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Free Encyclopedia of Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, Repair
ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS - INSPECT, TEST, REMEDY
MOLD: A COMPLETE GUIDE to TEST CLEAN PREVENT
ACCURACY vs PRECISION of MEASUREMENTS
ACTIVITY of MOLD in buildings
AGE of MOLD - Old is the Mold?
AIR POLLUTANTS, COMMON INDOOR
AIR TEST SAMPLING CASSETTE STUDY
AIRBORNE MOLD COUNT NUMBER GUIDE
AIRBORNE PARTICLE ANALYSIS METHODS
ALLERGEN TESTS for BUILDINGS
ALLERGENS in BUILDINGS, RECOGNIZING
ALLERGY & MOLD IAQ PRODUCTS
ALLERGY TESTS for PEOPLE
ALLERGY TEST ACCURACY
BASEMENT MOLD WATER IMPACT
BIBLIOGAPHY for ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH, MOLD, IAQ
BIOLOGICAL POLLUTANTS in the HOME - EPA
BLACK MOLD, HARMLESS COSMETIC
BLACK MOLD, TOXIC & ALLERGENIC
BLEACHING MOLD, Advice about
BOOK MOLD, Moldy Book Cleaning
BOOKSTORE - ENVIRONMENTAL
CAR MOLD CONTAMINATION
CARPET DUST IDENTIFICATION
CARPETING & INDOOR AIR QUALITY
CARPETS & PADDING ODORS IN buildings
CHINESE DRYWALL HAZARDS
CLEARANCE INSPECTIONS - MOLD CLEANUP
DIRECTORY of MOLD / ENVIRONMENTAL EXPERTS
DIRT FLOOR MOLD CONTAMINATION
DISINFECTANTS & SANITIZERS, SOURCES
DISINFECTING BUILDINGS with BLEACH
DO-IT-YOURSELF MOLD CLEANUP WARNINGS
DRYWALL MOLD TESTING
DUCT SYSTEM & DUCT DEFECTS
DUST, HVAC CONTAMINATION STUDY
EFFLORESCENCE, Salts & White / Brown Deposits
EMERGENCY RESPONSE, IAQ, GAS, MOLD
FEAR of MOLD - MYCOPHOBIA
Fiberboard Insulation Sheathing Mold
FIBERGLASS INSULATION MOLD
FIND MOLD, ESSENTIAL STEPS
MOLD in BUILDINGS
FLOOD DAMAGE ASSESSMENT, SAFETY & CLEANUP
FLOODS IN buildings-mold
FLOOR & SUBFLOOR MOLD, HIDDEN
HIDDEN MOLD, HOW TO FIND
HUMIDITY CONTROL & TARGETS INDOORS
INDOOR AIR HAZARDS TABLE
Indoor Air Pollution Book Online CPSC
INDOOR AIR QUALITY & HOUSE TIGHTNESS
INDOOR AIR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT GUIDE
INDOOR AIR QUALITY METHODS COMPARED
LAB PROCEDURES MICROSCOPE TECHNIQUES
Legionella BACTERIA & HVAC Equipment
MEDIA BLASTING for MOLD REMOVAL
MILDEW in BUILDINGS ?
