The cost of residential mold remediation
Shock, amazement, surprise and anger are some of the responses I get when I present a residential mold remediation proposal to a prospective client. If a homeowner with a major mold contamination problem has not done any research on the subject and I am the first person to provide them with any inclination as to the cost of mold removal, it can be a rather awkward situation. It is a completely understandable reaction when someone is told that something that will take 1 or 2 days will cost $5,000+. This is why I always encourage my clients to do some research between the time we first talk, and when I provide them with pricing for their mold removal project. To get a real handle on the associated costs of toxic mold testing and mold removal, we need to look at exactly what those two tasks are and who performs them.
What does it take to become a certified mold inspector?
The first requirement for a person to become a really good mold inspector is to genuinely care about people. I know that sounds corny or perhaps even fake, but I really believe it’s true. I say that because people who do mold home inspections know that their clients are relying on them to be honest and thorough. There is a lot of money to be made in mold remediation, so if a person does not really care about the interest of their clients, it can be a real problem. The next important requirement is a complete and thorough knowledge of all aspects of home construction and building. This is not something that can be learned in a few home inspection courses, but rather over years of training, field experience and dedication. Mold inspectors must also understand how microbiology and building materials interact. While not everyone absolutely needs a degree in biology (as I have), it helps to understand the metabolic cycle and growth cycles of fungi. Finally, a mold inspector must go through hundreds of hours of training, both in the classroom as well as in the field. Certifications for mold home inspection are not easy to come by, and they certainly are not cheap. The average mold inspection certification course is $600, and most mold inspectors have 2 or 3 of these. Then, there are the 1-2 courses per year that are required to maintain your certifications. The mold remediation and toxic mold inspection industry is always changing, so it’s important to keep up on the latest and greatest information and practices.
What does it take to become a certified mold remediator?
If mold inspection is the academic side of the mold industry, mold remediation is the physical side. A certified mold remediator is a technician that performs the actual mold removal from a home or business. This is the down and dirty work that often requires technicians to put themselves into very uncomfortable places in order to perform the needed mold removal services. Mold remediation technicians must go through very similar training regimens as the mold inspection technicians, but with more attention focused on technique. Mold removal requires a person to manipulate many parts of a building structure without causing damage. It is important to learn the tolerances of different materials such as wood, sheetrock and carpet to actions such as sanding, vacuuming and cleaning. A mold remediation technician must constantly make decisions about the salvageability of these materials. Preservation of property is a very important goal in any mold remediation project. Many homeowners are very concerned about their health, and not really focused on how much damage will be done during the mold removal process, but it is the job of the technician to take both of these into account and make the best possible decisions.
The most important thing by far that a mold remediation technician does is to make sure that the homeowner has the right information and tools to prevent the regrowth of mold. Most of these tools are in the form of information, but some are actual pieces of equipment, such as dehumidifiers and attic fans. Armed with the right information and equipment, homeowners can help avoid mold issues in the future. The true goal of a mold remediation project is remove the mold, and make sure it never returns. When this is accomplished, everybody wins.