Mold containment is critical for abatement and remediation projects. Mold can easily spread through a worksite, causing hazards that can lead to severe short-term and long-term respiratory issues. Using plastic sheeting for mold containment is the best way to prevent the spread of mold, asbestos, lead, and other hazardous materials during a removal job.
What Are the Two Types of Mold Containments?
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), mold remediation containments can be either limited or full. The method depends on the size of the area that needs to be covered, the amount of contamination, and the level of exposure that the area will receive.
Limited containment is best for small contamination areas — anywhere from 10 to 100 square feet. Plastic sheeting can be secured to these areas with airtight tape and go from the ceiling to the ground. Access is often granted through a slit in the sheeting. For mold in the ceiling, plastic sheeting should cover the area. To prevent the spread of harmful materials, plastic sheeting should cover and seal any vents, doors, or pipes.
Full containment is best for areas larger than 100 square feet or in areas with high levels of contamination or high potential to spread. Full containment requires two layers of plastic sheeting covering contaminated areas, and these are accessed through airlocked doors. Workers entering this area will require respirators and PPE.
What is the Best Plastic Sheeting for Mold Containment?
Plastic sheeting for mold containment should be a minimum of 6 mils thick, or 0.006 inches. The best film for containment will be easy to install, able to cover any potentially moldy surface and prevent contaminants from spreading through the build site. Depending on the type of building, the plastic sheeting may also be required to be a fire retardant polyethylene sheeting. Below are some of the best options for limited and full mold contaminants.
BearAcade® Heavy Duty Surface Protection Film: It is critical that plastic sheeting for mold containment retain negative pressure, so that containment is not lost. This self-adhesive sheeting won’t billow out, keeping contaminants contained. This sheeting doesn’t require duct tape to secure to the floor, wall, or ceiling, making it easy and fast to install.
Antistatic Fire Retardant Plastic Sheeting: This sheeting is lightweight, making it easy to install with tape or with a dust containment pole system. It meets high fire safety standards with fire retardancy, and is antistatic for use in electrostatic-sensitive device areas. For extra strength, this sheeting is also available in a string reinforced version, or for added protection, it is available in a cleanroom version.
6 Mil Dura Skrim® Fire Retardant Reinforced Plastic Sheeting: This fire retardant plastic sheeting meets fire safety requirements. String reinforcement prevents punctures, rips, and tears. This lightweight sheeting is easy to use with tape or with dust containment pole systems.
8 Mil Black Fire Retardant Plastic Sheeting: This 100% black opacity plastic sheeting hides what is happening behind the scenes while maintaining its lightweight, easy to use design. This sheeting is fire retardant to meet safety requirements.
10 Mil Dura Skrim® Fire Retardant Reinforced Plastic Sheeting: This highly puncture-resistant fire retardant plastic sheeting is designed with a reinforced layer of polyester scrim to prevent tearing and meets building codes for construction applications requiring flame retardant materials.
10 Mil Pro Crawl™ Anti-Mold Vapor Barrier with MPT™: This second generation Pro Crawl™ vapor barrier is embedded with Mold Prevention Technology (MPT™) that prevents mold and fungus from growing on the material.
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