Mold Expert Consultants

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May 2, 2015
Environmental Hygienist Phillip Fry Explains How To Remove Crawl Space Mold Safely and Effectively

“Crawl space mold infestation is a frequent problem in residences, commercial buildings, and workplaces in the USA, Canada, UK, Europe, Asia, and Australia because of water wicking upward through the dirt or concrete floor of the crawl space from the wet ground below, plumbing leaks, rain surface and ground water flowing into the crawl space because the adjacent lot grading is angled downward into the crawl space, and/or roof gutters that dump water just outside the crawl space,” notes Phillip Fry, Certified Environmental Hygienist, Professional Industrial Hygienist, author of five mold books,  and webmaster since 1999 of the frequently-visited educational website
www.moldinspector.com.

A crawl space is the unfinished, unheated space beneath the first floor of a building that is not high enough to stand up in.

Fry recommends that the following fifteen EnviroFry Upkeep Masters, LLC, proven steps be taken for the safe and effective removal of crawl space mold infestations---

1. Use the inspector’s eyesight and investigation, moisture meter, and infrared video camera scan to determine locations of surface or ground water flowing into the crawl space, water wicking upward from the dirt below, gutters that dump rain fall too close to the crawl space, and plumbing pipe leaks.

2. Take corrective action to solve any and all water intrusion problems discovered in the first step above.

3. Increase crawl space ventilation with a wall-mounted, humidistat-controlled electric exhaust fan that turns on automatically to exhaust humid crawl space air outward whenever the crawl space humidity hits a humidistat setting such as 50 to 60% humidity.  Alternately, install more ventilation vents to the outdoors on all exposed sides or walls of the crawl space.

4. All crawl space mold inspection, testing, and removal workers must wear at all times in the crawl space the following personal protective equipment: respirator mask with filters rated to collect volatile organic compounds, eye goggles with no holes (“Chem-Splash” type), disposable vinyl gloves, and Tyvek or comparable enviro body suits with built in parka hoods and booties.

5. Take mold test surface samplings of the worst crawl space mold growth, as well as of the crawl space air, plus an outdoor mold air test at least 6 to 8 feet away from the crawl space to serve as a comparison benchmarks later after mold removal when clearance tests are done in the crawl space to determine how successfully and totally the mold has been removed.

6. Do an initial kill of as much crawl space mold as possible by running one or more high output ozone generators for eight hours from hoses into the crawl space. Prior to ozone treatments, use clear plastic sheeting to close off all openings into the crawl space so that the ozone gas does not leave the crawl space, but, instead, increases its killing concentration and reach. Learn about the mold-killing effectiveness of ozone blasters at
www.ozonegeneratorkillsmold.com.

7. After this initial ozone treatment, remove ALL crawl space-stored personal contents for owner-sorting, disposal of less valuable items, and mold decontamination of items to be kept by treating the contents  in an outdoor decontamination chamber, utilizing decontamination procedures established by an industrial hygienist or environmental hygienist service company such as EnviroFry Upkeep Masters, LLC, whose websites are www.upkeepmasters.com and www.moldexpertconsultants.com.

8. During the crawl space mold removal process, use 6 mil thick, clear plastic sheeting to close in all exterior holes and openings in the crawl space walls, and then maintain negative air pressure inside the crawl space by connecting one or more industrial-sized air scrubbers with flexible hosing into and from the crawl space.  Air scrubbers use large, thick HEPA filters to remove airborne mold spores and activated carbon filters to remove airborne mold mycotoxins (poisonous, volatile organic compound gases thrown into the air during toxic mold growth). Air scrubbers remove over 99% of airborne mold spores and mycotoxins, with the scrubber output directly vented by flexible hosing to the outdoors. Negative air pressure makes the entire crawl space into a giant vacuum cleaner by continually removing more crawl space air than is coming into the crawl space.

9. If there is sufficient working height in the crawl space, HEPA vacuum all crawl space ceilings, walls, and any concrete floors, to remove as much landed dirt and mold spores as possible.

10. If there is sufficient working height in the crawl space,  use high pressure abrasive blasting or grinders with wire brush attachments to remove all surface mold growth from wood and concrete/masonry surfaces to make the cleaned surfaces visibly mold-free.

11. If there is sufficient working height in the crawl space, do a second HEPA vacuuming of all crawl space surfaces (except bare dirt) as well as vacuuming up the removed mold spores and wood debris now resting on the crawl space floor as the result of the abrasive mold removal step described above.

12. Follow up with a second eight hour high output ozone gas treatment.

13. After the second ozone treatment, fog an EPA-registered fungicide throughout the entire crawl space as an additional mold-killing step.

14. After the fungicidal fogging, spray or fog all the entire crawl space with a see-through clear, EPA-registered anti-microbial, encapsulation coating to help prevent future mold growth. Don’t use a white or black coating that would hide future mold growth or mold not properly removed in the current mold removal project.

15. Take surface samples from the cleaned wood plus basement air samples for lab analysis to compare the levels of mold after mold remediation with the mold levels existing before the project. If mold levels are still high, repeat one or more of the above steps so that the crawl space finally tests as mold-safe.

To get an EnviroFry Upkeep Masters, LLC, bid to remove mold growth anywhere in a house or business building in Midwestern, Eastern, and Southern USA, email mold consultant Phillip Fry
phil@moldinspector.com, or phone toll-free 866-300-1616 or cell 480-310-7970, or visit website: www.moldexpertconsultants.com.

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