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Mold spores are microorganisms and when disturbed, they become airborne. This makes them easy to inhale if you’re at home during mold remediation. You’re thus at a high risk of developing breathing problems if you stay at home during mold remediation.
During mold remediation, you need to vacate the building especially if multiple rooms of the house are being treated, you have compromised immunity or you have the elderly and children in the house. Floating mold spores can cause respiratory illnesses when inhaled. If you must stay, wear a mask.
Depending on the methods being used for remediation most of which include harmful agents and the disturbance of mold colonies, you definitely need to vacate your home.
What is Mold Remediation?
Mold remediation is the cleaning, removal, sanitization, and treatment of mold. This takes various forms and procedures.
Mold remediation is done in the following steps:
1. Identify the source of moisture
Mold grows in areas that have a high quantity of moisture. What are the sources of moisture? Moisture could be a result of water leakages in your home or produced from home appliances like laundry machines, dishwashers, among others.
It is therefore important to know where the moisture in your home is emanating from in order to get the problem fixed. Also, assessing the source of mold shall help you know its location for some mold could be hidden.
There follows the process of documentation. In this regard, you need to properly plan how you are going to carry out the actual cleaning process, the people who are going to take different roles, and the duration of the whole process. This will help you manage your time well and advise the homeowner.
3. Know the extent of damage
You need to know the extent of damage that has been caused by mold infestation. This will inform your decision of the method that you need to use to remove the mold, whether you shall replace some items and how to minimize exposure of mold spores to the homeowners. It shall also determine how long the whole process shall take.
Here, caution should be taken to avoid exposure to mold. Mold spores are harmful to our health, therefore, you should take steps to avoid being exposed. You should wear protective gear which includes a mask, gloves, and goggles, among others.
Several chemicals such as vinegar, Borax and others are used in the remediation process. These chemicals are dangerous to people hence the need for protective gear.
Am I Safe at Home During Mold Removal?
Since mold remediation is the cleaning, sanitizing, and removal of mold from your home, it means that there shall be a disturbance of the mold spores which shall be airborne. Depending on the extent of the mold infection, its location, and the method of cleaning, it would be safe to be away from your home during the cleaning process.
Some of the reasons why you need to vacate the home during mold remediation include the following:
1. Health complications
The health effects of exposure to mold are more severe to young children, the aged, and people with a compromised immune system. Such people should definitely not be exposed to mold spores which makes it necessary to vacate your house during mold remediation.
2. Extent of affected area
When mold has affected some of your rooms and not the whole house, sometimes you can avoid the infested room and be in the other rooms during mold remediation. You might find mold in your bathroom, if you have another bathroom, you can avoid the one infested with mold and use the safe one.
This means you shall avoid the mold-infested bathroom for mold remediation and avoid any other room that the remediation team is working on. When mold is in the main rooms, however, you are advised to vacate your home during mold remediation. You might have mold in your living room for example. In this scenario, you should vacate your home during the remediation process.
At times almost the whole of your house might have been infested with mold. Here, you ought to vacate your home during mold remediation. The cleaning is likely to take a long time considering that there shall be a lot of movement in terms of moving items from one place to another. Machines within your home and the disturbance of the mold colonies means that mold spores might become airborne, and you need to be away during this process.
3. Noise menace
During mold remediation, the machines and other equipment shall definitely produce some noise. This can be like the containment chambers, among others. This noise shall cause disturbance and might even be annoying. To avoid all these, it is best that you vacate your home during mold remediation.
4. High temperatures
The remediation process involves using machines and they shall definitely emit some heat. The high temperatures might not be convenient for you to be around your home. This can be quite unbearable especially if the HVAC system has been switched off.
Most times, the HVAC system is always witched off to allow smooth cleaning. So, it would be safe for you to leave your home during mold remediation so that you avoid being uncomfortable with high temperatures.
5. Dust menace
The mold remediation process involves cleaning procedures that lead to a lot of dust and mold in your home. The dust is often a mixture of toxic substances. At times it involves the removal of drywall and other materials that might be badly damaged, leaving behind a lot of debris. It this not healthy for you to be around when this is taking place.
When the mold remediation team is working, it would be kind of you to give them room to work well. It would be proper that you are away during this process so that you do not cause obstruction to the cleaning team.
7. Chemical reactions
Mold remediation involves the use of a lot of chemicals and sophisticated equipment. At times, there is a need to spray the affected area. The chemicals might stay airborne for some time and they are not safe. This would mean that you temporarily vacate your home so that you ensure it is safe before you come back.
A combination of these aspects makes the home quite unbearable and unsafe during the mold remediation process hence the need to vacate.
What To Do If You Stay at Home During Mold Remediation
It is always advisable to temporarily vacate your home during mold remediation. However, at times, it’s not entirely necessary or possible. There might be areas in your house being cleaned that are not so busy, say your basement or other smaller room. This will not require you to be away. Instead, you have to avoid the area being cleaned.
When mold remediation occurs, the area is normally sealed off, there is plastic sheeting and sealing with duct tape. There are also negative air machines and air scrubbers which help to make sure that mold spores do not escape into the air.
The aim of the mold remediation team is to ensure that there is no exposure or minimal mold exposure to the environment during the whole process. After mold removal, the working place is always cleaned to ensure that any chemical spills have been removed. This will make it safe for you to be in your home during mold remediation because you are assured of a clean and safe home.
The remediation process is always carried out with a lot of care and caution. The aim is always to mitigate the exposure of mold spores. There are therefore minimal or no mold spores that escape into the air. And if at all they escape, a vacuum is always used to remove them. This shows that the environment is safe for you to be within your home during mold remediation.
Mold remediation involves the use of machines that make noise that might make you uncomfortable when you sleep. At times, you may decide to put up with such noise for a few hours or days as compared to the challenge of temporarily vacating their home.
Generally, it’s never safer to stay at home during mold remediation since the risks are too high. Besides that, the noise and heat can make it quite uncomfortable staying at home during this process. The best thing to do is vacate the home and wait for about a week after the mold removal process before coming back.
HVAC tech with over 30 years of experience. Retired and doing repair work on the side around Madison County, AL.