If water damage occurs anywhere in your home, there’s a good chance that mold will grow. All mold isn’t dangerous, but some types of mold produce mycotoxins that can cause serious health issues.
The problem is, you can’t adequately get rid of the mold yourself with bleach or another household cleaning product. Proper mold remediation requires a professional service with the expertise and specialized equipment to handle the problem.
A reputable mold remediation service identifies the source of the moisture in your home and blocks the water from entering. The mold is then treated with an EPA-approved biocide to destroy it and an encapsulant to easily and safely remove it from your home.
To ensure that the process goes off without a hitch, it’s important to choose the right mold remediation service. If you choose an inferior company, there’s a chance that all the mold won’t be removed. A subpar mold remediation service might also fail to use proper ventilation and air filtration devices, effectively sending more spores into the air and pushing the colony even deeper into your home.
At BestReviews, we want to help you find the best mold remediation service for your home. We understand how important it is that you invest your money wisely. The mold issue must be handled properly so your home can be a healthy environment for you and your family.
The guide below is designed to help you learn more about mold remediation. That way, you’ll have all the information you need to understand the process and choose a reputable mold remediation service. With the right company working on your home, you can trust that it will be clean and safe again in no time.
Depending on the severity of the problem, you may need to vacate your home while the mold remediation process occurs.
How do you know that it’s time to call a mold remediation service? Here are four of the biggest signs.
Sign #1: There is significant water intrusion in your home.
If you’ve experienced any type of flooding in your home, whether from an overflowing washing machine or an intense storm, there’s a good chance that mold has become an issue. Small water issues, such as a persistent leaking pipe, can also cause unwanted mold to grow.
Keep in mind that water itself doesn’t cause the mold growth; mold spores must already be present in your home when the water intrusion occurs.
Sign #2: You’re seeing unusual discolorations in your home.
When mold grows on organic materials, it may change the color of the surface. If enough mold grows, the spot is usually large enough to see.
Mold discolorations aren’t always black. You can may find gray, brown, red, white, and perhaps even some pastel-colored spots around your home when mold is present. Some mold varieties have a soft, fuzzy texture, while others resemble dust or grains of sand.
Sign #3: Your home has a musty odor.
When mold colonizes, it often gives off a musty, stale odor. The smell may be persistent, or it may come and go depending on the severity of the situation.
Even if you can’t see the mold, you may still need to call a mold remediation service.
Sign #4: Someone who lives in your home is experiencing mold-related health issues.
If you and/or your family members are experiencing certain health issues, it may be a sign that there’s a mold problem in your home. Common mold-related symptoms include congestion, respiratory issues, sore throat, eye irritation, headache, fatigue, and even rash.
Most mold remediation services offer a free inspection and assessment of your mold problem. It’s a good idea to consult with several companies to find the best option.
When you’re looking for a mold remediation service, it’s best to begin your search online. You can learn about what fees various companies charge and what their procedure is for cleaning and removing mold. It’s also wise to read reviews from actual customers to get an even better idea of what to expect.
Pay attention to the following key aspects of any company you’re considering before you sign a contract.
Any mold remediation service that you consider should carry certain credentials that signify its workers are well-trained in mold remediation. Notably, however, there are some certification programs only require a single day of online training. Because of this, you can’t be sure a technician has the necessary expertise based on credentials alone.
Look for a mold remediation service that has been certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) or the American Council for Accredited Certification (ACAC). Both of these entities require in-person training for certification.
It’s also important to choose a mold remediation service with the proper insurance. The company should have professional liability or errors and omissions insurance rather than a simple general liability policy, which doesn’t always cover professional situations.
Ask to see written proof of the service’s insurance certificate instead of simply taking their word that they have it.
Look for a mold remediation service that carefully documents their work. A good company will take photos of the process and give you access to the photos once the job is finished.
