Compare Apples to Apples – Questions and Documents Required To Hire A Mold Removal Contractor!
Mold removal is often referred to as mold remediation because professional companies like Valor Mold invest in education and training.
Professionals understand that determining the underlying cause of the mold problem, i.e. moisture issues, must first be fixed before any remediation should take place.
Unfortunately, there are many untrained and inexperienced mold removal contractors trying to earn a quick buck. These contractors don’t perform mold remediation according to industry guidelines, and often recommend the spraying or fogging of chemicals on surface mold. These “spray and pray” contractors tend to quote really low prices because they are just trying to kill mold, which is not a long term solution.
The challenge for consumers is determining whom to hire, particularly if you get quotes from several firms and you receive varying high and low estimates.
This article has two goals. First, we explain what questions you need to ask each prospective contractor you are considering hiring. Second, we explain how mold removal pricing is determined and what documents you should request from every contractor quoting on your mold removal project. This knowledge will empower you to compare “apples to apples” and make better hiring decisions.
Top 10 Questions You Should Ask The Mold Removal Contractor!
Since there are no uniform regulations or licensing requirements for mold remediation contractors, consumers must educate themselves to make informed choices. This is particularly important when you are having mold removed from your home because an inexperienced or untrained contractor can actually make the mold situation worse.
The key to preventing further mold growth and future problems is to ensure the job is done properly. How can you judge whether the company knows what they are doing and will do a good job?
Before you commit to working with any mold remediation firm, be sure to ask these questions. You should receive a YES answer to all of these questions:
- Will the mold removal contractor give you a written contract/change order?
- Will the mold removal contractor give you a remediation plan?
- Will the mold removal contractor give you a post-remediation report?
- Will the mold removal contractor recommend independent indoor environmental professionals that can provide you with a post-remediation verification report, so that their work is verified as a success?
- Will the mold removal contractor give you proof of insurance?
- Are the mold removal contractor’s employees trained through recognized organizations like the IICRC?
- Will the mold removal contractor set up containment to prevent cross contamination?
- Will the mold removal contractor use negative air machines and air scrubbers to clean the air?
- Will the mold removal contractor give you a list of referrals and their contact details?
- Will the mold removal contractor use DOP (Dispersed Oil Particulate) tested equipment which is a process that tests the integrity of the HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters used?
Ideally, you should get YES answers to all of these questions and if you don’t keep interviewing prospective contractors.
Answers To These Three Questions Help Determine Cost!
Valor Mold has done projects that cost $1,500, but we have also had projects that were over $90,000. The reason that pricing for mold removal varies is every situation is different and reputable mold removal contractors will provide an estimate based on your specific situation.
Generally speaking, mold removal cost is determined by getting answers to these three questions:
- How much of the area is infected with mold?
- What kind of materials are infected?
- How easy is it to access the mold?
Once these three questions are answered, then a mold removal estimate can be prepared along with the scope of work.
Typically, the average household mold removal project will range from $1,500 to $6,000, with an average of $4,000. Commercial projects are usually more.
Once you get an estimate, the hard part is determining which company you should work with.
It is important to understand that you are the customer and make the ultimate decision who you decide to work with.
With this in mind, we recommend that you make time to do your due diligence.
Get At Least 3 Estimates!
In addition, we recommend that you get a minimum of three estimates from mold removal contractors in your area before making the final decision. Getting three estimates will give you peace of mind that you did your due diligence.
At minimum, experienced and professional contractors should provide you with these three documents to help you make your final decision:
- An itemized estimate.
- A mold removal scope of work.
- A contract, sometimes referred to as an Authorization to Proceed.
1. Itemized Estimate
This is the most important document because it will provide you with a line by line breakdown of all the costs involved in your remediation project, detailing what exactly you are paying for.
If you get an estimate with simply one line that says “Mold Remediation and then a dollar amount”, then be careful about committing because such an estimate does not really tell you what you are paying for.
When you get a quote, demand to know what the costs are. Estimates typically will give you costs for: equipment; garbage removal; materials and consumables; mold removal labor; documentation; equipment decontamination; management charges; etc.
A detailed break down will give you a much better idea of what you are paying for and allow you to do a better comparison with other quotes.
2. Scope of Work
The scope of work is the work plan that explains exactly what will be done to remove the mold.
If you do not get a scope of work or the contractor is unwilling to provide you with one, then we do not recommend that you hire them.
Before committing to anything you need to see a written plan.
How can you trust the efficacy of a contractor that does not have a plan and is not or unwilling to provide it to you in writing?
3. Contract / Authorization To Proceed
A written contract protects you and the contractor because it outlines, in writing, what each party is responsible for.
It is imperative that you thoroughly review and understand the contract before signing. Once the contract is signed, the work can begin.
Price Is Not The Only Consideration!
Mold remediation is a profession, meaning personnel that perform the tasks of mold removal safely and effectively have invested in education and training to ensure that they Do It Right The First Time!
You need to use your best judgement and hire the contractor that you trust and want to work with.
Your best tool to investigate and gauge your level of trust is to ask questions, do research, get references, and do your due diligence.
Once you are comfortable, do not just hire the contractor with the least expensive quote, work with the contractor that is most qualified, most experienced, and has the best reputation. In short, when evaluating your mold remediation quotes, be sure to compare apples to apples!
There is a cost to professional mold removal that is done effectively. You get what you pay for, meaning the cheapest quote may not always be the best option.
Got Mold Questions?
It is always a good idea to receive more than one quote when mold is found in your property and it is determined that remediation must occur to make the indoor environment healthy.
Ignoring your mold problem will simply make matters worse and result in higher remediation costs because mold will continue to proliferate and not only impact the air quality, but ultimately degrade the structural integrity of the property.
Mold is like a parasite and will keep feeding until it is removed completely and the conditions that allow its survival remain.
— Valor Mold (@ValorMold) August 2, 2019