Q&A With Chase Perkins
What can I save when my basement or space has a large amount of mold growth?
When I get this question from a client in their home, I ask them what contents that are affected are keepsakes or cannot be thrown away for any reason, and what could be parted with. The client and I then go over the contents that the customer tells me that they must have. I inform them that any contents kept in cardboard boxes must be removed from the box and have the box thrown away. Contents that are kept in plastic bins with lids are salvageable and should be kept in the bin, but the bin needs to be cleaned. Whether the customer has insurance or is paying out of pocket a big decision needs to be made about the remaining contents. Of these contents what are you willing to pay to have cleaned? Keep in mind that the cleaning may cost just as much as what the item is worth. After this decision is made by the homeowner, the items to be cleaned will be treated with anti-microbial and put in an uncontaminated area, as well as any of the totes already removed. When we perform remediation services in a home we start first with any structure demolition, and then move to contents. Cleaned contents must be placed in an uncontaminated area until the affected area they were removed from has been cleaned. Paper products that are keepsakes, such as cards or pictures are a tough subject. These materials can be treated with anti-microbial, but it cannot be guaranteed that they will not be damaged. Lightly applying anti-microbial through a micro-mist will most likely not damage the item, but it will only treat the surface growth. That item would be a contaminate to an unaffected area. So basically, if you don’t want to take the risk of damaging a card or picture but want it saved, after it has been sprayed the item should be placed in an air tight container just as a keepsake. These items should not be left out in an uncontaminated area as they could spread mold spores. It is very important to know that items should not be taken from any space that is affected and placed in an unaffected area.
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