1 NORMI Professional Guidance for DIY Projects In general, a well-trained and experienced indoor mold remediation professional (CMR) should be consulted when performing remediation. You may find a NORMI CMR in your area by searching online at The following guidelines are applicable to non-trained individuals performing mold remediation on areas potentially affected by less than ten square feet of (10 ft 2 ) of visible indoor mold growth. Care must be taken to protect the health of the occupants and workers by utilizing proper PPE (Professional Protection Equipment), possibly the need for containment and established negative pressure. When this criteria is not met, a professional must be consulted. In all situations, the underlying moisture problem should be corrected to prevent recurring indoor mold growth. This is best accomplished by a professional Assessor (CMA) or, if unavailable, a DIY PSP (Professional Screening Partner) Assessment Kit, available at (a) Indoor moisture can result from numerous causes in which case a licensed professional might be engaged to make the appropriate repairs.: (1) Façade and roof leaks (roofing contractor); (2) Plumbing leaks (plumbing contractor); (3) Floods (water extraction contractor); (4) Condensation (architect or general building contractor); and/or (5) High relative humidity (mechanical engineer or HVAC contractor). (b) Relative humidity should be maintained at levels between forty and sixty percent (40%-60%) to inhibit indoor mold growth. (1) Short term periods of higher humidity are not expected to result in indoor mold growth. (2) Condensation on cold surfaces could result in water accumulation at much lower levels. (3) Relative humidity should be kept low enough to prevent condensation on windows and other surfaces. To successfully and safely remediate mold, building maintenance staff or those working in the mold infected area, should be properly trained on issues such as: The causes of moisture intrusion and indoor mold growth; Health concerns related to mold exposure; The use of appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment); and Mold remediation work practices, procedures, and methods.
2 Online classes for these and other subjects are available at When responding to areas damaged by water for hours, and before indoor mold growth occurs, the table in this section should be considered: Guidelines for Response to Clean Water Damage within Hours to Prevent Indoor Mold Growth Water-Damaged Actions* Material Books and papers For non-valuable items, discard books and papers. Photocopy valuable/important items, discard originals. Freeze (in frost-free freezer or meat locker) or freeze-dry. Carpet and Remove water with water extraction vacuum. backing- dry Reduce ambient humidity levels with dehumidifier. within Accelerate drying process with fans. hours ~ Ceiling tiles Discard and replace. Cellulose Discard and replace. insulation Concrete or cinder Remove water with water extraction vacuum. block surfaces Accelerate drying process with dehumidifiers, fans, and/or heaters. Fiberglass Discard and replace insulation Hard surface, porous flooring (linoleum, ceramic tile, vinyl) Non-porous, hard surfaces (plastics, metals) Vacuum or damp wipe with water and mild detergent and allow to dry; scrub if necessary. Vacuum or damp wipe with water and mild detergent and allow to dry; scrub if necessary. Upholstered Remove water with water extraction vacuum. furniture Accelerate drying process with dehumidifiers, fans, and/or heaters. May be difficult to completely dry within 48 hours. If the piece is valuable, you may wish to consult a restoration/water damage professional who specializes in furniture. Wallboard (drywall and May be dried in place if there is no obvious swelling and the seams are intact. If not, remove, discard, and replace. gypsum board) Ventilate the wall cavity, if possible. Window Drapes Follow laundering or cleaning instructions recommended by the manufacturer. Wood surfaces Remove moisture immediately and use dehumidifiers, gentle heat,
