You’re in your attic looking for fall decorations, and you notice some black mold on your insulation. Or let’s say you’ve gone into your garage and you realize there’s mold or dirt on that insulation. What does this mean? If you’ve had a leak in your walls from the roof or water pipes or if you’ve noticed a musty smell in an area of your home, it’s possible your insulation has mold. Mold is a serious problem that can lead to respiratory issues and other illnesses, so moldy insulation should be removed immediately. Take care when removing the insulation to isolate the spores and dispose of the moldy products properly.
Follow these step-by-step instructions to remove pesky mold from your insulation:
- Put on protective gear before touching moldy insulation. Wear disposable clothing if possible; if not, wear coveralls or long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Wear safety goggles, gloves and a half-face respirator to prevent you from touching mold or allowing it to enter your lungs or eyes. Dust masks don’t always conform perfectly to your face, which allows mold spores to enter around the mask’s edges, so stick with a respirator for this task.
- Lay dropcloths on the floor, taping the edges to the wall. Tape the seams as well to prevent mold spores from escaping when you remove the cloths. You’ll be throwing these dropcloths away, so use plastic ones or cloths you don’t mind putting in the trash. The dropcloths should line the floor between the moldy insulation and the exit door.
- Cut through the drywall around the moldy insulation using a drywall saw. Cut the drywall in small sections, then place the sections in contractor trash bags. Haul the bags outside as quickly as possible. If the insulation is in your attic, it’s probably exposed with no need to remove drywall. Drywall is made of a natural material — gypsum — that feeds mold, so if mold is in your insulation, it’s likely in your drywall as well. Even if you don’t see mold on the drywall, it’s best to dispose of it and replace it.
- Start at the bottom edge of the insulation and roll it upward. If it snags on the wooden studs on each side, tug it gently until it’s free or use one hand to free the snagged fibers. Don’t tug sharply, as this could release additional mold spores. Place the roll of insulation in a contractor bag, seal it and take it outside. Repeat with other rows of insulation if necessary.
- Untape the edges of the dropcloths and fold them up, starting at the outside edges. Fold all the outer edges into the center, then fold the new edges inward. Continue until the cloths are small enough to put into contractor bags. The goal is to fold the mold spores inside the dropcloths. Seal the bags, and carry them outside.
- Take off your protective gear and launder any washable items immediately in hot water and color-safe bleach. If you’re wearing disposable items, throw them away, seal the bags and carry them outside. Wipe the outside of other items, such as your goggles, with a mixture of 1 part bleach to 4 parts warm water. Shower to remove any mold spores that may have found their way onto your skin.
At Alamance Insulation and Gutters, we’re a leader in the insulation and home performance industries. Serving customers throughout North Carolina, from Greensboro, Burlington, Elon and Mebane to Chapel Hill, Durham, and Raleigh, we can help with all your insulation needs, whether that’s installing new insulation or repairing your existing insulation. We’re also happy to check out moldy insulation and help you decide what the next step is. Contact us today!