Good news! You usually do not have to leave your home during a mold remediation. It’s really going to come down to the size of the remediation project. Is the entire home affected? Will you still be able to use the kitchen and one bathroom without passing through any contaminated areas? Or is the mold contained to just one area or room that you can avoid entering or using during the removal process?
The remediation company will in all likelihood set up containment chambers; plastic walls or barriers sealed with duct tape that will isolate the affected areas and prevent any mold spores from moving into previously uncontaminated areas. This can be a major inconvenience to anyone trying to reside in the home during the mold’s removal.
There are a few things you should consider if you decide to remain in your residence.
1. Is the HVAC system affected? If the system requires remediation and must be shut down, livable temperature conditions must be determined. Is it the middle of the summer? It could get quite uncomfortable without any air conditioning. Also the remediation contractor may require additional dehumidification that will possibly increase the temperature even further in the home.
2. It’s Going To Get Loud! Will the noise from the contractor’s machinery get on your nerves? There will probably be one, maybe two, negative air machines running 24 hours a day. That’s in addition to possibly a dehumidifier and a couple of air movers (fans) to “stir” the air in the affected areas. If “white noise” drives you nuts, you may want to consider relocating during the 3-4 days or longer that the mold removal requires. One thing your contractor will NOT want you to do is for you to turn off his machines so that you can watch TV or sleep. A little irritation (noise) for a few days is much better than a lot of irritation (as in the mold sensitivities returning) because you turned machinery off after the contractor leaves for the day.
3. How extensive is the remediation work that is required? A small area may be cleaned up quickly but a large project could go on for a lengthy time period. Also, contents may have to be relocated to other parts of the home or even packed out to a storage location. Can you do without some of the belongings that will have to be relocated? If these items are to be left in the home, just in different rooms, will your family be able to comfortably maneuver around them while the work is ongoing? Think about a couple of bedrooms being affected and everyone having to sleep in the living room on the sofa or in sleeping bags. It may be “cool” for one night, but how “cool” will it be if it goes on for a week?
Check with your insurance agent. You may be entitled to be reimbursed if you have to relocate to a hotel or apartment while remediation and repairs are taking place.
4. Sensitivity issues may be the deciding factor. Is it truly safe for you and your family to remain in the home during a mold remediation project? Consult your medical professionals, especially if there are allergies, sensitivities, or other medical conditions that family members may have. Mold spores can be dispersed into the air with a minimal amount of air movement. The waving of your hand near a mold colony can create enough air movement to disturb mold spores. A qualified remediation expert understands this. This is why any expert will set up containment chambers and use negative air machines to help “wash” the air during the removal process. Still, it is possible for people outside the immediate work zone, who are sensitive to mold, to be negatively affected by an accidental release of containment. You should seek medical advice if this may become an issue for you or anyone residing in the home.
5. What type of chemicals, if any, will be used during remediation? Every mold remediation requires a different approach. The process required for your home will probably not be exactly the same as the next person’s. So the question is, what will your contractor use during the completion of the project? Some contractors may use blasting to remove the mold from structural components. The blasting media used could be dry ice, soda, or even ground up walnut shells. Could this affect someone who is sensitive to these items? Some mold experts use hydrogen peroxide solutions that are dangerous to breathe without specialized respirators. The method used to remediate the mold may be the determining factor in whether you and your family remain in your home during the removal and cleaning process. Also, the use of specialized sealants may be required. Are you sensitive to these types of fumes and odors?
6. Reconstruction and repair may also impact a home’s environment. Dust, noise, and workers moving in and out of the home during remodeling must also be considered. Will the fumes from paint, construction materials, or new flooring, if necessary, cause any of the residents discomfort? In addition, will the remodeling work be slowed down or hampered by you being there? After all, time is money, and if the reconstruction takes more time, a greater cost may be incurred.
Mold remediation is serious work that contains serious risks. It is not a job for just anyone. Before beginning any mold remediation project you must understand the entire process and what may be involved. The mold you can see is usually not the only mold present. It is always best to hire a certified mold remediation specialist who understands the risks, can seek out hidden mold, knows how to limit the risks of cross-contamination, and knows how to safely remediate the problem while taking into account not only your welfare, but also the welfare of his technicians.
When it comes to mold removal, a general contractor, construction company, or handyman is not necessarily your friend. A knowledgeable specialist is required. You can access a list of local mold remediation specialists that provide a no cost, no-obligation, inspection of your home by following the link. The service is free, we recommend taking advantage of this opportunity.
Written by Mark Huey.