How Much Does Mold Remediation Cost?
Finding mold in your home is disconcerting because you are concerned about the potential health impact on you and your family.
The purpose of this article is to answer the following three questions for Atlanta residents that need mold removal:
1. What steps does a mold inspector take to determine if a mold problem exists?
2. What questions should I ask to ensure that I am working with a reputable mold removal professional?
3. What criteria does the professional use to determine the final mold removal cost?
What steps does a mold inspector take to determine if a mold problem exists?
The three steps a mold inspector will take to determine if a mold problem exists include the following:
Step #1: Identify The Root Cause of the Problem
The root cause of mold is moisture. With this in mind, during the inspection process, the inspector will ask many questions to try to learn more about past and existent moisture problems. You will be asked about past moisture problems that could be caused by flooding, leaks, excessive humidity, etc. The inspector will also check the levels of humidity and moisture levels using moisture detection equipment.
Once this step is complete and if the inspector is positive that there are moisture issues, the next step is to…
Step #2: Find Out If Moisture Problems Are Still Present
The mission of all mold inspectors is to find the moisture problems and then determine what needs to be done for this to be fixed. Indeed, there is no point in removing mold or addressing a mold concern unless the underlying cause is first fixed. For instance, if you have a leaky roof, pipes, seepage, and/or high humidity levels, these problems need to be fixed first because moisture is what mold needs to thrive.
Determining the source of moisture can be a challenge if the home has mold, but no history of flooding and no clear evidence of moisture issues like visual water stains. In cases like this and if it is clear that there is mold, the inspector may recommend that a specialist in Thermal Imaging be consulted to determine if there are hidden leaks. Thermal imaging helps identify hot and cold spots that can pinpoint areas where there could be hidden leaks or moisture intrusion.
The final step a mold inspector must address is to…
Step #3: Determine The Type of Mold
The core purpose of this step is to find out what type of mold you have.
This can also be a challenge if there is no visual mold present but there is a mildewy or urine like smell indicating that there is mold somewhere, perhaps hidden behind walls. In instances like this, the mold inspector may recommend an air quality test to measure the spore count inside of the home and outside of the home.
If there is visual mold, then tape or swab samples will be taken.
Once the samples are collected, they should be sent to a Third Party Lab to determine the type of mold present.
These results will be provided to you along with an explanation of the type of mold, spore count, and potential health consequences that the present mold species will have.
After your initial investment into the mold inspection and air quality tests (if applicable) and it is verified that you have a mold problem, then you need to determine which mold removal company you will work with.
What questions should I ask to ensure that I am working with a reputable mold removal professional?
If you search for Atlanta mold removal companies on Google, you will find many businesses that offer mold removal services. But who can you trust?
An on-going concern in our industry relates to the lack of licensing and regulation. Because of this, any contractor who wants to profit from mold removal can offer the service even if they lack experience and training. As a consumer, you need to be aware of this and the best defense is due diligence.
If you have a mold problem that needs to be remediated, then you should get estimates from a minimum of three qualified contractors, and check to see what their BBB rating is. In addition, qualify the contractor, by asking these questions:
1. Does the mold removal contractor offer a written contract/change order?
2. Does the mold removal contractor offer a remediation plan?
3. Does the mold removal contractor offer a post-remediation report?
4. Does the mold removal contractor provide recommendations of independent indoor environmental professionals that can provide you with a post-remediation verification report, to verify the success of the work?
5. Does the mold removal contractor have proof of insurance?
7. Does the mold removal contractor set up containment to prevent cross contamination?
8. Does the mold removal contractor use negative air machines and air scrubbers to clean the air?
9. Does the mold removal contractor give you a list of referrals and their contact details?
10. Does the mold removal contractor use DOP (Dispersed Oil Particulate) tested equipment which is a process that tests the integrity of the HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters used?
You should get YES answers to all of these questions and if you don’t, interview other contractors.
Another key question you need to ask relates to the guarantee a mold remediation contractor offers on their work. Are they willing to offer you a guarantee?
Once you have found three contractors that have passed your due diligence testing and you know that you are willing to hire one of them, then the next step is to request the following documents from each of them:
1. Itemized mold removal estimate.
2. Mold removal plan of action, also referred to as a scope of work.
3. An authorization to proceed (ATP), which is the service contract.
Itemized Mold Removal Estimate
The estimate details exactly what you are paying for. A professional estimate will outline what you are paying for and will usually provide you with pricing for the following: equipment; garbage removal; materials and consumables; mold removal labor; documentation; equipment decontamination; management charges; etc. This type of break down provides you with information that you can compare with other quotes you receive.
Be wary of estimates that provide no detail and just a dollar figure. This is a concern for two reasons. First, you do not know exactly what you are paying for. Second, it is difficult to compare simple quotes with detailed quotes, making it more difficult to make informed decisions.
Bottom line, don’t be afraid to ask for line by line details so that you know exactly what is involved in the mold removal cost.
Mold Removal Plan Of Action
The Scope of Work provides you with a detailed work plan of what exactly will be done to remove the mold and restore the fungal ecology of your home to healthy levels. Contractors unwilling to provide such a plan should be avoided. If you do not get a written plan, then how do you know if the work was done properly and effectively?
Authorization To Proceed
Thoroughly review the ATP before signing and allowing the work to begin so you are clear on the terms of the service.
What criteria does the professional use to determine the final mold removal cost?
Ultimately, the final removal cost estimate will be determined by three key criteria:
1. How much of the area is infected with mold?
2. What kind of materials are infected?
3. How easy is it to access the mold?
Answers to the above questions will enable the contractor to provide you with an estimate. Typical household mold removal projects will range from $2,000 to $6,000 depending on the answers to the questions above. It should be noted, however, that there is no set rule for mold removal cost because it tends to be situation and market specific. Because of this, the cost can range from a low of $500 up to $30,000, which is a significant variance.
Since there is no easy answer to the “Mold Removal Cost” question it is imperative that you, the consumer, invest time in due diligence, ask prospective contractors questions, check references, and thoroughly review the documentation that you receive.
There is no easy answer to this question because every situation is different and this is the reason we specifically advise that you compare quotes from at least three companies.
Most importantly, think long term and choose the company that you think will do the best job, even if their price is higher. Reputable mold remediation professionals may cost more, but ultimately, you get what you are paying for and the long term benefits of getting the job done right the first time will save you from future costs and headaches.
— Mold B Gone (@moldbgonega) August 21, 2015