May 22,

Mould Removal and Cleanup

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Mould Removal and Cleanup

You cannot successfully clean flooded carpets without professional help.  If possible, take rugs to a cleaner who has experience with wet rugs.   It is important to remove all carpets to the outdoors as soon as the furniture is out of the way and most of the debris has been removed.  If they are to be salvaged, wet-clean and rinse them again.  Carpet underpads cannot be saved and must be removed and discarded. They will be very heavy to move and will likely disintegrate during removal.  Remove all of the bits that remain since they store water, dirt and microbes.

When flooding backs water into the insides of walls and the cavities between ceilings and floors, the materials usually become waterlogged and contaminated with dirt and other organic materials.  If these areas are not opened and then cleaned and thoroughly dried, bacterial and mould contamination may become severe.  Drywall which has been saturated can grow dangerous moulds.  This can lead to serious health problems.  Once walls are opened or ceilings are torn down, empty the area of any insulation, debris, or dirt and dry all interior materials. Drywall which has been saturated should be removed and discarded. During flooding, fibrous insulation (such as glass fibre, mineral wool and cellulose) pick up large amounts of contamination and trap it during draining.  If they stay wet for extended periods of time, moulds and other microbes can grow.  They also lose their insulation capabilities, even after drying, so replace them.

Healthy individuals can regularly clean small and moderate areas of mould, thus preventing these from getting out of hand, by following the safety precautions and cleaning guidelines.  You can clean up small amounts of mould (fewer than three patches, each smaller than a square meter) yourself using: safety glasses or goggles, a disposable dust mask (N95 rated), and household rubber gloves.  Clean washable surfaces with a detergent and water solution, rinse with clear water, and dry very quickly.  Small clean up should take minutes (not hours) to finish.  Infants and other family members with asthma, allergies or other health problems should not be in the work area or adjacent room during the cleaning.

You may need professional help when there is a lot of mould; the home is very damp and moist; mould comes back after repeated cleaning; and/or a family member suffers from asthma or respiratory problems or other health problems that appear to be aggravated inside the home.  Contact your local Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CHMC) office for a list of individuals who have completed the CMHC Residential Indoor Air Quality Investigator program.

Last modified on Sep 20, 2013