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Mold Cleaning Guidelines

The tips and techniques discussed here will help you clean up your mold problem. Professional remediators may use other methods.

Keep in mind that mold may cause staining and cosmetic damage, and its removal may not return the area or item to its original appearance.

• First, identify the source of moisture, and fix the plumbing leak or other water problem. Dry out the affected area or item completely.

• Scrub mold off hard surfaces with detergent and water and allow to dry thoroughly.

• Absorbent or porous materials such as ceiling tiles and carpeting may have to be disposed of if they become moldy. Mold can grow on or fill in the crevices of porous materials, so the mold may be difficult or impossible to remove completely.

• Do not paint or caulk moldy surfaces before cleaning and allowing them to thoroughly dry. Paint applied over moldy surfaces is also likely to peel.

• If you are unsure about how to clean a moldy item, or if the item is expensive or of sentimental value, consult a specialist. Specialists in furniture repair and restoration, painting and art restoration and conservation, carpet and rug cleaning, water damage, and fire and water restoration are listed in the telephone directory. Be sure to ask for and check references. An affiliation with a professional organization is also a sign of expertise.

How will you know the mold remediation process is complete? You will know your cleanup has been thorough when there are no moldy odors, signs of water damage, or visible mold or mold growth. In addition, people inhabiting the space should have no health complaints or physical symptoms.

About Don Vandervort
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Don Vandervort developed his expertise more than 30 years ago as Building Editor for both Sunset Books and Home Magazine. He has written more than 30 home improvement books and countless magazine articles. He appeared regularly on HGTV’s “The Fix,” and served as MSN’s home expert. Don founded HomeTips in 1996.

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