What is a HEPA Vacuum and Why is it Important in Mold Remediation?

Mold has become a major issue in modern architecture and can complicate the health of every occupant in the infected building.  It is essential that during remediation, proper precautions are taken to ensure that the spores are removed completely.  There are several steps involved and many chemicals that can be processed in the cleanup, but perhaps the most important component, and the final factor, is the HEPA vacuum.

An Important Filter

HEPA Vacuum | Mold Remediation | MicroZyme TechnologiesThe anagram “HEPA” actually stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air and refers to a specific type of filter that must meet the standards of the Department of Energy (DOE).  The HEPA is one of the top performing filters on the market and is responsible for the air quality in numerous facilities throughout the United States.  To qualify, a HEPA filter must remove 99.97% of particles from the air, focusing specifically on the most penetrating particle size (MPPS) of 0.3 µm.

The HEPA filter is predominantly made of fiberglass and is designed to specifically trap the smallest of particles and mold spores.  The filters do not act as a sieve to trap these elements, but rather act in the same way as fly paper.  They attract particles through several different “sticky” avenues.  Interception, Impaction, and Diffusion are the three methods employed by the filter to trap the small particles.  The HEPA is then classified by its ability to do so.

A Vacuum for Mold

Naturally, given the microscopic nature of the job, mold remediation needs a HEPA filter to clear the toxic spores left behind.  Using a regular vacuum or filter will only redeposit the dangerous matter, and may even serve to exacerbate the situation.  A tool is needed that can trap the elements.  Regulations require a HEPA filter be employed in this instance.  It is wise to utilize this method in any mold cleaning project period, as much of the waste left behind cannot be seen by the naked eye.

After materials have been thoroughly dried, and all contaminants have been HEPA Vacuum | Mold Remediation | MicroZyme Technologieseliminated, the HEPA vacuum can be used to finish the cleaning job.  Workers should always wear personal protection equipment (PPE) when remediating mold and vacuuming the hazardous material, as agitating the matter will release it into the air.  The vacuum cleaners are generally employed outside of the remediation areas, and all material collected should be properly stored in containers that can be disposed of properly.

It must be duly noted that HEPA filters only work to clear the air.  They are not responsible for filtering out gasses and odor molecules.  Cigarette, pet, and any type of chemical vapors must be treated with a carbon based filter, which can be addressed after the hazardous material has been remediated.

If you’d like to know more about HEPA vacuums and mold remediation, contact us at (866) 920-MOLD (6653), or stop by our Worcester, MA location for a consultation.

MicroZyme Technologies is a fully licensed and insured Mold Remediation and indoor air quality testing company based in Massachusetts. We do air quality testing, mold testing, mold inspection, mold clean up and removal in the following cities and states: Worcester, MA; Boston, MA; Springfield, MA; Providence, MA; Manchester, NH; Hartford, CT; New Haven, CT; Cape Cod, MA; Portland, ME; Vermont, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and many more!