How to Choose a Professional Mold Remediation Company When Doing the Work Yourself Is NOT an Option
Every week I receive countless emails from readers who are attempting to or who would like to attempt to remediate their own homes in order to avoid the cost of professional mold remediation. Sometimes, this is easily done with techniques and products I have featured on the blog. Most small, contained mold issues are pretty easy to successfully tackle with EC3 products, a “cold” fogger, proper protective gear, and a certified HEPA vacuum. As a matter of fact, there have been many situations in our current home when we have had a small leak or water intrusion incident and have addressed and remediated the issue ourselves lickety-split. Those situations are isolated events and leaks and/or water intrusion that is caught quickly and right when it occurs.
There are other indoor mold situations that are not so straightforward and contained. Thus, I feel it is my responsibility to address the fact that there are definitely times when hiring a professional mold remediation company is the best decision for you and your family. Even with the tools and knowledge I have now, there are some mold clean-up jobs that I would not touch or advise anyone to do themselves, because the risk is not worth the possible reward or savings
When water damage has gone undetected for an extended period of time, causing lots of visible or invisible “behind the walls” damage to a home. In these cases, the damage is often structural and extensive and needs to be fixed along with proper remediation. This is also the type of work that grows in scope as walls are opened up and the extent of the damage and mold growth is revealed.
When you or your family members are extremely sick and/or mold sensitive. Attempting to remediate your own home if you are ill or mold-sensitive can cause major health problems and expose you to mold at levels that can cause your already suffering body more harm. In my opinion, it is just not worth the risk
When elevated levels of “toxic molds” have been identified inside your home. There are certain molds that produce mycotoxins which makes them more acutely dangerous to human health, even in small exposures. These molds are difficult to remediate as the mycotoxins linger and the mold can cause even more health problems when it is killed. Even the dead mold releases VOCs. A professionally trained remediator can clean structures and contents and knows best how to properly contain and handle this type of situation. Some mycotoxin-producing molds include Cladosporium, Penicillium, Fusarium, Aspergillus, and Stachybotrys
Remediation for landlords
Mold can be a serious problem—it’s difficult to detect, expensive to remove, and can cause health issues for your renters. Per landlord-tenant laws, however, the implied warranty of habitability requires landlords to keep their rental properties free of health hazards. That’s why it’s important to spot mold issues and remediate them immediately.
Signs Your Rental May Have a Mold Problem
If you do have mold in your rental property, detecting it early is important for the health of your tenants and your finances. Unfortunately, the presence of mold isn’t always obvious, making mold detection challenging in many cases.
Check out areas that have the most exposure to moisture, like the basement and the attic. Basements are usually the dampest parts of a home and have less exposure to light. Also check the attic, where a leaky roof could be creating a friendly environment for mold. Bathroom ceilings are also common offenders because of moisture from showers even if there’s a fan or window. Regularly inspect the ductwork of your HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) systems too as ductwork can easily circulate spores. Mold also loves dusty surfaces and condensation (from an A/C coil or faulty dehumidifier).
The Difference Between Mold Removal and Remediation
Like we said before, microscopic mold spores exist naturally almost everywhere, which makes the concept of true “removal” impossible. They float through the air and can settle on any kind of surface. However, when mold takes root in a humid environment and forms a damage-inducing colony, the process of clean-up is considered remediation (aka getting the spores back to normal/natural levels). Removal and remediation may be used interchangeably, but it’s important to know what they mean, especially as you do your research.
Steps to Take for Removing a Mold Infestation
If you can see mold, it needs to go—visible mold growth has no place in a healthy home. The CDC recommends removing all kinds of mold, so it’s usually not worth the time and money to pre-test the spores to see what kind of mold it is or the concentration unless you need specific data for proof or negotiation (e.g. buying a new property or submitting an insurance claim).
HOW TO START A MOLD REMEDIATION BUSINESS
With more natural disasters occurring each year, the restoration and remediation industry is growing at a rapid pace. With the right amount of knowledge and an investment you can start your own mold remediation business. In times of recession, a business like mold remediation remains untouched. Recession conditions do not stop disaster from striking, leaving plenty of work for the companies in business at the time
There are a few requirements for starting up your own mold remediation business. One is your business location. Pick an area with a high occurrence of floods or other water damage. Opportunity is key, so don’t forget to do your research before choosing a specific area.
To start your own mold remediation business, you will need to check with the regulations of the state where you will be doing business. Some states require specific licensing to conduct business, and without it, you’ll be dead in the water. A mold inspection and remediation certification is a great place to start. The certification will give you the knowledge to start your business while also giving your clients peace of mind. The more certifications you hold, the more services you can provide, expanding your reach.
Equipment is a huge expense when starting up a new business. With mold remediation, you need to be sure to get the commercial-grade equipment, designed to last on the job for hours at a time. While it will cost more up front, you won’t be constantly replacing equipment as you go, saving you money in the long run.
BENEFITS OF STARTING A MOLD REMEDIATION COMPANY
Owning your own business is a feeling like no other. You are the boss who sets the schedule and you get to choose how things operate. You do not have to worry about a recession getting in the way with a mold business, as there is always water damage somewhere. Design your business schedule around what works for you and your family, giving you precious extra time with loved ones.
How much does mold removal and remediation cost?
The national average cost of mold removal or remediation is $1,140. However, this cost can range from $60 to $4,300, depending on the size of the mold infestation, its location inside your home and how much specialists charge in your area.
Factors That Impact the Cost to Remove Mold
The size of the affected area can impact the mold or black mold removal cost. If your mold growth is confined to a space that’s less than 10 square feet, you consider cleaning it up yourself for a lower cost. In this case, you’ll want to buy household cleaners and gear (i.e. masks, gloves, goggles) to protect yourself as much as possible.
What to Expect During the Mold Remediation Process
Mold remediation is a multi-step process that involves mold-killing, removing the dead fungi and disinfecting the surfaces and areas to protect against mold regrowth
Performing a mold inspection. Mold testing (or sampling) takes place to identify the type of mold. This step is generally not necessary if you can already see the mold growth. If you think you need an inspection,
Identifying and fixing the source of the mold. Mold thrives and spreads in damp environments. Before mold removal can be effective, the source of the water or dampness must be identified and repaired or removed. A professional may check your attic, crawlspace, air ducts and other areas that typically experience mold growth. The water source may also need to be sealed. Professionals might use infrared scanners and probes to find hidden leaks or seepage.
“Mold Removal” vs. Remediation
What’s the Difference?
Since microscopic mold spores exist naturally almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors, removing all mold from a home or business is impossible. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold. This is a fallacy.
A qualified restoration company understands the science behind mold and mold growth. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have the training and expertise to remediate the mold in your home or business. Mold remediation focuses on getting mold levels back to normal, natural levels
When water intrudes into your property, mold growth can start in as little as 48 hours. Consider the following mold facts:
Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
Mold spores are microscopic, float along in the air, and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants and have the potential to cause other health effects.
Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
Mold often produces a strong, musty odor, and that odor can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.