Mold Remediation - residential
A mold remediation contractor has recommended a cyanide fog to kill the mold in my attic (from a leaky roof). He says this will also kill the mold in my ceiling drywall so that it can be safely removed. Is this an accepted protocol?
Multnomah County Oregon
This is not an accepted protocol, nor a protocol that I have ever heard of. Furthermore, cyanide is highly toxic to humans and animals, so I would not recommend the use of it. Did he perhaps mean potassium cyanide? However, this is still a highly toxic solution. We recommend using a water-vinegar solution or a water-dishsoap solution, which kills the mold and disinfects the area.
The accepted protocol is to first fix the source of moisture (the leaky roof), and then dry out the area. If the moldy area is less than 10 square feet, the mold can be removed using a solution of 50% water plus 50% vinegar. You would spray the moldy area, then scrub away the mold. Since it is drywall that is affected, the best practice is to remove and replace the drywall.
The drywall can be removed without any fogging or other chemical solutions. The contractors will need to apply plastic around the area and then remove the moldy drywall while wearing personal respirators (very similar to asbestos removal). There are a number of certified contractors that can perform mold remediation. I would suggest contacting the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (http://www.nari.org/consumers/) for help finding certified contractors that can remove the mold.
You can find much more information on the EPA mold page, at www.epa.gov/mold
I am happy to answer any additional questions.
Thanks very much.
Happy to help.