturate or flood the surface area.
Collect any run-off of bleach solution with a clean and filtered wet/dry vacuum, sponge or mop. However, do not rinse or wipe the bleach solution off the areas being treated – allow it to dry on the surface.
Always handle bleach with caution. Never mix bleach with ammonia – toxic chlorine gas may result. Bleach can irritate the eyes, nose, throat, and skin. Provide fresh air (for example, open a window or door). Protect skin and eyes from contact with bleach. Test solution on a small area before treatment, since bleach is very corrosive and may damage some materials.
Air scrubbers are used during the course of remediation to help reduce the amount of air borne spores, fragments and other by-products from the air. Ideally they should be used to depressurize the abatement area during remediation. You may hear someone say they are using a Negative Air Machine (NAM) in those cases rather than an Air Scrubber, difference being that the Air Scrubber does not negatively pressure the abatement area.
Leaving an Air Scrubber in a room as part of the fix though isn’t a professional response to a problem. Moisture and ventilation issues have to be addressed in conjunction with source removal and abnormal ambient conditions associated with the mold (for example damage to the air and other surface materials as a result of airborne by-products and settling spores and other fragments).
Depending where you are the Standards for mold remediation can vary. A lot of people quote the US EPA as a Standard, but it was established as a guideline of information in areas outside which Standards and Regulations apply. For example, in my state (Indiana) we do not have State Regulations on mold remediation (yet) so the legally-binding Standard that remediators follow is the IICRC’s S520 Standard & Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation. The only variation on this is when an “independent Indoor Environmental Professional” (IEP) inspects a structure and writes a protocol that they follow that may have been written based on another Guideline (like New York’s, the EPA’s, etc.).
an air scrubber is part of a remediation process, as well as air clearance test as it goes along,post 5 gives good information on the dehumidifier as this will help to slow that process