How to Get Rid of Mold
Mold in the home can be dangerous, and it can lead to serious health problems. If you suspect there might be a mold problem – whether you detect a musty order or you’ve had recent water damage – it’s time to call in a professional for testing.
There are two types of mold specialists: mold inspectors and mold remediation specialists. Inspectors look for evidence of current or past mold growth within a home or building. They look for visible mold, as well as mold that is hidden in between walls, and they also look for sources of moisture that cause mold. If mold is detected, the inspector will do testing to determine the type of mold (some are relatively harmless while others are very dangerous). Mold remediation specialists fix the problem by removing mold and eliminating the source of moisture causing the mold.
Common reasons for a mold inspection include:
- Itching, allergic reactions or asthmatic systems associated with being in a certain room or building.
- A recent water leak or moisture problem.
- A musty smell.
- Seeing visible signs of mold.
- Verifying that a house or building you’re planning to purchase is free of mold.
- Making sure mold remediation was successful.
Types of Mold
There are many different types of mold, and the removal process varies based upon the type. The most common types found indoors include: cladosporium, penicillium, ulocladium, alternaria, acremonium, stachybotrys and aspergillus. The latter three are the most dangerous, but the others can cause health problems, too, particularly among people with allergies.
Cost of Mold Testing and Removal
Mold inspections usually cost $300 to $1,000. Budget on the low end of that price range if you have a small house and only need a few samples taken, and on the high end for larger properties where many, many samples are required. This price range includes all lab fees, a lab report and a mold inspection report. In some cases, if the mold problem is severe, you could pay up to $3,000 for an inspection.
Most inspectors have a base price that includes several samples and then charge extra for additional samples. You might pay $400 for an inspection with three samples, for example, but extra samples might cost $60 to $100 each.
Mold remediation is far more expensive, and the cost is far more difficult to estimate. The cost is heavily determined by the extent of the mold problem, but it is also impacted by the size of the home or building and the type of mold. Generally, mold remediation starts at about $500. For severe cases, the price can top $30,000. The average remediation falls in the $2,000 to $10,000 range.
Choosing a Mold Specialist
The fields of mold inspection and mold remediation are highly unregulated, which makes it all the more difficult to choose a reputable service. Here are some tips for finding a true professional.
- Ask for proof that the company has completed industry-approved training programs. Good programs are offered by the American Board of Industrial Hygiene and the American Council for Accredited Certification.
- Always do some background research before hiring any company. Ask for references – and call all of them. Check the company’s rating with the Better Business Bureau. Find out how long the company has been in business, and make sure the company has a website and a legitimate mailing address.
- Never hire the same company to do inspection and remediation. An inspector has a pretty strong incentive to find mold if he or she will be paid for the remediation work. Most companies are honest, but don’t chance it.
- Before any work begins, ask for a written contract that outlines the complete scope of the project, the project timeline and all costs. Ask for a line-by-line breakdown of costs so you understand what you’re paying for.