First Off, When Should You Be Concerned About Mold??
According to national knowledge, mold removal isn’t the type of situation that is limited to homes in certain climates or that have dealt with major issues like floods or burst pipes. In fact, experts mention that nearly 50% of all U.S. homes are dealing with some sort of mold issue. Part of the reason for this is that people don’t fully understand what mold removal services entail. For example, a lot of store-bought cleaners may recommend applying them to the affected part of your home and being done with this. But what does this do about dead spores? Mold in unreachable parts of the home? Nascent mold that isn’t grown enough to be detected? Here is some expert advice in order to handle proper mold removal.
Mold Removal Services Explained
For a start, let’s reiterate some of the consequences of ignoring mold removal services. While health issues are one of the biggest reasons that people invest in mold removal services, it’s important to note that not everyone has the same degrees of reactions. This is due to the different types of mold out there, as well as individual variations of symptoms for different people. Those who are most likely to see a severe impact are those with sensitivities to mold or a history of respiratory issues. Some suggest a link between mold and other health problems, like lethargy or even mental health, but the evidence here is not as strong.
In some cases, the consequences associated with mold don’t necessarily stem from the mold itself but the moisture it comes from. For example, a mold smell in a basement may stem from a cracked foundation allowing moisture to leak in. However, you may not be aware that this is the source of the problem unless you get a mold removal or mold inspection. Leaking pipes and roofs are similar examples of smaller issues that can become bigger ones if left unchecked. Mold may be the warning sign you need.
As a final point, we should cover one question that a lot of homeowners have when dealing with mold removal services: what is mold removal vs. mold remediation? Some will tell you that these are interchangable, others will tell you that mold remediation is superior to mold removal as a service. In a way, they are both right. What you need to understand is that mold is a key component of the natural world, helping break down plant matter like logs or leaves. As a result, you are never going to fully exterminate mold around your home. What you want to do is minimize the ways that mold spores enter your home and clear out areas of your environment that allow them to grow.
What does this mean for mold removal services vs. mold remediation services? Technically, mold remediation services may be a more accurate label. You can’t fully eliminate mold, but you can lower it down to levels so small that you won’t see any visible effects or health symptoms. In addition, if mold spores enter a home with minimal added moisture that is regularly cleaned, it’s unlikely they will ever grow to those levels. However, there is still a component of mold removal if you have a lot of mold that has grown in your home. Therefore, you may want to emphasize that you need mold removal if you have existing mold, then combine that with mold remediation to better prepare your house to deal with future mold.
Reacting To Mold In Your Home
Mold tends to run on a far more accelerated timeline than you think. In fact, if you can actually see mold somewhere in your home, then it’s likely already been growing in that spot for a week or longer. The initial growing stages of mold take only 24 to 48 hours, during which it is impossible to see with the naked eye. Because of the quick speed that mold can take hold, it’s important for you to have a plan in place if you happen upon mold. This will help your budget and your health, if you have a mold sensitivity. Here is the game plan to start with.
Step 1: Treat excess moisture. In some case, like if you had a minor flood, pipe burst, or leak, it may be obvious where the source of your mold is. The first thing you want to do is get rid of any extra moisture, but if you’re outside that 24- to 48-hour window, mold may already be present. This is why it’s essential to make sure that you invest in safety equipment and clothing. True toxic mold is extremely rare, but carrying it on your clothes could potentially spread mold to different areas.
Step 2: Try and find the source/additional sources. The last thing that you want to do is think that you’ve cleared up all the mold yourself, only to get a rude awakening later. Take advantage of this time to find any other places that mold may have sprouted. Some surprising hidden areas of the home that can become mold homes include the chimney, wallpaper, and appliances like the refrigerator and air conditioners. If you need some help in this area, Step 3 may be what you need.
Step 3: Consider a mold inspection. Some people try to sub out using a store-bought test here, but the results these offer are unreliable at best. Some mold removal services, like TCR Restoration, include free inspections as a part of their service package. If you are still debating about what service you want, you can also pay an independent mold inspector to understand what you are dealing with quicker.
Step 4: Check your insurance. Most homeowner’s insurance policies only cover mold removal under specific circumstances. Take pictures of the mold and related damage if you plan on filing a claim.