3 and fans for drying. (Use caution when applying heat to hardwood floors.) Treated or finished wood surfaces may be cleaned with mild detergent and clean water and allowed to dry. Wet paneling should be pried away from wall for drying. * If indoor mold growth has occurred or material has been wet for more than 48 hours, consult the table in below. Even if materials are dried within 48 hours, indoor mold growth may have occurred. Consult an indoor mold assessment professional if in doubt. Note that indoor mold growth will not always occur after 48 hours; this is only a guideline. These guidelines are for damage caused by clean water. If you know or suspect that the water source is contaminated with sewage, or chemical or biological pollutants, then Personal Protective Equipment and containment are required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Do not use fans before determining that the water is clean or sanitary. If a particular item(s) has high monetary or sentimental value, you may wish to consult a restoration/water damage specialist. ~ The subfloor under the carpet or other flooring material should also be cleaned and dried. See the appropriate section of this table for recommended actions depending on the composition of the subfloor. When building materials that have or are likely to have indoor mold growth, the table in this section should be considered: Guidelines for Remediating Building Materials with Indoor Mold Growth Caused by Clean Water* Material or Furnishing Affected Cleanup Personal Protective Containment Methods Equipment SMALL Total Surface Area Affected Less Than 10 square feet Books and papers 3 Carpet and backing 1, 3 Concrete or cinder block 1, 3 Minimum Not necessary but Hard surface, porous flooring 1, 2, 3 N-95 respirator, recommended (linoleum, ceramic tile, vinyl) Non-porous, hard surfaces 1, 2, 3 gloves, and goggles according to NORMI Professional Practices (plastics, metals) Upholstered furniture & drapes 1, 3 Wallboard (drywall and gypsum 3 board) Wood surfaces 1, 2, 3 Where it is determined to utilize containment and negative pressure An indoor mold assessment professional shall first be used to assess and, then, if necessary,
4 an indoor mold remediation professional, both licensed, where required by the state, or certified by a reputable certifying agency, shall be used to remediate areas impacted or suspected to be impacted by mold affecting areas greater than 10 square feet. * Use best judgment to determine prudent levels of Personal Protective Equipment and containment for each situation, particularly as the remediation site size increases and the potential for exposure and health effects rises. Assess the need for increased personal protective equipment, if, during the remediation, more extensive contamination is encountered than was expected. Consult table above if materials have been wet for less than 48 hours, and indoor mold growth is not apparent. These guidelines are for damage caused by clean water. If you know or suspect that the water source is contaminated with sewage, or chemical or biological pollutants, then the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires personal protective equipment and containment. Select the method most appropriate for the situation. Since mold(s) gradually destroy the things they grow on, if indoor mold growth is not addressed promptly, some items may be damaged such that cleaning will not restore their original appearance. If a particular item(s) has high monetary or sentimental value, you may wish to consult a restoration/water damage specialist. Cleanup Methods Method 1: Wet vacuum (in the case of porous materials, some mold spores/fragments will remain in the material but will not grow if the material is completely dried). Steam cleaning may be an alternative for carpets and some upholstered furniture. Method 2: Damp-wipe surfaces with plain water or with water and detergent solution (except wood use wood floor cleaner); scrub as needed. Method 3: High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) vacuum after the material has been thoroughly dried. Dispose of the contents of the HEPA vacuum in well-sealed plastic bags. Method 4: Discard/remove water-damaged materials and seal in plastic bags while inside of containment, if present. Dispose of the materials as normal waste. HEPA vacuum the area after it is dried. Personal Protective Equipment Minimum: Gloves, N-95 respirator, goggles/eye protection Limited: Gloves, N-95 respirator or half-face respirator with HEPA filter, disposable overalls, goggles/eye protection Full: Gloves, disposable full-body clothing, head gear, foot coverings, full-face respirator with HEPA filter Containment and Negative Pressure Limited: Use polyethylene sheeting (ceiling to floor) around affected area with a slit entry and covering flap; maintain area under negative pressure with HEPA filtered fan unit. Block supply and return air vents within containment area.
5 This document is a compilation of information from multiple sources deemed relevant to our organization and re-written to be easily understood by the layperson. Professionals may utilize diagnostic tools and techniques typically inaccessible by the public and training and insurance requirements might necessitate deviations from this compilation. Credits to Washington, DC, State of Florida, IICRC S-520 and the EPA for making this compilation possible.
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