How Much Should Mold Remediation Cost?
This is an excellent question and one of the biggest concerns of property owners when black mold is found. Unfortunately, the lack of regulation in our industry has spawned many Fly-By-Night Mold UN-Professionals who minimize the problem, don’t test for asbestos and or lead, spray bleach and or other chemicals and ultimately make a bigger mess of the situation. The purpose of this article is to educate you on what to look for and expect from Mold Remediation PROfessionals.
The price for mold remediation will vary dependant upon many factors such as how many square feet of mold was found, was asbestos tested and results were positive, is lead paint an issue, does it extend in behind kitchen or bathroom cabinets, can the area be hoarded off easily, is there a lot of contents to be cleaned and sanitized, is storage an issue, has structural damage occurred as a result of the mold damage, etc. With so many variables it is very difficult to nail down a price unless a professional assessment has been performed and the mold removal specialist is able to perform a site visit.
The biggest concern a mold remediation professional has pertains to determining how much mold is present and ensuring that the mold contamination can be contained and placed under negative pressure to prevent cross contamination into adjacent areas. The use of proper containment and negative pressures using HEPA filtration units is very important in protecting the health and well being of workers and building occupants. The reason this is so important is that people are more prone to health concerns when exposed to certain species and or large quantities of mold spores and during the removal process the spores get stirred up and counts increase substantially due to disruption as the mold needs to release its spores to find a new safe home.
Typically, the process begins with a phone call from a concerned client who believes they have mold and wants an inspection performed. During the inspection, the professional has three key objectives:
IDENTIFY THE CAUSE OF THE MOLD PROBLEM
This is usually determined through a thorough visual inspection and the use of industry specific testing instruments along with an interview process with building occupants to find out about past moisture problems caused by flooding, leaks, sewer backups etc.
DETERMINE IF MOISTURE PROBLEMS ARE STILL A CONCERN
For instance, if the property has a leaky roof, leaky pipes, seepage, high humidity, etc….any source of moisture, then the primary objective is to first address the cause of the moisture problem.
In some instances, determining the source of the moisture can be difficult. For instance, let’s say the home or office building has mold, but no history of flooding, no identifiable water stains, and no apparent moisture issues, but the smell of mold is present, then the mold inspector will need to use Thermal Imaging and other detection instruments because the source of the moisture could be hidden and occurring inside the walls cavities of the property. In some cases wall cavities will need to be opened up to find that cracks in foundation are the cause of the problem.
We have had a situation in commercial building where mold growth is within a wall cavity on an interior wall with no moisture sources near by, no evidence of any roof leaks in the area and no other identifiable issues. When mapping out the moisture we came across an area of the roof 45 feet away on the total opposite end of the building where water was leaking down onto a steel beam and then travelling all along the beam until there was a hole where a bolt had been removed and the water then slowly dripped down into the wall cavity through this hole. Water finds the path of least resistance in every case.
The next step, if a moisture problem is identified, is to ensure that the cause of the moisture problem is addressed by fixing it properly so that it does not recur. The mold affected drywall, 2+4 studs, carpets and other building materials can be removed and the drying process started before rectifying the water intrusion however, unless the underlying cause of the moisture issue is fixed, replacing with new building materials will not solve the problem and mold will start to grow again in a short period of time.
DETERMINE THE TYPE OF MOLD
Mold is everywhere, it is nature’s recycler that requires water and cellulose and other organic matter to thrive. Mold is a problem for property owners because almost everything that homes are made out of are cellulose-based: wood, drywall, carpet, etc. Specifically, mold becomes a concern because it can cause health problems and over time will reduce the value of your property.
If mold is found in a property, then the mold inspector may recommend further testing, such as an air quality test, tape or swab samples, or an environmental relative moldy index (ERMI) test, the samples should be analyzed by a trusted lab. The lab results should be provided to the property owner and the property owner should distribute to all building occupants.
With respect to the cost of a mold inspection as described above, typically a residential mold inspection will range from $195 to $350 PLUS the cost of any sampling that needs to be sent to a Third Party lab. Commercial mold inspections will typically range from $350-$750 PLUS the cost of sampling dependant upon the complexity of the inspection.
Once it is verified that YES there is indeed a mold problem and the type of mold has been identified, if health concerns exist then the most important steps you need to take are to hire a professional mold removal company and contact a specialist like Dr. Hoffman at the Hoffman centre for integrative medicine in Calgary Alberta, in order to help you with any negative affects from the exposure
Professional mold remediation companies should be able to provide you with the following information when providing estimates, you should ask for THREE specific documents:
Reputable mold remediation companies should not just give you an estimate with one line item: Mold Remediation…….and then the dollar amount.
Instead, when you get a quote it should be itemized, listing costs for the following: equipment that needs to be used; application of antimicrobial agent, fungicide, garbage removal; materials and consumables; mold remediation labor; documentation; equipment decontamination; and management charges, just to name a few.
In short, demand detailed quotes from the professionals that you choose to get estimates from. Don’t just accept a verbal or one line quote for mold remediation. You need to know what exactly you are paying for when you get a quote for mold remediation, and please do not get your friend, the contractor, to take on your mold problem. In most cases, this creates more problems than solutions and could just end up costing more. Hire a professional!
SCOPE OF WORK
If the company you are considering is not willing to provide a scope of work or remediation plan, then definitely say NO to their services. Demand a plan, you are paying for the service and should know exactly what the remediation professional will be doing to ensure that your mold problem is dealt with properly and that your health is not going to be impacted negatively.
CONTRACT / AUTHORIZATION TO PROCEED
It is always a good idea to get a written contract from the mold remediation contractor.
With respect to the final cost, this is actually a very difficult question to answer because every job and situation is different. The THREE most important factors in determining the ultimate cost of a mold remediation project are the following:
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?
Only by answering these three questions, can an intelligent estimate be prepared. With this in mind, depending on the answers to the above three questions, mold remediation projects can range from a couple of thousand dollars to 10s of thousands of dollars. On average, the typical household mold remediation project will range from $1,500 to $8,000 while most commercial projects are usually more. If asbestos containing materials are found to be present in the affected materials the price will typically be significantly different. Again, 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, but always be sure to compare apples to apples. Don’t just go with the cheapest quote, hire the firm that will do the best job and ensure that the job is done right and stand behind their work!
If you have questions, call us toll free, 1-888-909-6653 or use the form below.
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— #GotMold?™ (@gotmoldglobal) June 6, 2014