Is seeing mold in my home unusual?
The short answer? No. We have all seen a little mold along the caulk line on a bathtub. Or, you may spot some mold forming on a piece of abandoned fruit or an opened package of cheese. But when you see it on a wall or baseboard, you may have a festering problem!
Mold grows on organic surfaces such as dirt, wood, paper, cardboard, leather, fabric…well, you get the idea. All it needs is a little water and it’s off to the races! This moisture could be from condensation on a cold wall or pipe, or the pipe could actually be leaking.
Regardless of the cause, if you see mold and there isn’t an obvious reason (think: old orange) then you should investigate. Where is the moisture coming from? You see, mold spores are virtually everywhere. They are nature’s great recycler. The recipe is simple. Provide food (even dust on a coffee table) add a little water…even high humidity…and you are guaranteed that mold spores floating around will land on it. When they do, allow to “cook” for three or four days at room temperature and you’ve got mold!
The lesson here is this: Don’t allow things in your home or office to get and stay wet! Spill something? Wipe it up. Rain comes in? Dry it out. Excessive humidity? Dehumidify or ventilate. Pipe leaks? Fix it!
Sticker Shock! Why is Mold Remediation so expensive?
Good question! Over a decade ago the subject of toxic black mold was the hot topic in the news. While professional restorers and remediators continued to do a good job of the cleanup, unscrupulous “contractors” took advantage of the fear factor and charged very high prices for very poor quality work. These few folks placed a stain on our industry, so Industry Standards were developed to protect citizens and to level the playing field by everyone having to do it right.
Do you remember in the movie, ET, that plastic tunnel the scientists build from the home to the special van….and the special suits they wore? Professional remediation is similar. Although not nearly as stringent as the rules for asbestos abatement, it is critical that precautions be taken to avoid contaminating the rest of the home. Further, the occupants and workers need these engineering controls to protect them.
The work is difficult, especially with protective gear on. The level of detail required is incredible. Absolutely everything must be decontaminated down to the last mold spore.
Still, the typical rates are only slightly higher than a remodeling contractor might charge. When you think about the hard costs of specialized equipment and training along with the heavy insurance requirements they have to protect you, it’s understandable. Especially when you consider that although you are not getting something like a new bay window or a fireplace, you are getting peace-of-mind knowing the job is done correctly.