Basement Mold Removal Costs – 8 Important Facts You Need to Know
Basement mold removal costs depend on many different factors. Costs for basement mold removal depend on the extent of the damage, and what underlying problems caused the damage in the first place. Any company who gives you numbers before they inspect your home has a preconceived idea of what they ‘think’ the problem is. What you really need is a comprehensive mold and indoor air quality inspection.
A comprehensive mold and indoor air quality inspection (like ours) is very different from simply handing over a price. Imagine if your mechanic told you how much it would cost to fix your car without looking under the hood? Would you trust him (or her)? Getting a price for basement mold remediation without paying for a comprehensive mold inspection is a lot like that. Spending a few hundred dollars on a comprehensive mold inspection is money well spent, since a few hundred now could save you thousands in the long run.
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Why Basements are Magnets For Mold
Basement mold removal costs depend on several factors including:
- How extensive the mold problem is
- What building materials, furnishings, and belongings are affected
- Where the mold is located (hard to reach places are harder to clean)
Basements have all the things mold needs to grow: food (drywall, cardboard boxes, leather goods, etc.), oxygen, just the right temperature (65-75F), and moisture. Humidity higher than 60% gives mold a perfect environment in which to grow.
The good news is you can prevent mold from causing problems in your basement. Controlling moisture levels stops mold growth in its tracks.
WHAT IS MOLD?
Molds grow from microscopic spores that are everywhere in the air. Molds are found everywhere in nature, including your basement, and are important for recycling organic matter (such as leaves). The recycling process they perform returns nutrients to the soil and is important for plants to grow. They need four things to grow: oxygen, moisture, a food source, and the right temperature range.
Molds grow inside of their food sources. They penetrate deeply into drywall, carpets, underneath kitchen and bathroom sinks, etc. Anything with carbohydrates in it could be considered a food source for molds.
Moisture is the one thing you can reasonably control when it comes to mold. A dry home equals a home with less mold growth. Keeping areas dry, especially areas that use water frequently (like bathrooms), is important to prevent mold growth.
How Fast Do Molds Grow?
Once enough moisture is present, molds can begin to grow in less than 48 hours! Water behind baseboards and cabinets, wet carpet tack strips, in crawl spaces, basements, and other hard to reach areas are a ticking mold time bomb.
BASEMENT MOLD MAGNET – HIGH HUMIDITY
Basements are generally cool, damp environments because the dry air in the basement draws water from the surrounding soil. High humidity (greater than 55%) is one of the main factors encouraging mold growth in your basement. The key to decreasing humidity in your basement is keeping it dry.
Water Damage and Leaks Lead To Mold
Think about how mold grows. The tiniest bit of moisture combined with a food source at the right temperature – you’ve got mold. Think about where the pipes are located in your home… you guessed it, in the basement.
The smallest leaks are the worst for leading to mold because they usually go unnoticed. A large obvious leak is less likely to lead to mold since people usually notice gushing water and deal with it quickly to avoid mold growth. When large leaks happen, drying your home quickly is very important to prevent mold growth. Those small drip, drip, drips, that are so hard to detect, help the mold, and can severely hurt your home.
Learn more about water damage in our post: Top 6 Types of Water Damage and How to Avoid Them.
How Often To Check For Leaks
Ever heard the expression, ‘Prevention is worth 9/10 of the cure?’ This is definitely true when it comes to water damage and mold! Preventing mold growth from leaks is possible. Checking all appliances, near bathroom fixtures, under sinks, below pipes in the basement, and everywhere in your home that uses water on a regular schedule (at least every 3 months) can help prevent leaks before they become a problem. As you can see, fixing leaks quickly is vitally important to the integrity of your home!
Although you can’t always avoid catastrophic water damage to your home (think floods, burst pipes, etc.) small things, like a good home maintenance schedule, can keep mold growth at bay.
To learn more about how to avoid water damage check out our post: Top 10 Ways to Prevent Water Damage.
I found a leak and mold! What now?
If you do find leaks, the first thing to do is get them fixed as quickly as possible. Once you find it, get it fixed today. The longer it leaks, the more damage you will have.
The water is off, and you have the pipes fixed. Good job! Now, the real work begins.
If the problem was small and you caught it quickly, you might not have much mold. If you have an area of mold that is less than 10 square feet, you may be able to clean it yourself. Check out our A Simple Guide To Cleaning Mold to learn more.
