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Mold Remediation: The Ultimate Guide

By Kelly Isley Rise Writer
Mar 13, 2021

The dangers of having mold in your home are real and documented. If you've found mold, you know you need to deal with it - and quickly. But how can you make hiring a mold remediation company less scary and save money in the process?

Mold Professional

How Can You Find a Mold Remediation Company?

To begin your mold removal company search - ask your family members, friends, and people you work with for references. A quick on-line review inside an unbiased authority and reputable database will also provide a shortlist. If you still need more options, two valuable sources are highly regarded real estate agents and mold testing laboratories in your area.

Having a list of experienced companies to interview and getting a second (or even a third) estimate is critical. Homeowner Christina Rosepapa shares, "I was caught off guard after receiving the initial estimate from the first contractor. Thankfully, we had a second mold remediation company on our list with better credentials. They were able to execute a solid statement of work that was a significantly smaller investment. We ended up saving thousands of dollars and regaining our peace of mind once they completed the project."

What License or Certifications Should a Mold Remediation Contractor Have?

A small portion of the states regulate mold remediation licensing: Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas. However, several other states have enacted mold legislation. 

In Canada, the Canadian Construction Association (CCA) guidelines require contractors to provide a liability insurance certificate with a Pollution Liability Policy (e.g., containing mold liability). They also require the contractor to confirm possession of their Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) paperwork, and they must provide successful evidence of experience and references for similar projects. CCA requirements for mold remediation training documentation include proof that supervisors and workers have appropriate training procedures to be utilized.

Advancing technology in the cleaning and restoration industry has led to an expanded number of companies in the field. Given these choices, it can make it difficult for consumers to be confident the company they speak with will be worth the investment. For clarity, experts suggest working with businesses certified by organizations such as:

  • The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC)
  • Restoration Industry Association (RIA), or
  • The American Indoor Air Quality Council (AIAQ).
Air Filter

What Is the Mold Removal Process?

Mold remediation is often broken down into four main steps: 

  • Step 1: Removal of mold-infested, water-damaged materials from the impacted area. 
  • Step 2: Disinfecting and cleaning of carpet, walls, and personal items.
  • Step 3: Tearing out drywall and studs if mold damage is extensive.
  • Step 4: Air cleaning with HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filtration.

*Noteworthy, if the mold is wide-spread, it is a good idea to live outside of the residence during the remediation.

Cleaning Mold

What Equipment is Used for Mold Removal?

Specific to the tools and equipment: remediation specialists typically use HEPA filters, cleaners, wet vacuums, HEPA vacuums, biocides (disinfectants), and personal protective equipment. Safety precautions are essential in mold remediation to prevent both exposure to and spread of hazards. Gloves, goggles, disposable protective clothing, and a professionally fitted respirator are typically needed to protect everyone involved in remediation.


Do You Need to Test for Mold? 

There are several cases where a mold inspection and mold testing is a good idea: 

  • If visible mold is not present, but the smell of mold is. An inspection and test can reveal whether elevated levels of mold are in the area and potentially the location.
  • If plumbing leaks or moisture issues have occurred, and there is suspicion that mold may be present in the air and behind walls.
  • Post mold removal testing to validate the remediation was successful.  
  • Suppose there are specific health issues. Sherlock Homes & Mold Inspection advises that in certain situations, a patient could have a health issue that doctors are struggling to diagnose, but they have mold-related symptoms (e.g., sneezing, coughing, headaches et al.,). At this point, a mold inspection and test could help to confirm whether the doctor's or patient's suspicions that a mold problem exists.
  • Testing and results that support real estate transactions.
  • Tenant/landlord disputes about if there is a mold problem.
  • If someone thinks they see or smell mold but are not sure.

What Sustainable Products and Practices Are Experts Using?

Today, some standard methods used to remove mold contain fungicides and toxic chemicals, which are not environmentally friendly.  "Chlorine is as much of a respiratory irritant as mold, and certain mold remediation chemicals can be equally - if not more - hazardous to a person's health than the mold itself. These are a few of the reasons our company was one of the first in Northern Arizona to use environmentally friendly products and practices, according to business owner Thane Caird."

"We have had great success with hydroperoxides for mold removal, and they also breakdown in 30 minutes, leaving no Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Another example of how our group is making a difference is using Hydroxyl generators that are safe for people and pets. They also allow restoration work to continue while the process runs, which saves time and money, adds Caird." 

