Mold remediation or removal may be recommended for your home for the safety of your and your family and the protection of your home and your possessions.
Mold in homes is common, but if you are seeing or smelling signs of mold in your home or on surfaces, it may be toxic and you should consider mold testing.
Can I DIY mold remediation in my home?
According to the EPA, this will depend upon several factors. If the moldy area is less than 10 square feet (so about 3 feet by 3 feet) you can probably handle this job by yourself. It;’s important that you follow safety tips and protocol. Fix the leak as quickly as possible.
Dry all items out and throw away any absorbent or porous materials such as carpets and ceiling tiles as mild can quickly grow in the spaces of porous materials. When you are cleaning mold, you must avoid breathing the spores. Wear a mask that properly fits, long rubber gloves that extend to the forearms and goggles that do not have ventilation holes.
Use a bleach solution of 1 cup household laundry bleach per 1 gallon of water to kill mold on surfaces. NEVER mix bleach with ammonia. Open windows and doors when using cleaning products. Dry surfaces immediately after cleaning and run any fan or dehumidifier you may have.
Clean up the moldy surfaces before painting. If you have any doubt, call a specialist.
If you have health concerns, consult your health professional before starting any cleanup.
When do I need a mold remediation professional?
If you have extensive damage that covers more than 10 square feet, you should contact a mold remediation specialist. If you think the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system may be contaminated with mold, you should contact a professional. Mold near the intake system or moisture on the system would be signs of this.
Do not run the HVAC system if you think it is contaminated. It could spread the mold. If the water and mold damage was caused by sewage or another contaminated water call a professional who has experience with contaminated water. Finally, if you have health concerns yourself, consult a health professional before starting any cleanup.
Mold removal protocol and standards
A mold remediation company will identify and eliminate or encapsulate mold in your home.
The process of mold remediation starts with the very important step of containment and ventilation. They will use air filtration devices such as air scrubbers to ensnare the airborne mold spores. Next, they clean and disinfect the area. This is the remediation step and will include the disposal of any infected materials. They will follow the cleaning with the application of biocide or fungicide solutions.
The mold remediation company will take on simple fixes related to the mold source, or call in a sub-contractor. It is important that any mold that has been removed is encapsulated by paint or other material. Mold sealant is painted on the substance that is designed to seal a moldy surface that can’t be fully removed. It is always preferred to remove the material fully but that is sometimes not possible or practical.
Mold Remediation Professionals
It is best to use a mold remediation contractor to do your work rather than a general contractor.
Make sure they have experience and follow EPA Guidelines, and are licensed and insured. Ask for references and check their online reviews. Be sure they are willing to fully explain the process and steps of remediation in terms you understand. Be sure they wear proper safety gear, seal off the work area, and have the correct equipment such as HEPA air scrubbers, and will remove all the infected materials that are removed from your home. If you need restoration work, ask if they will do this work or sub-contract, or if that will be your responsibility.
The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification is a resource if you have questions about standards.
Mold Remediation and Mold Removal Costs
Mold remediation costs are going to depend upon the size and complexity of the job but can be costly. On average, professional mold remediation costs can run from $500 to $6000 but can run much higher for a larger home or more extensive problem. The average cost in 2020 is $1,500 to $3,500 but you will need an estimate for your damage.
The estimate will be based on the size of the affected area, where it is located, ie, in the HVAC systems, whether the moldy items can be cleaned or need to be repaired, whether the cause of the mold is hazardous to water or the extent of the damage. There are many variables.
Will my homeowners’ insurance cover mold?
Whether your homeowners’ insurance will cover mold removal and the damage is usually determined by the cause of the damage. Many policies also have specific language regarding mold exclusions and limitations. Most policies exclude coverage of damage from mold, fungi, and bacteria. If it was caused by a sudden and accidental covered peril such as a burst pipe, it may be covered. Many insurers combine mold claims and water damage claims. Check with your insurance agent to review your coverage.