If the water leak was in a difficult to see location, you may have more trouble determining if you have mold and how much it has penetrated the walls, carpet, etc. near the leak. It may also be very difficult to dry and clean the area without professional help.
To learn more about when to clean and when to call, check out our post: Cleaning Mold: DIY vs. Professional.
What Should The Inspection Process Look Like?
The company you choose should offer a comprehensive mold and indoor air quality inspection that you pay for, not hand over a price without truly investigating the problem. Whether you are located in our service area (Oconee, Clarke, Barrow, Walton, Green, Morgan, Jackson, Oglethorpe, and Madison County, Georgia) or not, we want everyone to know what mold removal should look like.
The primary reason you want to pay for a comprehensive inspection is the time and resources that go into the inspection. Some of our competitors offer “free” inspections, which basically means that the inspector shows up and hands over a price to fix a symptom, without truly knowing the nature of the problem.
Our process is far different. In addition to the questions we ask over the phone, once we arrive we ask many more. We treat every inspection like an investigation, and we’re on the case.
- Did you paint recently?
- How is your health?
- Any new furniture?
- Have you had any remodeling done?
Answers to these types of questions get us closer to solving the problem at hand, and help us to know where to look.
Next, the real investigation begins. We’ll crawl under the house, poke around, and take moisture and relative humidity readings in affected areas, unaffected areas, and outdoors for the best possible points of reference.
Sometimes the mold problem can be easily diagnosed and repaired, like a pipe leaking under the house, but other times we don’t find mold at all. Because the root of the problem is beyond the obvious, we need to think outside the box. No company that offers a free mold inspection will be going to great lengths to determine the true causes of your problem.
Will Insurance Cover Basement Mold Removal Costs?
Well, yes and no. If you have a catastrophic event, such as a tree fall, and the mold grows as a result, then it might be covered. It depends on your individual insurance policy. Preventable mold growth, such as growth caused by a water leak, is normally not covered by homeowners insurance.1 Insurance companies expect you to take care of your own property, that includes: keeping your roof in good shape, preventing leaks in the roof and plumbing, checking your basement or crawl space regularly, properly ventilating the bathroom, etc.1
So, for example, if you have mold forming in your bathroom, and you or your family members are sick as a result, it will probably not be covered by your homeowners insurance.1 That’s not to say that you shouldn’t try to fix the problem! Mold is not something you want in your home!
To learn how to prevent mold from growing in the first place check out our posts: Top 10 Ways to Prevent Water Damage.
Is Mold A Health Problem?
In one word… Yes. Mold is an insidious, invisible predator in your home. It hides in places no one ever thinks to look like under cabinets, in crawl spaces, and behind furniture. People may spend weeks, months, and even years fighting illness, and never know what they are really fighting…mold. Many of our customers find us after a recommendation from their doctor, that they may in fact have a mold problem, and not just an illness.
Mold is most often associated with allergies, but mold is much more menacing than people know. While all molds have the potential to cause irritation and allergy symptoms, molds can also cause much more dangerous health problems including: fungal poisoning and mental health problems.
You can learn more about mycotoxin poisoning in our article: When Mold Is Worse Than Allergies.
To learn more about how mold can affect mental health check out our articles: Mold and Mycotoxins: Effects on the Brain and Nervous System in Adults and Effects of Mold on Children’s Health.
WHAT DOES PROFESSIONAL BASEMENT MOLD REMOVAL LOOK LIKE?
There are 5 steps in the remediation process: 1 Define the Scope, 2 Protect the People, 3 Remove the Mold, 4 Correct Moisture Problems, and 5 Restoration.
Step 1 – Define the Scope
If the inspection of your home indicates that you have mold, your inspector will let you know the extent of the damage, and what repairs need to be made, such as fixing leaking pipes. The inspector will define the extent of the necessary work, and what may or may not need to be done. Your inspector should talk through all your options and tailor a plan that fits your needs and your budget.
When choosing a mold remediation company be sure to choose a mold inspection that you pay for, NOT one that is free. The primary reason that we charge for our mold inspections is the time and resources that go into each one. Some of our competitors offer “free” inspections, which basically means that the inspector shows up and hands over a price to fix a symptom, without truly knowing the nature of the problem. To learn more check out our post: Do You Have Mold? How to Choose Between a Paid or Free Mold Inspection.
