Mold growth is a frequent issue in many homes, and when it’s found, the first step is to remove it.
However, if you have water damage or leaks that led to mold growth in your home, you will need remediation instead of just removal.
Removing mold can be costly and time-consuming for homeowners – so why not stay put during the job?
At first, it may seem like an easy decision because who wants to pack up and leave their house while construction crews tear apart every surface looking for mold?
So, do you have to vacate your home during mold remediation? The answer depends on multiple factors.
Outlined below are some important facts to consider when determining if it is safe to stay in your home during the mold remediation process.
How extensive is the mold growth?
How much growth is present in the area will be a major factor in determining if you stay in the home.
If the mold growth is limited to one area, it may be safe for you to stay. If there has been extensive damage from an incident like flooding or storm damage, vacating the home is your best bet.
If you have no option but to remain in the home, it is critical that the mold remediation contractor isolates or place the affected areas under containment.
Putting the area under containments requires special machines and other tools.
When done correctly, this will prevent mold contamination into other areas of the home. Still the best option would be to vacate the home if the remediation contractor highly recommends you to do so.
On the other hand, if there is minor water damage, the mold remediation scope is for minor mold growth, it may be safe to stay.
If you are not sure what to do, it is best to err on the side of caution and leave your home until the remediation process has been completed.
How healthy are the individuals in the home?
The health status of individuals present in the home is important.
For instance, are there elderly individuals, infants, or people with compromised immune systems in the home? If so, these individuals are at greater risk of having adverse health effects from mold exposure.
Therefore; it is important to consider the health status of individuals when deciding whether they should leave the home during a mold remediation project.
Also, you should consult with your doctor and explain the situation. Medical professionals can advise you on whether or not it is safe for sensitive individuals to stay in the home during a mold remediation project.
What type of environment you live in?
Whether someone lives inside an apartment building, townhouse, condominium complex or single-family dwelling can impact their ability to stay put during remediation work.
For example: if there is limited or no parking, staying at home may not be possible especially when heavy equipment like dumpsters needs easy access through alleys etc.
In these situations, it is better to leave and stay elsewhere until the process has been completed. Unless otherwise advised by contractor beforehand that this is not an issue.
Are Heating Venting and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Systems affected?
If your HVAC system has been impacted by mold growth is another consideration.
When the air circulation system has been impacted, it becomes a complicated process to remedy this situation. When the HVAC system is affected, the system must be shut down during the remediation process.
Can you imagine in the middle of summer with no AC?
This would not be an ideal situation for you to remain in the home during the remediation process. In some cases, the air ducts and certain components of the HVAC system contaminated by mold growth may need to be replaced.
How much time is needed for the remediation process?
Another factor to consider when staying put during mold remediation is how long will it take for all traces of mold growth to be removed.
For minor issues where removal takes a few days or less – it may be ok if someone stays at home as long as they don’t enter those areas while work continues there.
However, if severe water damage taken place such as flooding from a storm – you run the risk of prolonging that process.
The best thing to do is discuss your options with the remediation contractor.
A knowledgeable remediator can advise you on what actions you should take during this time, and if it’s safe for your family to remain at home during the mold remediation process.
The reconstruction and repair timeline
If there was a severe water damage and reconstruction is required, it may not be possible to live in the home during this time.
In these situations, it may not be the best decision to remain in the home.
Demolition and reconstruction work can create other potential hazards which can be more dangerous than the mold being removed.
Common hazards you could encounter include tripping on power cords, falling through unguarded openings, electrocution, being struck by falling items, or even stepping on a nail.
All these hazards are common on work sites. Just remember, your home is technically considered to be a work site when contractors are present and performing mold removal and reconstruction operations.
Where you live and the environmental conditions
Time of the year and the location of your home is a major factor when deciding whether to stay.
For instance, if it’s winter time with harsh weather – staying put can be dangerous especially for those who are living in cold climates.
Try to find alternative accommodation that would allow you access inside as well as outside the property until the remediation process has been completed.
What type of building materials were affected?
The types of materials that have been impacted by mold growth for example: Sheet rock vs plaster walls and ceiling.
Plaster requires a longer time to dry before another layer can be applied.
Also, insulation if contaminated by mold needs to be removed and replaced with new product depending on severity. This can add days to the project.
What Chemicals will be used in the mold remediation process
The type of chemicals or biocides used can also play a role in how long it takes for the remediation process to be completed. Some chemicals can accelerate drying time while others can slow it down.
Some chemicals used can create an unpleasant odor and can be a nuisance when they linger after the remediation process has been completed.
Again, discuss these items with you remediation contractor so you can make an informed decision.
Key Points to Remember
When deciding if you and your family should remain in your home during mold remediation, consider the following:
- How extensive is the mold growth?
- How healthy are the individuals in the home?
- Is the Heating Venting and Air Conditioning (HVAC) System affected?
- The type of climate you live in.
- How much time will be required for the remediator to complete the work?
- The reconstruction and repair timeline.
- Where you live and the site conditions.
- What type of building material were affected?
- What Chemicals will be used in the mold remediation process
It is always best to be cautious when making the decision about whether or not you should remain in the home during mold remediation.
There are many factors that go into this, and it’s important to get all the facts before deciding what is best for your family.