Can You Stay in Home During Mold Remediation? Questions to Ask

Deciding to proceed with mold remediation can be a big step and a lot to consider. For example, can you stay home during mold remediation?

You can stay in the home during mold remediation provided you are in good health, and mold exposure will not create an unsafe environment for you and your family. Mold remediation is generally restricted to one or more areas in the home, so if you’re comfortable being kept away from those areas, you’ll be fine.

Severe mold on the ceiling near window.

What Is Mold Remediation

Where there is moisture and humidity, there is sure to be mold. Mold can spread quickly, contaminating our bathrooms, laundry rooms, kitchens, and any other place where moisture tends to collect. So what is a mold remediation?

Mold remediation is a multi-step mold cleanup technique that restores unchecked fungi to their normal levels. In order to help prevent future outbreaks of mold, remediation also tackles the root causes of the problem.

Is Mold Remediation Dangerous?

Mold remediation can be a risky environment to be around if you suffer from a lung disease with symptoms that could be exacerbated with exposure to mold that has become unsettled during the moving-around process of remediation.

With that said, every effort is made by the mold remediation technicians to contain any airborne mold within plastic drapes to be cleaned by negative air machines.

Perhaps the question to ask ourselves instead is, “Is having mold in my home more dangerous than going through the process of eliminating it?”

Which Areas of the Home Will Be Remediated?

If a very large area of your home will need to be remediated only leaving you a very small area of the home to live in, perhaps you may want to consider other shelter options during your mold remediation.

This is especially true if you have pets that you do not wish to relocate and would prefer to have with you during this time.

Will the Noise of Reconstruction Bother You?

The mold removal process involves constant noise. Air machines, dehumidifiers, and other equipment will be running continuously. If you can stand the noise, you might be able to stay in the house as this equipment will need to operate nonstop.

How Long Will the Remediation Process Take?

A typical mold remediation project can last from up to 5 days to even a couple of weeks or so depending on the extent of the mold infestation. You will be shut out from the affected areas of mold growth during the entire time of the remediation.

You may be fine with the situation for a couple of days, but how will you cope after a week of feeling like you want your house back?

Is the HVAC System Infected?

If your HVAC system is infected with mold, that means it’s in your air ducts and vents throughout your home. Depending on the time of year, this could make a homeowner who decides to stay in the home during remediation very uncomfortable.

Your HVAC system will need to be thoroughly cleaned out. This means interruptions in your heating and cooling systems to allow for your HVAC system to be completely rid of mold.

If you decide to stay in your home during mold remediation, be prepared to bundle up or turn on the fan.

Are you able to withstand unpleasant temperatures to allow for this process?

Are You Able to Stay Out of the Remediator’s Way?

Let’s face it, many of us have a difficult time not meddling when there is a construction project happening in our homes. Are you able to not get in the way of mold remediation professionals?

Sure, you want to poke around to see what’s going on. Yet here’s the thing: every effort is made to prevent the mold being removed from spreading to other areas of the home.

In order to contain the mold, large plastic drops are set in place and secured with duct tape to keep the contaminated air contained. This mold-ridden air is simultaneously being cleaned by air machines and air scrubbers.

It’s important that you try not to mingle with the mold remediators and stay out of their way so as not to inhibit their progress.

How Healthy Are the Individuals in the Home?

For otherwise healthy individuals, the presence of mold can trigger allergy-like symptoms such as the following:

  • Sneezing
  • Itchy eyes
  • Sore throat
  • Headache

People suffering from more serious health ailments with compromised immune systems like asthma or COPD may have a more difficult time coping with mold exposure. Therefore, it’s not recommended that a person with such lung conditions put themselves in a situation where the following symptoms could occur:

  • Wheezing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Severe coughing, sometimes with bloody phlegm

The decision to stay in your home during a mold remediation project is ultimately up to you.

When Is Mold Remediation Required?

The CDC recommends that if a mold-infested area of a home is larger than a 10 x 10 patch, to contact a professional. The importance here is to remain safe and not allow yourself to be exposed to levels of mold that will make you and your family sick.

How Long Does It Take to Remediate Mold?

Mold remediation takes between one day to a couple of weeks or more depending on the extent of the mold damage, the type of mold, and the amount of needed remediation. Projects that involve extensive structural damage take longer to complete.

7 Steps to Prepare for Mold Remediation

If you’ve decided to call in mold remediation professionals, there are some steps you should follow to prepare your home.

Step 1. Ensure All Mold Has Been Located

Although mold will be discussed and detected during your mold remediation’s initial inspection, you will want to make a thorough assessment of all places within your home that may be affected.

Mold growth can be on all kinds of surfaces, walls, inside of walls, underneath sinks, in crawlspaces, you name it, mold can likely grow there. There should be an attempt to dry out moist or humid areas before the mold removal process starts.

Step 2. Request an Air Quality Sampling Report

An air quality test is a process of sampling ambient air in a home or building and testing it to identify any substances that could be hazardous to people’s health and safety, as well as mold spore counts.

Providing this report to the mold remediation specialists will be appreciated as well as a recommended tool to have in estimating the levels of mold in the home.

For more details on Air Quality Sampling reports, visit the EPA.

Step 3. Wash Contaminated Clothing

Wash any clothing that is located in a contaminated area in hot water and then dry it in a hot dryer. Cleaned clothes may be placed in plastic containers with lids or large plastic bags to remain sealed until mold removal is complete.

Step 4. Do Not Move Things Around

Even though it may seem like a helpful gesture, refrain from moving furniture or anything else away from areas where mold will be remediated. Doing so will only spread mold spores to other parts of the home.

Step 5. Relocate Pets

You may want to consider having a friend or family member take care of your pets until the mold removal process is finished.

Step 6. Consider Relocating You & Your Family

You may decide to stay in your home during the mold remediation process. There are many things to consider before making that decision such as the type of mold and the location of the mold remediation.

Step 7. Take Photos Before Remediation

Take photos of your belongings for insurance purposes should you ever need to file a claim with your insurance company for lost or damaged items.

Smell After Mold Remediation

Some people have heard that mold remediation will leave a home with an odor upon completion. The mold itself has a strong, musty odor, and cleaning products have their own scents as well. Despite the myth, remediation companies will ensure your home will not smell bad when it’s handed back to you.

During the mold remediation process, the moldy areas are isolated with plastic dropping to prevent the mold particles from relocating to a different area of the home. Every effort is made to remove the mold but to also remove the mold stench and mold particles from the air using air machines, air scrubbers, and other air filtration devices.


Trina Greenfield, Author
SmackDown Media LLC

About the Author:
Trina Greenfield, the owner of SmackDown Media LLC, is passionate about providing information to those interested in the air quality in and around their homes. Trina writes content about things she’s passionate about, such as safe, in-home air, educational platforms for children and adults, as well as all things family-related.