Some mold remediation services perform the initial inspection as well as the remediation process. But while using the same service for both inspection and remediation can often save you money, it’s a bad idea. Why? Because the company will have a vested interest in playing up your mold problem to ensure that you “require” its services. Some states mandate that you use two different companies to ensure the best results.
Look for a remediation service that will agree in writing to meet post-remediation testing requirements by another company. That way, you can be certain that all the mold has truly been removed.
Understanding what remediation methods a service uses is key to evaluating whether the service is right for your home.
All the above steps must be executed carefully to ensure the mold is completely gone. Unfortunately, some mold remediation companies overlook the cleaning step. This omission can leave behind spores that cause the mold to regrow.
We advise potential buyers to look for a mold remediation company that begins the process with a thorough HEPA vacuuming to clean all surfaces. The vacuuming should be followed by a wipe down of all surfaces with a damp cloth. After the wipe down, the HEPA vacuum should be used again to ensure that all mold and spores have been removed.
To keep the mold spores from spreading throughout your home, a good mold remediation company will use containment procedures as they’re removing the mold. If the company doesn’t feel that containment is important, it’s best to take your money elsewhere.
A general contractor shouldn’t do your mold remediation work. These professionals don’t typically have the expertise to handle the job.
Mold remediation services use highly specialized equipment to remove mold and spores from your home and the air inside it. This includes HEPA vacuums and air scrubbers that the average homeowner doesn’t have. Any equipment that is used should be wrapped with protective sheeting prior to entering your home so you can be sure no contamination from previous remediation jobs enters your home.
To be certain that all the mold is removed, it’s important to choose a service that guarantees their work. We advise consumers to opt for a mold remediation company that agrees to do further remediation and cleaning if post-remediation testing by a certified mold inspector does not meet proper standards. After all, the ultimate goal is to make your home clean and safe.
Mistake #1: You use the first mold remediation company that you find.
When you’ve got mold in your house, you understandably want to get rid of it as quickly as possible – and researching mold remediation services isn’t exactly a picnic. But going with the first company you come across in your internet search is a big mistake, because it doesn’t allow you to compare services and see what the best option for your home really is. Research and talk with a few different companies so you can be sure you’re choosing a mold remediation service that can get the job done.
Mistake #2: You go with the cheapest mold remediation service.
You may be tempted to choose the mold remediation service that offers the cheapest rates, but trying to save money upfront could actually lead to bigger expenses down the road. You could end up with a subpar service that doesn’t fully remove the mold in your home, in which case you’d have to hire yet another mold remediation company in the future when the problem reoccurs.
Mistakes #3: You don’t look for testimonials from customers of the mold remediation company.
Chances are high that any mold remediation service you talk to will say they have nothing but satisfied customers. Remember, however, that they’re trying to make a sale. Look for testimonials or reviews from actual customers to see what their experiences were like. Some mold remediation companies may have reviews on their website, but it’s a good idea to visit an independent review site to be sure the testimonials you’re reading are genuine.
When you’re considering a mold remediation service, it’s a good idea to check to see if there are any Better Business Bureau complaints against the company.
Q. Can I just remove the mold from my house myself, or do I have to hire a service?
A. Removing and cleaning up mold is usually a fairly easy process that any industrious DIY-er could handle. However, in removing the mold from your home, you also disturb spores that are present. Your activity could spread the spores to the rest of the house, causing additional mold to grow.
To successfully remove all mold and spores, you need special equipment, such as air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums. Because of this, a mold remediation service is usually your best bet.
Q. How long does it take a mold remediation service to remove mold?
A. The time required to eradicate mold depends on several factors. How much mold is in the home? How difficult is it to reach the mold? What is the mold growing on? In most cases, the process takes between one and five days.
Q. How can I tell if the company has successfully removed the mold?
A. You’ll be able to see if visible mold is gone from the area in your home that was affected. However, some mold species and spores aren’t visible, so they can still be hidden in your home. For this reason, it’s important to have a third party test your home after the remediation is complete to verify that the job was done properly.