Extensive Mold Damage In Your Home
When you find mold growing in your home, sound the alarm and get rid of it fast. Delay can mean extensive and costly remediation and repairs. On average, professional mold remediation costs $500 to $6,000 — but the price can soar into the tens of thousands if the problem is severe.
Here’s what you need to know about hiring professional mold inspectors and remediation companies.
Hire a Mold Inspector First
If you find mold growing on drywall, trim, or unfinished wood surfaces, and especially if the affected area is more than 10 square feet, hire a mold professional to discover the root and extent of the problem. They’ll also be able to direct you to a reliable mold remediation company. Reputable companies work with third-party inspectors instead of doing the inspection themselves.
But be sure to check credentials when hiring an inspector. The mold industry is largely unregulated, but there are guidelines to help you know when you’re hiring a true professional:
Qualified inspectors should have an undergraduate (at least) degree in a science or engineering field and have completed industry-approved coursework in mold investigation, preferably from the American Board of Industrial Hygiene or the American Council for Accredited Certification (formerly the American Indoor Air Quality Council).
- They should bear respected industry credentials, such as CIH (Certified Industrial Hygienist) or CIEC (Council-certified Indoor Environmental Consultant).
- They should work independently of a mold remediation company (reputable remediation companies hire a third-party inspector) and shouldn’t sell mold-related products.
- They should provide a customized report that includes lab results of air or surface samples taken.
- They shouldn’t hype one species of mold as more dangerous than another.
- They should tell you whether a mold problem has a DIY solution, or whether you must hire a professional mold remediation expert.
You may expect to find mold in places like bathrooms, basements and attics, but did you know mold can sometimes also be found in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems? It can, and mold in your HVAC system can be particularly damaging to your home, both because it is difficult to remove mold from inside ductwork and because mold inside a home’s air ducts can quickly spread to other areas of the home.
Air blowing through moldy ducts easily disperses mold throughout the entire home. For this reason, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends against turning on your heating or air conditioning if you think there might be mold in your HVAC system. Have the system inspected, and cleaned if necessary, before turning it on in order to prevent greater mold damage to your home. Note that the Environmental Protection Agency recommends having a professional clean your HVAC ducts, if you do find mold in them, to make sure the job is done correctly and safely.