In these trying financial times, there is a strong urge to do everything you can to save money. But cutting too many corners when it comes to mold removal could end up costing you far more in the long run but in some cases, the cost of mold remediation can be quite manageable.
The most economical way of tackling the problem is, of course, to do the job yourself. So long as the mold covers a modestly sized area (no more than about 3’ x 3”), it is easily accessible and you are able to locate the source of the moisture that allowed the mold to grow in the first place, you should have no problem.
After paying for protective gear including a breathing mask, gloves and goggles, the only other expense is the cost of the cleaning materials that you will use – if you don’t count the cost of your time that you will spend scrubbing and disinfecting the moldy surfaces.
However, if the amount of mold you can see is more extensive or much of it is located somewhere inaccessible to you, it’s time to bite the bullet and call in the professionals.
The Cost of Mold Remediation
The first stage in accessing the cost of mold remediation for your home is to arrange for your home to be inspected in order to identify the full extent of the problem. While some mold removal companies will offer to do this for free, it is usually contingent upon hiring them to do the subsequent work and many people feel – quite rightly – uncomfortable with this. If only a small amount of mold is present, the company will lose out financially so the less scrupulous firms will tell you there is a major problem, regardless of whether or not this is actually true.
In order to address these concerns, many companies have sprung up in recent years that specialize in mold inspection and nothing else. Because they are being paid a set fee to examine a home, they are free to report their findings honestly regardless of whether or not there’s a fat paycheck coming when the remediation bill gets paid.
A detailed inspection will include the use of specialist equipment which can detect mold spores in the air and detect areas of infestation in cavities or crawl spaces. The cost varies from one city to the next but will usually be in the region of $300. This should include the cost of a follow-up visit after remediation to ensure the problem has been properly dealt with.
The mold remediation cost itself is subject to a number of factors. Moldy crawl spaces can cost anything from a few hundred dollars to several thousand to rectify. If the mold is present in several areas of the house, the cost can easily exceed $5,000. If the mold has been around for some time and caused structural damage to the building, then you could easily be looking at between $10,000 and $30,000 or more.
Although some contractors may offer to do the work more cheaply, this too can be a false economy. Certified remediators have been properly trained in how to ensure the problem does not spread beyond where it already exists. They will also guarantee the work they do. Although they may have good intentions, untrained contractors may be far less competent.
From the outset, it is important to realize that the actual mold removal is only part of the overall cost of mold remediation. For example, in cases where mold in a crawl space is being caused by pools of standing water, additional costs will be incurred to pay to pump out the area, clean it and seal it against future flooding. If the mold has been caused by faulty pipes or poorly maintained air conditioning units, these may have to be repaired or replaced. If tests show that the mold in your home is one of the toxic varieties, then you and your family will have to move out while the remediation process takes place. This may involve a significant additional cost.
That said, the longer you leave it before you take action, the further throughout your home the mold will spread and the more difficult it will be to get rid of. In the end, the mold remediation expenses may be high, but the cost of doing nothing is always going to be far, far higher.