For reference, a common generator alternative is an ozone machine that must operate without anyone in the room. For health and safety reasons, these generators do not allow anyone to return to the impacted area for at least one hour after the device has completed its run.


What Needs to Be in a Mold Remediation Contract? 

The following points need to be in a contract with a mold remediator:

  1. Drawing or survey that details square feet, rooms, or sections of the remediation area.  
  2. Identify how much time it will take to complete the remediation. 
  3. Itemized list of materials (e.g., lumber, wallboard, carpet and padding, paint) required to complete the remediation.
  4. Which party (the contractor or the homeowner) will provide the renovation materials.
  5. Confirm how to handle the contaminated materials and whether the homeowner or contractor will remove debris from the site.
  6. Clarify warranties of remediation work and contract guarantees
  7. Cleanup procedures and product usage, as well as a cost breakdown and total price cap.

Remember to ask for proof of education or training sessions on mold remediation and check with the education or training firms specified to determine that the contractor has completed the program or certification. It is also essential to ask for references from clients for whom the contractors have performed mold remediation work.

How Long Does It Take To Remove Mold?

The length of time it takes for the mold remediation process depends on many factors. These factors include the mold's volume in the impacted area, the mold's location, and the materials it grows on. The average mold remediation takes anywhere from 1 day to 5 days. If demolition and rebuilding take place in extreme cases, the timeline may expand to 14 days.

Construction Worker

Can a General Contractor Do Mold Remediation?

A general contractor is a professional that will make the repairs and renovate a home after the mold remediation. However, they are not qualified to handle the active mold present in a home, so they should begin the remodel of your home following the remediation.

What Is the Average Cost of Mold Remediation?

Although HomeAdvisor has identified a range of $1,119 to $3,325 as an average for fees, HouseLogic by REALTORS® shares that larger jobs may cost upwards of US$6,000.

Experts will tell you that each mold remediation case is different and unique, translating into the final price. Other variables come into play when you consider that the follow-on renovations may be a more considerable investment than the mold removal depending on the extent of damage (e.g., rebuilding walls, new flooring, et al.) and area remediated.

water leak

How Can You Get Rid of Mold and Avoid Future Remediation Projects?

The best way to prevent mold is to keep moisture out of your home. Here are five tips with reminders that can help you keep your home free of mold:

Tip 1 - Make Sure Your Ventilation Is Working Correctly

Daily activities such as taking a shower and washing laundry can create excess moisture in your home. Prevent water from staying in your residence with proper ventilation and increase the airflow within your home.

As a reminder, without good airflow, excess moisture can appear on your walls, windows, and floors. 

To increase air circulation, open doors between rooms, move furniture away from walls, and open closet doors.

Always vent appliances that produce moisture (e.g., clothes dryers and stoves) to the outside versus venting to the attic. Use AC units and dehumidifiers, but ensure they do not produce moisture themselves by checking and cleaning them periodically. 

Tip 2 - Dry Wet Materials Quickly and to Prevent Mold From Growing

Mold will begin growing within a span of 24 to 48 hours if there is moisture. So, avoid leaving wet clothes or other items lying around the house and always dry spills on floors and carpets. If heavy rainfall causes water to leak into your basement, make sure you dry the area promptly. 

Tip 3 - Direct Water Away From Your Home

One of the best methods to prevent water from leaking into your crawlspace is to ensure that water near your home sufficiently slopes away from your home. Also, refrain from put gardens or plants too close to your foundation so that watering them will not flow near your home. If you water your yard with a sprinkler system, make sure the water does not hit or flow toward your house. 

Tip 4 - Clean and Dry Surfaces to Prevent Mold

Clean and vacuum regularly to remove potential sources of mold growth. Focus your attention on bathrooms and other areas of your home that are likely to generate a lot of moisture.

Tip 5 - Repair Water Leaks to Prevent Mold

Always repair water leaks in your roof, windows, or any other part of the home as soon as possible. Constant leaks will cause moisture to build up and will lead to mold growth.

Disclaimer: This article does not constitute a product endorsement however Rise does reserve the right to recommend relevant products based on the articles content to provide a more comprehensive experience for the reader.Last Modified: 2021-07-01T20:50:21+0000
Kelly Isley

Article by:

Kelly Isley

Kelly Isley is a writer, author of four books and ASJA member. She has also been renovating homes for 12+ years, is an engineer, pilot, football fan, and lover of ice cream.

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