Mold exposure can lead to several health-related problems.
Mold also can lead to wood and structural damage if left untouched.
Angie’s List founder and owner Angie Hicks said that mold removal could be a costly venture.
“If you see that you visibly have a mold issue, you can easily skip the initial test to confirm that you have the mold, because it’s obvious,” Hicks said.
Ron Porter removes mold for a living, 10TV News reported.
“When we determine the cost, we look at the significance of the problem, the difficulty of the access because many of these attics and crawl spaces are most difficult to enter and really the square footage of the home that would require labor and the product that we are using,” Porter said.
Angie’s List tips for hiring a mold professional:
• Check credentials: When hiring, ask for a Certificate of Insurance. Look for a remediator with certification from a reputable organization like The Cleaning Trust (formerly the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification) or the Indoor Environmental Standards Organization (IESO).
• Involve a third-party: To ensure objectivity, if you hire someone to test for mold, be sure it’s not the same person who remediates it. Hiring the same company that does mold testing to do the remediation can pose a big conflict of interest. After all, a company that offers both services has a vested financial interest in finding mold. Once the cleanup is complete, bring in an independent third-party inspection company to perform a clearance inspection and certify that the mold has been removed.
• Don’t make a decision under pressure: Unfortunately, some companies aren’t as open about what many perceive to be a conflict of interest. Some do their best to scare homeowners into needlessly spending thousands of dollars in the process. Often, these companies will reveal results of their air quality tests that show the presence of mold in the home and will offer a discount on remediation service in an attempt to pressure the homeowner to act immediately.
• What does the project entail? Mold can be hazardous to remove, so discuss the details of the project before work begins. Remediators typically will set up containment walls around the area being treated to prevent cross contamination to unaffected areas of the home. If necessary, air movers can be used to bring in fresh air or force air out of the area.
• Get a written estimate: Costs are generally determined by the significance of the mold, the difficulty of the access to get to the mold, the labor and the product the company uses.
• Is work warranted? Ask the company what type of warranty it offers. You should expect a minimum three-month warranty with any work done.
Angie’s List tips for preventing mold growth:
• Ventilate: Basements especially should have a ventilation system in place. This can help to bring fresh air in and push water vapor out. Homes that are not equipped with windows should use a dehumidifier or circulation fan.
• Fix foundation cracks: The smallest crack or leak can provide a perfect habitat for mold growth. Window frames, doors and corner locations of the foundation can be sealed using a water proof chalk. This is a service that should be performed at the beginning of rainy seasons.
• Keep stored items organized: When storing personal belongings or furniture, it is best not to pile items on top of each other. This can cause moisture to get trapped, and it prevents air circulation.
• Keep HVAC systems clean: Air ducts, heating systems, air conditioning systems and filters should all be cleaned and changed regularly. This will prevent mold from growing and spreading throughout the home.
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