A significant mold infestation problem will ruin not just your home but your health as well. Therefore if you discover mold in any form or surface inside your home, you need to have it removed with a sense of urgency.
Mold is a major nuisance. Not only does it darken grout lines in your shower, shows up as black spots on your siding, ruins your drywall, and blackens your decks, but it can rot damp wood inside and outside your home.
What’s more, it’s extremely bad for your health. Mold releases microscopic spores that may lead to runny noses, sneezing, allergic reactions, and nasty odors. Therefore, if you discover this nuisance inside your home, your first step should be to eliminate it as soon as possible.
What is the Difference between Mold Abatement and Mold Remediation
There are some terms that every property owner dreads to hear. And those are the words mold, lead, and asbestos.
However, when one of these problems surfaces, it needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency and eliminated immediately.
Common solutions are remediation and abatement, but what does it entail?
When it comes to black mold, the terms remediation and abatement are used synonymously or interchangeably; however, there is a difference between the two.
Abatement involves removing the problem from the structure or containing it in a way that it can no longer cause harm to the property or to others.
Ultimately the priority would be to seal off that area of the property. One of the best ways to do this is to hang sheets of polyethylene and secure with polyethylene tape.
Thereafter you need to remove contaminated materials, place them into disposable polyethylene bags, and seal the bag off with polyethylene tape as well.
The surface that is left behind will need to be cleaned with a damp cloth and a HEPA vacuum if it’s applicable.
The remediation addresses the underlying problem so that it doesn’t occur again. Remediation will definitely include abatement as well. However, remediation stops before any work begins.
It involves having a professional service create a report outlining the degree of the problem, and the source of the contamination as well as recommendations for removing the contaminated materials.
This report may also include solutions for eliminating the initial problem and will determine exactly what needs to be tested.
So the question remains, is any one method more significant or important than the other? Ultimately the answer will lie with the type of toxic material in question.
Mold is an organic material and therefore needs an extra step of remediation, and unless the source of the problem is addressed, it will return.
So when it comes to black mold, abatement and remediation of both steps are necessary and essential.
Is Mold Remediation Expensive?
If you’ve discovered mold growing in your home, you need to sound the alarm immediately and get rid of it fast. Delay can mean extensive and costly repairs and remediation.
On average, professional mold remediation could cost between $500-$6000. However, this is just a rough estimate, and the price can soar into the tens of thousands if the problem is left to its own devices.
Ultimately, the level of infestation will affect mold removal cost. When it comes to the remediation cost of a crawlspace, it can vary.
However, if your home gets flooded and the mold is all throughout it, then you can expect this to slide to the tens of thousands quickly. Ultimately that also depends on the size of your home.
So ultimately, the cost of mold removal is relative to the severity of the problem and the size of your property or infested area .
It is advisable to speak to a few companies and get quotes from them so that you can compare and make the best decision as soon as possible.
Ultimately when making a decision, although it’s tempting to go for the company giving you the cheapest quote, pay attention to the experience levels and the type of guarantees that they are giving you if the mold returns.
Most people don’t have that kind of money to spend out-of-pocket. So when you’re considering insurance make sure you get something that will cover part of the remediation cost at the least. This is especially so if you live in a flood zone.
Will my homeowner’s insurance pay for the cost of mold remediation
Unfortunately, homeowners’ insurance policies tend to include vague wording when it comes to mold coverage.
So it’s often difficult to determine whether any mold damage you may experience will be covered or not. However, policies exclude coverage for mold damage, except for when the mold is the result of a covered claim such as water damage.
Mold removal will only be covered by insurance companies when the source of the mold is peril. This basically means that it will only be covered if the source of the mold is something that’s already covered in your homeowner’s insurance policy, such as water damage.
Standard homeowners insurance policies protect you from water damage costs caused by accidental or sudden incidents such as an overflow resulting from a malfunctioning AC unit or a burst pipe.
So if the consequent moisture from any of these issues causes mold to develop, you’ll be able to file a claim with your homeowner’s insurance for mold removal costs to be covered as well as any part of the property that has been permanently damaged by the mold that’s also covered under your water damage policy.
What is excluded in homeowners’ coverage for mold?
If it is found out that the mold is caused by your own lack of maintenance or neglect of the property, then your home insurance company will likely deny your claim.
For instance, if you notice that there is a minor leak, however you leave it unattended, then the amount of water that’s leaking is deemed negligible. Over time, however, the leak could cause mold to spread throughout the entire surrounding area.
So if you try to file a claim for the leak, and the consequent mold, weeks or even days after it becomes apparent, there’s a strong chance that your insurance provider will deny or decline that came.
