What happens if you run into a mold and mildew infestation during a remodel? Your job #1 is remediation. Mold and mildew are not only dangerous to structures--they can eventually weaken and rot timber and drywall—but they are also bad for occupants’ health. Cleaning up mold and mildew isn’t an impossible task, though. We’ve got you covered with these four simple steps.
Protect Yourself and the Area
The first thing to do when removing mold is to protect yourself and the space.
- School yourself on mold remediation regulations in the area and follow them closely to protect yourself from any future liability. Document your work so you can prove you followed the guidelines precisely.
- While working in the area, wear an N-95 or P-100 respirator, goggles, gloves and old clothes that can be thrown away or a full hazmat suit.
- Mold only develops in damp places, so check to see what’s causing the damage and remedy it before doing anything else. Find the source of the water intrusion (leaky pipe, exterior seepage, etc.) and fix it as quickly as possible.
- If the room is naturally damp, suggest that the owners run a dehumidifier in the area after the project is finished.
Prepare for Cleaning
Once you’ve found and eliminated the source of dampness, prepare the area.
- Mold spreads its spores very easily, so take care to keep it contained. Mask any doorways with heavy plastic so mold doesn’t spread into other areas of the space.
- Open a window in the space and insert a box fan so the air blows outside.
- Check to see how deep the mold infestation goes by poking a screwdriver through the drywall. If there is mold behind the drywall, remove the moldy drywall, place it in a plastic bag and seal it.
- If the insulation is also moldy, take that out, too, and place it in a sealed plastic bag.
- Also remove any carpet that the mold has affected, sealing it in a plastic bag.
Cleaning and Priming
- Now that the space is prepared, get rid of any remaining mold and prep all the surfaces.
- Mix strong soap and water in a plastic bucket. Note: Bleach doesn’t kill mold spores, so do yourself a favor and skip the irritating fumes.
- Wearing goggles and rubber gloves, use a scrub brush to clean any moldy areas with the mixture. Be sure to scrub any place you can see the mold, including the floor, drywall, baseboards, studs and/or lathe.
- The best way to kill mold is to remove moisture, so let the area dry thoroughly. Keep the windows open and use fans. Sunshine helps, too. This may take several days. Test wood with a moisture meter—it should be below 15% before you enclose it.
- Once the area passes the white-glove test and is completely dry, use a roller or paintbrush to cover any area that was affected preferably with a mildew resistant or a mold preventative primer and paint. Two coats of a mold-preventing primer like KILZ Mold & Mildew Primer will prevent new contamination to the primer film and will ensure a fungi-free surface for the application of the topcoat paint. Apply a mildew resistant paint and allow to dry thoroughly.
Once your build is complete and it’s time to paint, be sure to use a mold- and mildew-resistant formula. This type of powerful and versatile base paint can be colored to your clients’ liking and gives an added defense against possible future mold build-up.
Learn more about mold and mildew-resistant and stain-blocking primer at www.kilz.com.