Who should do the cleanup?
Who should do the cleanup depends on 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, following the
guidelines below. However:
- If there has been a lot of water damage, and/or mold growth covers
more than 10 square feet, consult the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) guide: Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial
Buildings. Although focused on schools and commercial buildings,
this document is applicable to other building types. It is available
free by calling the EPA Indoor Air Quality Information Clearinghouse
at (800) 438-4318, or CLICK HERE.
- 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's Mold Remediation in Schools and
Commercial Buildings, the guidelines of the American Conference of
Governmental Industrial Hygenists (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's 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 - it could spread mold throughout the building. Visit
epa.gov/iaq/pubs/airduct.html, or call (800) 438-4318 for a free
- If the water and/or mold damage was caused by sewage or other
contaminated water, then call in a professional who has experience
cleaning and fixing buildings damaged by contaminated water.
- If you have health concerns, consult a health professional before