Another instance where you cannot claim from your homeowner’s insurance for mold damage is in case of a regional flood. Flooding is, unfortunately, a peril that is excluded from homeowner’s insurance policies.
However, if you would like to be afforded this benefit, then you can invest in a separate flood insurance policy that would cover any mold damage resulting from a flood.
However, as it stands, your homeowner’s insurance policy will only cover water damage that is sudden or accidental.
What is the Mold Remediation Process?
Mold remediation is a crucial service that can help to protect property as well as the health of those in the contaminated space.
Mold on your premises can likely lead to a number of symptoms and illnesses. This includes runny nose and eyes, throat and cough, and itching skin.
In severe cases, where the problem is widespread, it can lead to illness in the form of neurological damage could potentially be fatal.
Mold is one nuisance that can spread rather quickly and remain hidden for long periods of time. In the same breath, it’s very difficult to remove and can get inside your foundations and undermine the entire structural integrity of your home.
But that said, you should contact specialists when it comes to mold remediation services if you suspect that you have a mold problem. We will go through the necessary steps that these companies provide that will ultimately help you rid your home of mold.
The first step in remediation services is to do an assessment of the mold problem.
The company will visit the premises in order to inspect the mold. In most cases, this is a relatively simple process that consists of a visual inspection of the area to confirm the presence of mold.
In other cases, more invasive techniques will be employed. Where the mold is hidden such as under carpets or wall cavities, then it is often necessary for the carpets to be removed, walls to be knocked through, and paint to be peeled away.
In this step, the remediation services may not be necessary; however, if residents are experiencing breathing difficulties or other health complications, then sampling will be necessary to identify the specific type of mold that is present.
Some species of mold are particularly dangerous, and therefore, sampling can identify the extent of the risk
Water damage remediation
More often than not, mold is caused by the presence of moisture. Mold actually requires water in order to spread and thrive.
If mold spores come in contact with a porous and wet surface, it will choose to settle in and begin growing in as little as 24 hours.
Therefore it is necessary for mold remediation companies to find and seal off any water source before proceeding to the next steps. In some cases, they will use infrared scanners and probes to find hidden leaks and seepage.
Before a mold remediation company continues with the drying and cleaning of your personal belongings, they need to first dispose of items that are beyond repair.
When it comes to certain porous items such as drywall, pillows, and mattresses, which may have absorbed large amounts of mold and are contaminated with water, it definitely will be disposed of.
Once the source of water has been eliminated, the next step would include drying off the area. This step is crucial in order to prevent the mold from spreading.
However, during the drying stage, every precaution must be taken to avoid disturbing the mold spores and dust, therefore, causing them to enter the environment and atmosphere.
When the surfaces are dried out, the company will clean items that are needed. This could be relatively easy and involves a damp wipe.
In other cases, they may need more heavy-duty equipment such as wet and dry vacuuming or dry ice vacuuming.
A HEPA vacuum is an extremely effective particulate vacuum that removes mold from the air along with debris and dust.
If mold spores have found their way into vents and ducts, then it can be circulated around the house unknowingly.
So mold companies will need to clean these areas thoroughly.
During this process, companies are careful to ensure that they get all of the mold out of the property and will therefore wear personal protection equipment in order to avoid inhaling the spores.
Repair and Restoration
Depending on the range of services offered by the company, you may receive help in restoring certain aspects of your home.
Some mold remediation companies provide fabric restoration services for others and often help with retiling and repainting. In cases where carpet has been affected by the mold, then you may need carpet installation services.
Ultimately all of these services will help get your home back to a livable condition so you can return to life as normal as quickly as possible.
In lots of cases, a mold infestation can be prevented, and if this is the case, the company will provide advice and debriefing in order to prevent future infestation inside your home.
Some tips for future prevention include:
- Using a dehumidifier to remove moisture from the air
- Adding additional insulation
- Heating the home to avoid condensation
- Drying moisture from the walls
- Adding ventilation to block rooms and other rooms in the home that are Prone to moisture
- Preventing water from standing for long periods of time
Preventing water from pooling down the side of the house by cleaning out gutters on a regular basis.
What is the average cost of mold removal from my home?
Mold is an invasive fungus that grows in surfaces inside your home. It may vary in color and type, and is found in areas that have been subjected to moisture at some point in time.
Certain types of mold are harmless; however, others can cause serious health issues in some individuals. According to the EPA, mold allergies are very common and can be a leading cause of asthma problems.
Mold can also lead to irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat and can also cause respiratory and lung issues in people who are not even allergic. Therefore if mold is found inside your home, it should be treated seriously and immediately.
Typical mold remediation in areas such as crawlspaces in the home can cost between $500-$4000. This depends on the extent of the mold and the type of mold that you are dealing with.
