There are no federal or state laws dictating or directing the proper cleanup of mold or even how much exposure is safe. However, a few states have recently started to address the issue by making information about mold dangers, symptoms, and proper clean up available to the public via pamphlets and websites.
When it comes to testing for mold most experts say it’s simply not worth the expense. Not only are mold tests in their infancy and unreliable, there are so many types of mold that a test could show the home is mold-free when indeed mold is present.
These experts recommend that home owners skip these costly tests and proceed immediately to clean up if they’ve found or strongly suspect mold. The type of mold found does not dictate how remedial clean up is done.
New York City’s Department of Health was the first government agency to devise a clean up plan for mold. The United States EPA has made available a remediation plan for schools and commercial buildings and guidelines for homeowners too. The guidelines are very general and provide very little about hidden molds but rather recommend the homeowner contact a professional. The EPA site explains how to find someone to hire for this type of service.
General Guidelines for Cleaning Up Mold in the Home:
- Be sure to completely clean up and dry water from any leaks or floods within 24 – 48 hours.
- Scrub mold off surfaces with a natural tea tree oil-containing detergent and water. Apple cider vinegar is also good to use to kill mold.
- Discard any item that is porous or ones that you cannot completely remove the mold.
- Do not paint or caulk over moldy surfaces.
- Contact a professional mold removal company if needed.
What to Wear When Cleaning Up Mold:
- You don’t want to breathe in mold so it’s essential you wear an N-95 respirator available online or at some hardware stores.
- Wear gloves to cover all exposed skin on hands and arms
- Wear goggles to protect eyes.
Mold is a serious health problem for some people, in some homes or offices. Despite the fact that this public health problem is just coming to the mainstream’s notice doesn’t mean it hasn’t existed for years – actually thousands of years.
Did you know that in the Old Testament, specifically Leviticus 13 and 14, God tells his people that if they have mold in their homes they should burn them to the ground?
In Leviticus 14:45 God says, “A house desecrated by mildew, mold, or fungus would be a defiled place to live in so drastic measures had to be taken. “
That’s not the only time mold and the serious health implications it carries is mentioned in Leviticus. Check it out for yourself and see.
When it comes to health problems and mold it’s sometimes difficult to know for certain. The most you can do is make your best educated guess and then take action. If mold is the cause of your health issues you’ll be rewarded for taking action sooner than later.