Updated July 13, 2021
There are over 1,000 different types of mold found in the U.S. alone, and it can be toxic in the home. That’s why it’s particularly important to handle moldy drywall, lumber, flooring, and other building materials with care. When disposing of moldy building materials, it’s not a good idea to just throw them in the dumpster. In fact, some dumpster rental companies require that they are handled a special way to avoid spreading the mold spores. Here’s a quick overview of mold and how to dispose of it safely.
What is mold?
It’s impossible to completely avoid mold. It’s all around us – in the air, on the floor, outside. Mold is necessary in nature because it helps in the decomposition process. However, it’s not a good thing to have in your home. Breathing in airborne mold or mold spores can adversely affect people sensitive to mold or that have a poor immune system. Mold can grow on pretty much any surface in the home, such as drywall, tile, wood, and carpeting. Mold needs moisture to grow and multiply. So, the key is keeping your home free of standing water, leaky pipes, or other water leaks/spills. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also suggests keeping your home’s humidity level between 40 and 60 percent to slow the growth of mold.
People sensitive to mold may experience respiratory problems when exposed to excessive amounts of mold. Common symptoms include shortness of breath, eye irritation, wheezing, skin irritation, stuffiness, and infections in the lungs. Excessive mold may cause more serious health effects in people with certain respiratory related diseases, such as asthma, or in those suffering from any type of immune deficiency disease.
Mold causes health problems, looks gross and smells bad in the home. So, it’s got to go. Small, localized areas of mold, such as a small area on a piece of drywall, can be disinfected using a mixture of 10-parts-water-to-1-part-bleach. Larger concentrations of moldy materials should be disposed of in a dumpster or handled by a licensed mold remediation company. When disposing of moldy material, it’s important to use caution to avoid spreading the mold spores. To protect yourself, always wear gloves and a respirator when working with moldy materials. Place all moldy materials in airtight plastic bags or wrap in polyethylene sheeting secured with duct tape before removing the material from the remediation area. Be sure to address the source of the mold if you are remodeling or renovating the area. Check for leaky pipes, and make sure the ground outside drains away from the house. If the mold problem stems from excessive humidity, use a dehumidifier to lower the humidity. Lastly, when you call to rent a roll-off dumpster, be sure to inform them you plan to dispose of moldy building materials. They can let you know if there are any special requirements you need to follow
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