Lots of homeowners can expect to pay approximately $2000 for remediation of their crawlspaces, basements, attics, and other rooms in the home where mold is most commonly found.
You could be asking yourself what causes the drastic jump in the price of mold removal. Or, in other words, why does it cost some people $500 for mold remediation and others $4000?
Well, there are several different factors that play a role in how much you will pay for mold mediation services.
And here are some of them:
- The extent of the mold problem. The more mold that is discovered in your home, the higher the cost will be to clean and remove it. Small areas such as crawlspaces may cost around $500 whereas an entire attic could easily cost you $4000.
- Where the mold is located. Heating, AC and ventilation systems will require a special type of cleaning. This will increase costs. So you can expect to pay anywhere between $4000-$6000 if your HVAC system contains mold.
- Whether the moldy items need to be disposed of or whether they can be cleaned and reused will also play a factor. Some things may be cleaned, but anything the mold and moisture have permanently damaged or discarded, such as drywall, carpeting, and insulation will need to be disposed of. Costs, in this case, start at $2000 for cleaning the fabrics and could reach upwards of $10,000 for disposing and replacing drywall and carpets.
- The cause of the mold also appears to be a factor. Flooding due to septic tank failure would require more invasive testing and cleaning for harmful substances. This would increase the costs as well, and when it comes to sewage flooding, you could pay anywhere between $10,000-$20,000, including the necessary testing and cleaning
- The extent of damage caused by the mold. Mold caused by a leaking pipe, which may also lead the wood to rot or damage other areas that need to be repaired will cost more to remove. Any damage that needs to be dealt with along with the mold can cost approximately $5000 and more.
Can I be home during mold remediation?
In cases of a severe mold issue, the remediation process can turn into a labor-intensive and also a time-consuming project.
In certain situations where mold removal is not enough, remediation will require cleaning up the building structure, removing drywall, and replacing drywall materials.
Due to the extent of work that’s required, most people think that they have to leave their house while remediation takes place. However, the good news is that you don’t have to leave your home during this process unless you want to.
The cleaning process involves ensuring infected areas are isolated and sealed off with plastic sheeting and duct tape.
Negative air machines and air scrubbers will be running around the clock to make sure the mold spores do not spread to other areas of the home.
A mold abatement job usually takes between 1 to 3 days with a full crew. After the mold has been removed and encapsulated, it then involves building up and cleaning up the contaminated areas. Ultimately your home will be cleaner than it was before.
How long does mold remediation take?
The amount of time it takes for the mold removal process to be complete depends on many factors such as how much mold is present, where the contaminated area is, and the materials that it is growing on.
Standard mold removal usually takes between 1 to 3 days; however, depending on the size of the property and the number of rooms that are affected, it could take anywhere between 1 to 5 days.
Do I really need mold remediation?
You may be wondering how to tell if you need mold remediation? The truth is mold is everywhere. And ultimately, there is no way to get rid of all the mold in the environment.
Mold is, unfortunately, a natural part of the ecosphere and plays a crucial purpose. It helps to break down biodegradable materials in the environment.
In fact, some species are used in food science and pharmaceutical industries to produce certain medications, beverages, and even foods.
The sad truth, however, is that some molds are also hazardous to human health. When mold grows inside your home, it can lead to severe respiratory illnesses, as well as eye, nose, throat, and skin irritation.
Mold can also damage the structures of your home such as wood and drywall. Ultimately mold remediation is the process of killing and removing mold from the area that has experienced a mold overgrowth.
So how do you know if your home contains harmful levels of mold?
If you see signs of black spots that have occurred on surfaces such as walls, ceilings, and other areas inside the home, this is a clear indicator that there is an overgrowth of mold.
However, in some cases, mold grows in hidden places such as inside walls. Mold can also build up in unseen places such as in AC ducts. This will ultimately lead to indoor air being contaminated with mold spores that will circulate your home day and night.
Some signs that you may need mold remediation services include:
- Water intrusive events such as overt flooding, from an outdoor or indoor source, can cause mold to come into your home in as little as 72 hours after the water intrusion.
- If you get a musty odor inside your home, it’s probably because there is a mold source nearby. Air-conditioning ducts could be one of the sources of water or pooling water in your AC unit, under your sink, or in your water heater.
- Stains and discoloration of walls and ceiling tiles are another sign that you have mold overgrowth. If your walls and ceilings have an orange, brown, or yellow discoloration, it probably is due to mold growing in that area.
- Probably one of the most critical signs that you need mold remediation is health symptoms such as coughing, sore throat, wheezing, sneezing, watery eyes, difficulty breathing as well as chest tightness.
If you recognize any of the above signs, the best course of action is to contact a professional mold remediation specialist.