Extensive disaster-related damages may result in public facilities becoming inundated or exposed to wet and humid weather conditions for extended periods of time. The limited availability of repair and restoration contractors may delay clean-up activities. In addition, the disruption of electrical power can inhibit the use of water extraction, pumping and drying electric equipment. As such, the damaged structures and their contents may remain waterlogged until power is restored and remediation can begin. Such water saturation may cause growth and propagation of mold on structures and interior contents, causing health-related problems and increasing the cost of repairs. The following guidance is provided to assist Public Assistance staff and applicants (entities that meet the requirements of 44 CFR 206.222 - State, local governments, Indian tribes or authorized tribal organizations, and certain private non-profits) with the remediation and/or repair of their damaged facilities.
Determining Eligibility of Mold Remediation Costs
The cost of mold sampling, both pre-and post-remediation, may be eligible for reimbursement, provided there is evidence prior to remediation to indicate the existence of disaster-related mold.
The cost of mold sampling which reveals no presence of disaster-related mold is not eligible for reimbursement.
Costs to perform eligible remediation - either through force account or a contractor - may be eligible for reimbursement. Contractor costs are subject to the contract procurement requirements in 44 CFR 13.36.
The following remediation activities may be eligible under Category B:
Wet vacuuming, damp wiping or HEPA vacuuming of the interior space.
Removal of contaminated gypsum board, plaster (or similar wall finishes), carpet or floor finishes, and ceilings or permanent light fixtures.
Cleaning of contaminated heating and ventilation (including ductwork), plumbing, and air conditioning systems, or other mechanical equipment.
If an applicant fails to take reasonable measures to prevent the spread of mold contamination to a facility, the rehabilitation and repair of the additional contaminated area will not be eligible for federal assistance
If an applicant can document and justify why reasonable measures were not taken to prevent further contamination to a facility from mold, or why reasonable measures taken were insufficient to prevent further damage, remediation activities may be eligible for reimbursement. Examples of extenuating circumstances may include:
Disruption of power.
Facility remained underwater.
Inability to access the facility due to the disaster, i.e. debris blocking access routes and facility.
Facility HVAC equipment damaged due to the disaster.
Insufficient resources to remediate the entire facility.
Mold contamination or associated damages, identified by the applicant, must be a direct result of the disaster. Situations that are not obvious will require a closer examination, usually with the assistance of an Industrial Hygienist.
It is the responsibility of the applicant to show evidence of mold contamination or damage during the inspection. Sampling may not be necessary; however, applicants may choose to conduct pre- or post- sampling by an experienced professional to ensure proper or adequate remediation.
The applicant may provide an Industrial Hygienist's report to support its request for assistance.
The method of remediation will depend on the types of material that are damaged and the extent of damage. Accordingly, applicants may employ a variety of mold cleanup methods to remediate mold damage, as appropriate to the characteristics of the situation.
The following charts provide guidance on sizing the scope of the remediation effort and mold remediation methods and their application. This information is not all encompassing, but is provided as a general reference for an applicants' consideration when developing a scope of work for force account or a request for bid/proposal.
Sizing the Scope of Work
The extent of contamination will dictate the containment and personal protection equipment used by the Applicant or contractor during remediation work. The following parameters may be used as a general guideline.
*Personal Protective Equipment
Small (<10 sf)
Minimum RN-95 respirator
Medium (10 - 100 sf)
Limited or Full OSHA requirements
Limited, containment of the contaminated area using sheeting
Force Account or Remediation Contractor depending on contaminated materials
Large (>100 sf)
Full OSHA requirements
* Summarized from Indoor Environments Division (IED) of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings ”
Mold Remediation Methods
High Efficiency Particulate (HEPA) Vacuum
Summarized from Indoor Environments Division (IED) of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings ”
Application of Remediation Methods
The following list outlines actions typically used to remediate mold. The methods are described above.
Water Damaged Material
Books and paper
Carpet and backing
Concrete or cinder block surfaces
Hard surfaces, porous floorings (linoleum, ceramic tile, vinyl)
Wallboard (dry wall and gypsum board)
Summarized from Indoor Environments Division (IED) of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, "Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings"
Other item of note:
Do not use fans before determining that the water is clean and sanitary. Consult an experienced professional if you and/or your remediators lack expertise in contaminated water situations.