What to Clean and What to Throw Out
Porous objects that have been damaged by moisture or water to the point that drying them will not restore them to their pre-existing condition and/or are structurally unsound should be removed and discarded. This is regardless of whether mould growth is evident or not.
Porous objects include, but are not limited to, MDF, soft wood, furniture, mattresses, stuffed animals, carpet underlay, pillows, paper products and gypsum wallboard.
Unless there is visible mould growth, materials that are dried within 48 hours of water damage first occurring do not need to be treated as contaminated materials, just as wet materials and should be structurally dried.
Semi-porous objects (hard wood, painted surfaces etc) which have not been water damaged but have visible mould growth can be cleaned if the growth is limited to their surface.
Carpets that have been repeatedly wet and which have an odour should be discarded.
Carpets that were damp or wet for more than 48 hours should be discarded.
Carpet underlay that has been wet should be discarded.
Clothing and fabric items can be washed if the contamination is not severe.
Books and papers that are water damaged or mould contaminated should be discarded. The originals may also be photocopied or scanned and then disposed of. If the books and papers are of significant value these can be remediated by a trained specialist.
It is important to note that fungal growth will return if the conditions that allowed it are not corrected (ie water leak is not fixed properly). In order to be absolutely certain that the mould has been completely removed an inspection and sampling by a qualified technician should be undertaken.