Step 2 – Protect the People
Keeping your family and our crews safe is the first priority. This means preparing your home for the work that needs to be done. We will use methods such as containment walls and negative air to keep your home safe, and we’ll let you know if you can or cannot be in the home during the work.
Step 3 – Remove The Mold
We will start by removing and discarding non-salvageable material. Next, we will clean what can be saved. We always use safe and environmentally friendly products. There is no reason to replace one environmental toxin with another, such as bleach.
Step 4 – Correct Moisture Problems
Removing or correcting the source of moisture is a vital part of the remediation process to ensure mold does not return. This may be handled by a contractor outside the scope of the mold remediation. If walls or floors are opened up, now is the time to address plumbing issues and other leaks.
Step 5 – Restoration
If walls or floors were removed during the remediation, the final step will be reinstalling what was taken out.
To learn more about the mold removal process from start to finish check out our post Home Mold Remediation for all the details.
WHEN TO CLEAN / WHEN TO CALL
If you’re familiar with our blog, you know that the first thing to do when cleaning mold is to fix the moisture problem that led to the mold growth. Until you fix the moisture problem, mold will continue to grow and spread.
Customers often ask, “Can I clean the mold myself or do I need a professional?” Our answer depends several factors including:
- how extensive the mold problem is
- what building materials, furnishings, and belongings are affected
- where the mold is located
- whether or not you mind being in confined spaces such as your crawlspace, basement, or attic
To get all the details check out our post: Cleaning Mold: DIY vs. Professional.
Especially if you don’t live in our service area, you should check out our post: How to Choose a Mold Removal Company. We tell you every question you should ask a mold removal company and give you the details you need to know.
The Branch Difference
If you think you’ve got a real problem, you’re far better off with a thorough inspection like ours. At Branch Environmental, we analyze the symptoms to determine the root cause of your problem. We see each mold inspection as an in-depth investigation, not an opportunity to hand over a guess-based estimate of work. If you think you may need a mold inspection, get in touch with us, and we’ll get down to the source.
Call Branch Environmental. We’re experts not only at mold removal, but at determining and remediating the underlying causes. From hidden mold sources to major contaminants, we can identify exactly what is going on in your home and rid it of environmental toxins, often for good.
Branch Environmental – Because nobody should live or work in a building that makes them sick.
For more information go to:
- Is mold damage covered by homeowners insurance? – Insurance.com
- Top 8 Reasons Why Clean Air Is More Important Than Ever – Branch Environmental
- Beyond Mold Inspections, Branch Delivers Mold Investigations – Branch Environmental
- 5 Expectations about Mold vs. Eye-Opening Reality – Branch Environmental
- Do You Have Mold? How to Choose Between a Paid or Free Mold Inspection – Branch Environmental
- Should I Get a Mold Inspection When Buying a Home? – Branch Environmental
- How Does Mold Affect Your Health? – Branch Environmental
- How Does Your Home Affect Your Allergies? – Branch Environmental
- When Mold Is Worse Than Allergies – Branch Environmental
- Mold and Mycotoxins: Effects on the Brain and Nervous System in Adults – Branch Environmental
- Effects of Mold on Children’s Health – Branch Environmental
- Tells You the Truth About Mold Air Sampling In The Next 60 Seconds – Branch Environmental
- Home Mold Remediation – Branch Environmental
- Home of 10,000 Leaks: Why Water Damage Leads To Mold – Branch Environmental
- How to Choose a Mold Removal Company – Branch Environmental
- Basement Mold Prevention – Branch Environmental
- How to Prevent Bathroom Mold – Branch Environmental
- Prevent Basement Mold With Air Conditioning and Ventilation – Branch Environmental
- How to Choose Between Freestanding and Built-in Dehumidifiers – Branch Environmental
- Burst Pipes and Flooding: A 6 Step Plan of Action – Branch Environmental
- Top 10 Ways to Prevent Water Damage – Branch Environmental
- Top 6 Types of Water Damage and How to Avoid Them – Branch Environmental
- Do You Know How To Shut Your Water Off? – Branch Environmental
- A Simple Guide To Cleaning Mold – Branch Environmental
- Branch Environmental Keeping You Safe – Branch Environmental
- Home Mold Remediation – Branch Environmental
- Cleaning Mold: DIY vs. Professional – Branch Environmental