MILDEW ERRORS, IT's MOLD
MILDEW REMOVAL & PREVENTION
MOISTURE CONTROL in BUILDINGS
MOLD: A COMPLETE GUIDE TO MOLD
MOLD CLEANUP GUIDE- HOW TO GET RID OF MOLD
MOLD COUNT NUMBER GUIDE
MOLD CULTURE TEST KIT VALIDITY
MOLD DETECTION & INSPECTION GUIDE
MOLD or INDOOR AIR EMERGENCY RESPONSE
MOLD LEVEL IN AIR, VALIDITY
MOLD ODORS, MUSTY SMELLS
MOLD PREVENTION GUIDE
MOLD RELATED ILLNESS GUIDE
MOLD SAFETY WARNINGS
MOLD TEST KITS
MOLD TESTING METHOD VALIDITY
MSDS Material Safety Data Sheets
MYCOPHOBIA, STAINS MISTAKEN for MOLD
ODORS GASES SMELLS, DIAGNOSIS & CURE
OZONE for MOLD OR ODORS
PAINTS & COATINGS ODORS IN BUILDINGS
PARTICLE SIZES & IAQ
Particulates & Allergens Indoors
RADON HAZARD TESTS & MITIGATION
RENTERS & TENANTS GUIDE TO INDOOR HAZARDS
SMELL PATCH TEST to Track Down Odors
SEWAGE BACKUP TEST & CLEANUP
STAINS on & in BUILDINGS, CAUSES & CURES
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING EXTERIORS
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING INTERIORS
STAINS & Thermal Tracking
THERMAL IMAGING MOLD SCANS
THERMAL TRACKING & THERMAL BRIDGING
TRAPPED MOLD BETWEEN WOOD SURFACES
TRAPPED MOLD BETWEEN WOOD SURFACES
UV LIGHT BLACK LIGHT USES
VOCs VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS
This section of our article series on How to Clean Up or Get Rid of Mold discusses the importance of drying the surfaces to be cleaned.If an expensive mold remediation effort is begun before the moldy area has been dried and leaks stopped, it is likely that the cleanup cost will have been wasted as mold growth will simply recur. Our photo above shows a recently-flooded home in Jasper TX. You can see that the floor is still wet. Demolition of moldy materials can begin but mold cleanup can't be successfully completed before the building has first been dried.
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No mold remediation project can be successfully completed unless:
When can mold cleanup begin in a building?
Certain steps can begin immediately and in some cases are essential:
What we are emphasizing, however, is that while initial demolition and even some cleaning can begin before the building has been successfully dried and protected from further leaks, no mold remediation project can be completed under those conditions. If the building remains wet, mold growth will recur on remaining building materials and surfaces.
How Dry do Things Have to be in a Building to Complete Mold Cleanup?
Let the cleaned lumber or plywood surface dry thoroughly. 18% moisture level or less in wood is usually acceptable; normally inside of a building that has been closed to weather and heated or air conditioned, moisture levels will be way below this point, perhaps at 2 to 6% in wood and in any remaining drywall.
When lumber surfaces have been washed or otherwise are wet, they should be dry (less than 18% moisture content) before further treatment.
For wood framing and sheathing surfaces which have been cleaned of problem mold, a simple contact probe system or Tramex moisture encounter system is adequate since wood surfaces are directly accessible. In more broad investigations we measure moisture in wood and drywall using either a pin-probe type moisture meter such as the Delmhorst™ model BD-7, the Tramex Compact™ or for impenetrable surfaces such as tiled walls and floors we use the Tramex moisture encounter which uses a pair of pads and an electrical signal to perform non-destructive moisture detection.
The Delmhorst moisture meter also offers sets of long pin probes which can penetrate a wood frame wall or ceiling to sense moisture within insulation or on the far side of that cavity.
We also use the Exergen infra-red scanner to find moisture based on variations in temperature. A study comparing the effectiveness of various moisture measuring tools in the detection of moisture in inaccessible building cavities and a comparison of use of these instruments, a bore scope, and direct visual inspection by test cuts has been completed.
Remember when measuring moisture that looking only in the center of a surface, such as 4 ft. up a drywall-covered partition, is not the full story. :Moisture may still be present at problem levels in slow-to dry areas including building wall and ceiling cavities and on drywall behind wood trim. Measure at the locations most-likely to still be wet, not the locations most-likely to be dry, if you're trying to avoid an indoor mold problem.
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Technical Reviewers & References
Related Topics, found near the top of this page suggest articles closely related to this one.
Allergies, Allergens, Allergy Testing in buildings - References & Products
Mold Contamination Testing, Cleanup, Prevention: references & products
OTHER IAQ ISSUES: How To Find and Address Other Indoor Air or Indoor Environment Contaminants Besides Mold
Mold or allergens may not be the only or even the main indoor environmental contaminant. Don't let media attention to mold cause so much enviro-scare fear that other, possibly more urgent hazards go un-addressed.