Home > Case Studies > How We Saved Our Customer $30,000


Why Bad Mold Remediation Is Worse
Than No Remediation – Part One

Trading a $6.5K Bill For $145K

From the desk of David Myrick, Owner of Valor Mold Removal
Let’s face it – like most Virginia and DC homeowners, you probably know little about mold and the mold remediation process. All you know is that mold is a bad thing to have in your home and that, when it colonizes your home, you need something called remediation.
Unfortunately, when done properly, the process is exceptionally labor-intensive and comes with a price tag that can shock some homeowners.
Many less-than-reputable companies know this and advertise prices that match homeowner expectations.
The way they achieve such low pricing is by ignoring almost all mold remediation protocols and essentially putting on a dog and pony show for the homeowners while achieving nothing (at best), or spreading mold throughout the home (at worst).

Falling For The Two’fer Charade

We have a repeat customer who has a foundation wall in his basement that is constantly growing mold on its surface.
After our second visit, he got the wall waterproofed, but it didn’t help. When he called us back for a third visit, his wall still tested 100% wet. So, whoever claimed to have waterproofed his wall did essentially nothing to solve the moisture problem.
This time, he was preparing to put the house up for sale in two months. While pulling down wallpaper in the downstairs rec room, he found mold living behind the paper and on the wall, which prompted his call to us.
I inspected his home and gave him a remediation proposal for $6,558.
He declined the proposal in favor of another company. That company gave off two huge red flags (the first of which was why he selected them over us) that he chose to ignore.
  1. They did both remediation and waterproofing – When companies do more than one specialty, they are usually great at one and treat the others as afterthoughts.
  2. They said they could start the next day – Any decent contractor in the Virginia/DC area is always booked out weeks (if not months) in advance.
I thanked him for the notice and waited for him to call when everything inevitably went sideways on him.

Instantly Uneasy

The client called me sooner than I expected, calling me while the remediator was still onsite, and expressed that he was unsure of the quality of their work.
I asked him two questions:
  • Did they set up containment?
  • Is there a tube going out the window?
He answered yes to both.
Containment and setting up negative pressure are the two most important steps in remediation, so I told him it seemed like he was in good hands.
I told him to ask the remediator to leave the containment up when they were finished so he could hire a mold tester to check that the remediation was done properly.
This final step would protect him if it wasn’t remediated correctly (to get the remediator to return and finish the work), or when he sold the home as proof that he took appropriate action to solve his mold problem.
Little did I know that I should have asked the poor guy a few more questions.

A Midnight Call For Help

A little bit later, I got a text from my previous client that was full of concerns and a plea for help. He worried that instead of removing all the mold, the company he used simply tried to kill it off.
He said they did remove nearly all the drywall but then used a fogger on the rest.
RED FLAG – Killing the mold you see does nothing to solve a mold problem.
He was also worried that they then just tossed up a vapor seal to cover the dead mold rather than cleaning it all away as they should.
He wanted Valor Mold to finish the job and expressed his hope that we could fit him into our schedule the next month.


I called him the next morning and was confused by what he said. He said that the contractor had put his possessions inside the containment.
Who would do that? That means everything was now contaminated with mold spores. It just didn’t make sense.
He also said he could see the wall they remediated, which shouldn’t be possible if the containment was still up. So, I asked him to send me pictures.
And then it all became clear.
They put flimsy containment that was way below standards around the customer’s belongings and left the work area wide open to the rest of the house.
Then he told me that he’d gotten so agitated that he took down the vapor barrier they had put up, and discovered that they hadn’t touched the mold on the framing, just covered it up with the barrier.
This company broke so many remediation rules that it was difficult to keep track of their mistakes.
The customer, now realizing what a terrible job they’d done, asked me to bring my InstaScope and test the rest of his house.

The Terrible Truth

The average mold count in a DC-area home is 4,624. Any count within an acceptable range of that will get a green light from my InstaScope. Here were the readings for this man’s home.





Basement Rec



Basement Storage



Main – Kitchen



Main – Dining



2nd – Kids Bed




2nd – Master Bed


As you can see, the basement and main floor were heavily contaminated with mold spores, most likely thanks to the other company’s gross incompetence.
While you can’t prove exactly what happened without a pre-remediation reading in these rooms, this home was no longer safe for his family to inhabit.
While you can’t prove exactly what happened without a pre-remediation reading in these rooms, this home was no longer safe for his family to inhabit.
But this situation was very dangerous for him and his family.
After taking measurements of the affected areas, I created a proposal for undoing all the damage from the previous company, including cleaning his belongings in the contaminated rooms.
We use a third-party content cleaning contractor who gave us an estimate of around $80,000 for their part of the job. Our part of the remediation, cleaning up all the mold spores after his belongings were removed, came in at around $65,000.

Unpleasant Reality

So, in an effort to save a couple of thousand dollars, our customer turned a $6,500 job into a $145,000 job.
Sure, he could force the other company back to do the job right, but, considering how badly they messed up, I’d question if they even knew how to do it correctly.
Or, he could sue them to recover his new costs, but that takes years and, on average, another $50,000.
The harsh reality is that he was essentially stuck with a bill over 200% higher than the original quote that he rejected in order to “save money.”

A Life Lesson

The lesson here is that, when dealing with household mold, doing nothing is better than inviting a company that doesn’t know what it’s doing into your home.
And how do you know whether a mold company is capable or not?
Check their certifications.
Check their website.
Look at their gallery and see if, like the one my customer picked, their images show technicians using foggers. Almost every image on the company’s site was of someone using a fogger on areas they could easily reach.
They can have all the positive online reviews in the world, but if they are using foggers on all their jobs, those reviews don’t matter.
Foggers solve nothing. They are no more effective than encapsulating mold with special paint, which is to say – not at all. It’s a coverup, not a solution.
Images of fogging are a neon sign saying, “We have no idea what we are doing.”
If you have a mold problem in your Virginia or DC area home and want true professionals to take care of the problem, contact us at Valor Mold Removal for a free estimate.

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