After these key steps, you’ll have some knowledge about the nature of your mold and where it is growing and have hopefully slowed the process a bit by cleaning up extra moisture. Next up is looking for the ideal mold removal services.
What To Look For In Mold Removal Services
At this point, it’s important to make a decision about who is going to handle your mold removal services. For mold removal/mold remediation, you’re not just paying to get mold out of your home, but also remove any trace remnants that could lead to growth in the future. This means you want to get the best quality possible. A good place to start is making sure that your mold removal services have certifications with bodies like the IICRC. This ensures that the technicians working on your home are properly qualified to do so.
Another key stage that goes with finding the right mold removal services is the “interview” stage. While technically not an interview, there’s generally going to be a consultation or talk with someone from the service before you formally commit. This is the moment to ask essential questions like how exactly they will contain the area they are working on/disposing of contaminated materials. Other things you want to ask about including liability insurance on the contractor’s part, as well as how you can get documentation on the work that they’ve done for your records.
Let’s close this conversation with a part of the conversation that everyone is probably concerned about: the price. There’s a lot of variances when it comes to these types of jobs but, on average, you can expect to pay a couple of thousand dollars for remediation. We’ll get into exactly what that entails in a little bit, but the majority of professionals out there will charge between $10 and $25 per square foot, to help your estimation and budgeting a little bit. The location of the mold will also play a role here. For example, a crawlspace is less expensive than the attic. Additional costs may be present if you need to address the initial cause of the moisture, like foundation repair or fixing a leak.
While this may seem daunting, the last thing you want to do is find a bargain alternative for mold removal services. The main reason is that these simply don’t work. For example, if you use a DIY cleaner and home testing kit, you may clear off a portion of mold, but the test you use may be ignoring mold in another section of your home. At the same time, there may be dead spores that won’t grow but can still linger and cause reactions in people with mold sensitivities. Professional mold removal services encompass practices like these to make sure you are satisfied and safe.
What Goes Into The Mold Removal Process
Part of pursuing mold removal services is using the expertise, tools, and experience of professionals to help your home. With this said, it’s always a good idea to take a closer look at what exactly mold removal services do as a part of their job. This may help you prevent future mold problems and will also give you more of a leg to stand on if you’re not happy with the job your contractor does. While mold removal services take different forms based on the needs of the customers, here’s a general look at what you can expect.
Isolation: When the mold has been pinned down to a certain area, mold removal services will try to quarantine it as much as possible while they work. This will keep the spores from spreading anywhere else and causing further contamination.
Disposal: Right along with this will be testing different objects/materials in the affected area to see if they are contaminated beyond repair. If this is the case, the mold removal services will need to dispose of them to ensure mold doesn’t go to other parts of the home. Getting rid of contaminated parts of the home can drive a lot of the expense of mold removal, especially if the professionals need to do something like get to the drywall to do it.
Drying: Once the area is isolated and things that can’t be restored are removed, it’s time to get rid of any excess moisture. You may have already done this before, but mold removal services have access to far more powerful equipment to remove the moisture that mold needs to grow rather than just lowering it to slow the growth down.
Cleaning: This step can vary a lot depending on the nature of the mold, but there will always be some sort of cleaning component to mold removal. This may also include HVAC cleaning if there is a risk of mold spores getting into those systems.
Repair/Reconstruction: In some cases, an element of demolition is needed to get to the areas where the mold is in a home. Most mold removal services will be able to include restoring the impacted area as a part of their service package.
Consultation: Ideally, mold restoration will talk to the homeowner after their job is done to explain what they’ve done and provide advice to avoid mold problems in the future.
Using TCR For Mold Removal Services
No matter what type of advice you implement for mold removal/prevention, there is only so much that can be accomplished on your own. For example, after heavy water damage or similar situations, the volume of mold may be too much to deal with. There’s also the issue of mold starting to grow in areas where it isn’t easily accessible. To handle this issue, you need professional mold removal services like Total Care Restoration. Not only do we believe in doing the most for our customers in the Miami area, but we’re also:
- 5 Star Rated on Yelp
- IICRC Certified
- BBB A+ Rated
These credentials mean that we have the expertise and experience to help our customers tackle any situation and get their homes comfortable and safe once again. Reach out to us today for a free inspection.