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Removing Porous Materials

Porous materials such as carpets/padding, ceiling tiles, insulation, wallboards (gypsum board or plasterboard), upholstered furniture and bedding that contain more than a small area of mold should usually be removed from the building and discarded. Since these types of materials can readily absorb significant amounts of moisture, the mold growth can be much more pervasive, and deep cleaning of embedded mold can be very difficult and time-consuming. Also, when porous building products become wet they tend to lose their structural integrity.

The following steps should be taken when removing such items:

  • Wear protective equipment and follow safety procedures (see Health Precautions During Mold Cleanup and Removal).
  • Lightly mist the mold with water-and-detergent solution to help control dust dispersal during the removal. Avoid adding excessive moisture that can result in additional mold growth problems.
  • Bag or otherwise containerize (poly-wrap) mold-contaminated debris when transporting from the work site to the disposal site, such as a landfill.
  • After removing the moldy materials, the work area should be cleaned by a damp method, such as mopping, with a detergent solution and/or vacuumed with a high-efficiency particulate air-filtered (HEPA) vacuum cleaner.
  • The final step in such a project is to assure that the remaining materials are adequately dried out before reinstalling or replacing building materials.