What I Should Know Before Hiring Mold Removal Help
If you have mold in your home, it’s essential that you take steps to remove it as soon as possible. Just like a bee sting is dangerous to some, mold can also be hazardous for specific individuals, and it isn’t healthy for your property either.
Everyone knows that mold removal can be a daunting task to take on. It’s hard to know where to start or how to get mold remediation done without spending a significant sum of money, right? Not necessarily so, companies like ours make mold abatement a walk in the park…well not quite, but we do make it as easy as it can be, and we charge a fair price for doing so.
To feel more confident about getting mold professionally removed, check out these helpful tips for getting the job done right as quickly and cheaply as possible.
Should you test for mold?
In most cases, pre-testing will not be necessary. Mold is a pretty simple thing, generally speaking, and if you can see it, you don’t need to waste time and money in having it tested. You need to focus on having it removed and bringing indoor air quality back to a “normal” condition.
Mold of any type has no place being in your home if you want your home to be a healthy indoor environment. Having pre-testing done to determine the species and type when it is always going to be recommended to be removed regardless of the type is, in our opinion, a waste of time and money. Now there are certain circumstances where we do believe testing is very beneficial, which you can read more about in this article: Is Mold Testing Necessary and Worth Paying For?
If mold remediation professionals, when contacted, try to convince you that you need to spend lots of money having your mold tested, when it is visible, you might want to question why especially if they is not a specific reason you want it to be tested. Ask them lots of questions, and if you aren’t happy with their answers, move on to another professional.
The exception to this rule would generally be when you need to have hard-proof that there is mold in your home, and visible documentation may not be substantial enough for proof. Situations, for example, where you’re buying a new property and want to uncover any hidden issues, or if your insurance carrier requests it during a claim, or when you’re looking to take legal action about a mold issue, and/or if there is a specific health concern you want to prove or disprove.
What can I expect to pay for mold remediation?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. How much you can expect to pay for mold remediation depends on how much removal is necessary, what needs to be removed, the size of the area needing to be contained off, and the difficulty of building the containment chamber. Essentially the more mold, the more work and the higher the price, although it is fair to say that many jobs can cost $1000 or more.
It is always a good idea to get several quotes from as many credible mold removal specialists as you can. That way, you can filter out the extremest and only pay as much as you need to get rid of the mold. Just make sure the scope of work is “apples to apples”.
Of course, if one mold specialist quotes you a price that is far lower than any other, you should be suspicious of them too. Why? Because if one company is offering a shockingly low price, chances are they will not do the work in the same manner or to a high enough standard, and your mold problem may not properly get addressed following the IICRC standards.
Mold remediation is a specialized trade, in the same way as electricians and carpenters, and that means that it isn’t always cheap. The trade-off being the confidence and peace of mind knowing it was completed correctly. If you’re being offered handyman prices for a skilled job, you do have to ask yourself why.
Do they have the same level of expertise?
Do they have liability insurance and worker’s compensation insurance?
Are they using the best tools and safe practices in your home?
Of course, it is sometimes possible to avoid the cost of mold removal entirely by doing the work yourself. If there is a small amount of visible growth, covering less than 5 square feet, any inspired homeowner can remove it using supplies and equipment that can be bought or rented at Home Depot. Some people think that cleaning or bleaching mold is enough to get rid of it, but that’s not the case. If mold is visible, you will need to cut out the drywall that has been affected. Check out our step by step guide that will walk the DIY homeowner though small remediation projects.
When it comes to large mold removal projects, you may want to hire professionals. When building materials are removed with visible mold growth, the spores get knocked loose and become airborne. Without the right equipment and understanding of proper containment of the areas, you can cause the air quality in your home to become much worse and impact other areas of your home that were not an issue before.
What can I expect from a genuine mold remediation specialist?
Professional mold removal experts should have no problem explaining what the problem is and what they plan to do, in a way that you can easily understand. If the person you’ve hired is unable to do even that, then you would not be wrong to be a little suspicious of them. So-called professionals who try to bamboozle you with complicated technical terms in order to freak you out and confuse you about the state of your problem probably aren’t the kind of people you want to hire, and you should walk away from them and get someone else in to deal with the issue.
When they’re in your home, true professionals will always wear the proper safety clothing for mold remediation jobs. If they aren’t wearing a good quality filtration mask and either neoprene or vinyl gloves, something is wrong, and there is no way that they are working safely. In addition to that, true professionals will always wear full protective suits when they are dealing with large areas of mold, or undertaking projects that will take a substantial amount of time.
Mold removal experts will always seal off the area they are working on, typically with plastic sheeting, so that spores of the mold they are removing cannot be spread to other parts of the home where they could cause you even more problems.
Remediation experts will use the highest quality equipment for the job too — equipment like HEPA vacuums and machines, commercial dehumidifiers, and tight containment chambers under negative pressure. Look at the cleanliness of their equipment and truck organization, which is always a good indication of how they will treat your home. Your average handyman would not have any of this stuff, and that is one good way to tell the difference between the two.
Once they have removed the visible growth, then Air Filtration Devices (AFD) will have to remain running for a recommended 24-48 hours after the final cleaning is complete. As we have mentioned before, when the building materials are removed, the spores are knocked into the air so professionals will use HEPA air scrubbers (AFD’s) to remove the airborne non-visible spores from the air. This is more important than removing the visible growth because airborne spores can be ingested into your body and where the health symptoms stem from.
If a professional does not use HEPA “Air Scrubbers, Air Filtration Device’s, and/or Negative Air Machines” after removing the mold, you would do well to question them because only these HEPA machines are able to do the job of filtering mold spores, which are extremely small. Your average filter simply cannot catch these airborne mold spores and will pose an air quality risk – not exactly what you want after paying for expensive remediation in the first place!
Mold professionals dispose of building materials that are porous and impacted with mold gowth, like insulation, drywall, and baseboards. They do this because it is the standard, cost beneficial, and once they are impacted, it’s challenging to get them back to their original state, so this is not something you should worry about. If the professional uses an anti-microbial, make sure they review the chemical they use in your home before its use. Sometimes homeowners can have allergies to the makeup of the chemicals and can pose a health hazard in itself.
Encapsulants should not be used unless you do not want them to remove part of the structure that cannot properly be cleaned. We see this sometimes with leaks on exterior walls of wood-frame homes, where the wood has started to deteriorate and rot. It should be removed, which is not always feasible, and why encapsulants are the next best solution.
Experience is Essential
The best thing you can do, if you want to ensure that your mold is removed safely and efficiently is to choose a mold professional with plenty of experience. If the company has been in business for a decade or more, it’s a pretty good indicator that they know what they are doing.
Keep it Clean
Once your mold has been removed, it’s sensible to do whatever you can to prevent it from coming back again in the future.
1. Have your HVAC system cleaned regularly.
2. Stop and dry out leaks quickly.
3. In humid climates, don’t leave doors and windows open for long periods of time.
We hope you never need to hire a remediation company, but if you do, it doesn’t have to be difficult choosing the right professional to give you peace of mind.