Getting straight to the point, the scale of a mold problem dictates how much time it takes for a mold remediation job to be completed. It also determines what it will cost, the mold removal process and if it is a DIY job or if a mold remediation company should be used.
While several factors determine how long mold remediation will take, on average, the mold remediation process takes 2 days to a week to complete. For smaller mold issues that are limited in size and to visible, surface-level mold, a few hours to a day can be expected.
More serious cases, such as a mold issue is with water damaged materials and a larger contaminated area call for specialized equipment and a professional mold remediation team.
When is mold remediation required?
In the water damage restoration industry, there is a process that determines the mold remediation process. Following a visual inspection, the company will use a mold detector to measure the level of mold contamination and which mold species is present.
Calculating how long mold remediation may take
The mold removal process depends on the level of mold infestation. Professionals use the following levels when sizing up what it will take to remove mold completely from a home or business:
Level 1 Mold Contamination
Level 1, the least serious level of mold contamination is defined as a mold affected area of less than 10 sq. ft. Mold contaminated surfaces will need to be thoroughly cleaned with a detergent solution or professional mold remover. There may be limited structural damage such as removing and replacing a patch of drywall.
This level of mold can be handled by a home owner, handyman or DIYer. With the problem being so contained, mold remediation should take less than a day.
Tip: All mold levels can be harmful to your family’s health. Wear personal protective equipment whenever cleaning mold including a mold respirator or mask.
Level 2 Mold Contamination
The next step on the scale is Level 2. A Level 2 mold presence affects less than 30 sq. ft. The cleanup work is the same, it is just a larger job. And, while cleanup may include more involved construction type work (drywall and framing), mold remediation can still be taken on without a professional mold removal company.
Cleaning up a Level 2 mold contamination should take one to 3 days.
Level 3 Mold Contamination
A Level 3 mold contamination is larger than 30 sq. ft. and up to 100 sq. ft. Once mold has taken hold in this large of an area, the problem almost always goes beyond visible mold and requires far more than cleaning to completely kill mold. Jobs of this scale almost always require a professional mold remediation service.
Due to the size of the contamination and likelihood of damage behind walls or under floors, we estimate the damage would take at least three to seven days to complete.
Did you know? Consumer air purifiers for mold can remove airborne mold from the air, but they aren’t proper equipment for mold remediation work. Professionals use HEPA air scrubbers and air movers to create negative pressure when removing mold spores from the air.
Level 4 Mold Contamination
When the contaminated area is larger than 100 sq. ft., a trained professionals should always handle the remediation process. Level 4 contamination requires testing throughout the entire home as mold damage is often hidden in porous materials like floors, carpet and insulation. Depending upon the severity, cleaning the HVAC system and behind walls is common, too.
With a mold problem of this scale, it will likely take weeks, not days, to correctly remove mold in your home.
Does mold need to be removed by a professional?
Whether a professional mold remediation company is required or not depends upon the severity of the mold infestation.
When there is doubt, it may be worth having a professional come out and do a mold inspection and provide an assessment.
How is mold remediation done?
Processes vary, but the mold remediation process generally includes the following steps:
- Assessing the scope of the mold infestation
- Isolating the area where mold remediation will take place
- Identifying and repairing any moisture source contributing to mold growth
- Returning humidity to acceptable levels (using commercial dehumidifiers)
- Drying carpet, flooring, insulation and other porous materials with air movers and carpet fans
- Removing airborne mold spores and contaminants with commercial HEPA air scrubbers and ducting
- Cleaning non-porous materials with a detergent solution
- Replacing any building material with moisture damage beyond repair
- Removal and disposal of all contaminated material from job site
- Ensuring all mold growth was handled and performing final mold testing
One final point to remember is that the time it takes to remove the mold from an home is just that. It doesn’t include any preparation work prior to work taking place or putting everything back as it was before the mold remediation work.
For instance, while complete removal of a mold and mold spores may take 5 days, factor in additional time to move or protect furniture and pack belongings to take if you cannot stay in the home during the remediation work.
Similarly, when the work is complete, furniture will need to be put back in place and a final cleaning of the home may be necessary, not just the area where the mold was present.