How to Prepare Your Home for Mold Remediation

David J. Allen

I spent the better part of 2 ½ years learning about mold and indoor air quality because my child's life depended on it. Now I help others avoid ever having to experience the same thing. The mold industry suffers from conflicting opinions and I do my best to distill loads of data into something practical and useful. I love hearing from and helping readers. • "A house desecrated by mildew, mold, or fungus would be a defiled place to live in, so drastic measures had to be taken." — Leviticus 14:45

When you not only want to get rid of your home’s mold problem, but you also want to take steps to ensure that it doesn’t come back in the future, what you need is mold remediation.

This comprehensive process is carried out by professionals with the goal of getting to the bottom of the mold issue.

The procedure typically involves removing the mold itself, cleaning the affected area, inspecting the property thoroughly, and evaluating the potential for future infestations. 

As a homeowner, if you’re enlisting a mold remediation service to work on your household, there are a few things you need to do to prepare.

These measures will ensure that you, your loved ones, and your property are all protected.

They’ll also ensure that the mold remediation process goes as smoothly as possible for your hired professionals.

Test your home’s air

You may not realize this, but mold spores are frequently airborne. If you have or have recently had a mold infestation in your home, it’s pretty much a certainty that many of those microscopic spores are currently floating around within your indoor air.

Don’t panic, though; at low concentrations, airborne mold spores won’t do you any harm. However, when too many of those spores are present, that’s when it can become a dicey situation. In that case, part of the mold remediation process will be to return your air quality to a safe and healthy level.

By testing your home’s indoor air quality prior to the service, you can offer your hired mold remediation professionals some information to help them do their job.

There are test kits you can purchase and use yourself to confirm the presence of mold and determine how much it has spread.

However, if you want to be more thorough, you can hire air quality professionals to conduct additional tests. They’ll be able to test for the specific levels of mold concentration as well as which types of mold are present in your home. That kind of information will give your remediation experts some serious ammunition to work with.

Consider evacuating your pets and family

When the mold remediation process begins, it’s typically best for your pets and family members to be out of the house. Granted, the remediation procedure isn’t always the same, and different steps are required for different homes and situations. In many cases, though, strong chemicals will be used, and certain parts of the home may be unsafe to inhabit without wearing the proper safety equipment.

Consult with the mold remediation professionals beforehand to determine whether evacuating your family is necessary.

If the job will be confined to one small section of the household, there may be safe areas elsewhere in the home where they can stay. The same goes for your pets, but with them, you’ll need to be extra careful in ensuring that they’re safely confined and have no way of reaching the danger zone.

Wash your contaminated clothing

Since the goal of mold remediation is to prevent future mold growth in your home, you certainly don’t want to leave contaminated clothing lying around. Before the procedure is set to take place, take the time to wash any mold-affected clothes using hot water and laundry detergent.

To be extra thorough, though, you may want to soak the clothing in either a non-chlorinated bleach or vinegar solution before running them through the wash. Doing so should kill any existing spores on the clothing.

After washing, you should dry the clothing for 20 or 30 minutes longer than you normally would.

Once you’ve washed and dried them, you’ll want to seal them up in a bag to ensure that they don’t become contaminated once again.

Conduct a walkthrough of your home

When hiring mold remediation professionals, the hope is that the process will go down without a hitch, leaving you with no complaints or problems. However, life isn’t always that easy, and there’s always a chance that something could go wrong.

This is why it’s a good idea to conduct a walkthrough of your home before the service and document the condition of your belongings.

Photograph everything in the affected area

Photographs are a valuable, valuable piece of visual information and evidence that may become vital in an insurance claim or a lawsuit.

Without disturbing the affected area, take photographs of any visible wall stains, bubbling wallpaper and anything you believe to be a sign of mold. Photograph any and all furniture where mold signs or growth appears.

Depending on the degree of physical symptoms you are experiencing as well as the degree of mold growth, these photographs may prove very, very valuable to your future insurance claims and/or a lawsuit.

Adding a newspaper dated with today’s date into each of these photographs is also often advised in order to prove that the degree of damage or mold growth was present on that day.

Ideally, you should take photos of your furnishings, walls, and any other items that you value. It’s up to you if you want to document the entire home or focus only on the area infected with mold. 

By taking these photos, you are also ensuring your own protection in the event that any property damage occurs during the remediation process itself.

If you do end up needing to file an insurance claim, you’ll have photographic evidence of the previous condition of your home and belongings. Hopefully, you’ll never need to use the photos you take, but it’ll be better to have and not need them than the other way around.

Leave the contaminated area undisturbed

It may be tempting to remove some of your possessions from the mold-infested part of your home, but you should resist that temptation. If at all possible, you should leave everything undisturbed in any contaminated sections of the household.

If you remove any of your belongings or bring anything else in, you’ll be greatly increasing the risk of cross-contamination to other areas of your home. Instead of moving anything out of the area, your best bet is to simply take the photos and trust the remediation professionals to do their job.

If you make a point to follow all of these steps prior to mold remediation, you’ll have done just about everything you can to ensure the procedure’s success. You’ll have also done everything possible to keep yourself, your family, and your possessions safe throughout the process. Hopefully, mold remediation is an ordeal that you’ll only have to experience once!