Remediation includes both the identification and correction of the conditions that permit mold growth, as well as the steps to safely and effectively remove mold damaged materials. Before planning the remediation assess the extent of the mold or moisture problem and the type of damaged materials. If you choose to hire outside assistance to do the cleanup, make sure the contractor has experience with mold remediation. Check references and ask the contractor to follow the recommendations in EPA's publication, "Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings," or other guidelines developed by professional or governmental organizations. The remediation plan should include steps to permanently correct the water or moisture problem. The plan should cover the use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). It also should include steps to carefully contain and remove moldy building materials in a manner that will prevent further contamination. Remediation plans may vary greatly depending on the size and complexity of the job, and may require revision if circumstances change or new facts are discovered. If you suspect that the HVAC system is contaminated with mold, or if mold is present near the intake to the system, contact the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA), or consult EPA's guide, "Should You Have the Air Ducts in Your Home Cleaned?" before taking further action. Do not run the HVAC system if you know or suspect that it is contaminated with mold, as it could spread contamination throughout the building. If the water or mold damage was caused by sewage or other contaminated water, consult a professional who has experience cleaning and repairing buildings damaged by contaminated water. The remediation manager's highest priority must be to protect the health and safety of the building occupants and remediators. Remediators should avoid exposing themselves and others to mold-laden dusts as they conduct their cleanup activities. Caution should be used to prevent mold and mold spores from being dispersed throughout the air where they can be inhaled by building occupants. In some cases, especially those involving large areas of contamination, the remediation plan may include temporary relocation of some or all of the building occupants. When deciding if relocating occupants is necessary, consideration should be given to the size and type of mold growth, the type and extent of health effects reported by the occupants, the potential health risks that could be associated with the remediation activity, and the amount of disruption this activity is likely to cause. In addition, before deciding to relocate occupants, one should also evaluate the remediator's ability to contain/minimize possible aerosolization of mold spores given their expertise and the physical parameters of the workspace. When possible, remediation activities should be scheduled during off hours when building occupants are less likely to be affected. Remediators, particularly those with health related concerns, may wish to check with their physicians or other health-care professionals before working on mold remediation or investigating potentially moldy areas. If any individual has health concerns, doubts, or questions before beginning a remediation/cleanup project, he or she should consult a health professional.
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