If you’re in need of mold remediation near San Antonio, TX, and the surrounding area, give us a call. Here’s a quick story of why you should take care of mold sooner rather than later:
Patty Miller went to her doctor complaining of frequent headaches, irritated eyes and “itchy” arms. An assortment of tests came back with no answers so she was sent home with a recommendation for over the counter allergy medications, though she had no history of allergy problems. It wasn’t until she hired a contractor to update her bathroom that a slow leak was discovered in the wall cavity between her bath and bedroom where black mold had grown deep into the wood and sheetrock just a few feet from her bed. She hired a licensed mold remediation company in Texas and within days of the work being completed, her symptoms disappeared. Patty was fortunate to discover it early before repeated exposure led to more serious respiratory issues or worse.
What is Mold Remediation?
Water damage in your home, whether it’s from a small leak or a flood, can lead to mold growth if left alone. Growth can begin in as little as 24 to 48 after a water intrusion event and can spread quickly in the right conditions. Depending on the materials contaminated and how far it spread, mold remediation services may be necessary.
Mold remediation is a comprehensive process to not only remove contaminated materials, but to properly clean and treat all remaining surfaces and ensure that mold levels have been returned to that which is naturally occurring.
When is Mold Remediation Necessary?
The short answer: mold remediation is necessary the minute mold growth starts! Mold growth isn’t always obvious and can be lurking in hidden areas, however, there are some signs to look out for that if noticed should be investigated further.
Water Intrusion Event
A water intrusion event could be any of the following: roof leak, pipe break, AC condensation leak, leaky faucet or pipes, flood from exterior, sewer backup or even excessive humidity in stagnant air. All of these events can provide the perfect breeding ground for mold growth and should be assessed by a professional plumber or AC technician as soon as possible to correct the issue and stop the leak. Keep in mind that fabrics like carpet, padding, beds and clothing all take longer to dry out and are prime candidates for mold growth if not dried quickly.
Musty or Mildew Odor
Have you ever been in an old basement with concrete walls? The moisture in the ground that collects around those walls can penetrate and often puts off an odd smell that is usually associated with existing mold growth or prime conditions for it. This smell is very obvious in homes or buildings where a flood has receded and left moisture in the floor and walls. If you smell an odd, musty moisture odor anywhere in your home, it could be an indication that mold growth is present and needs to be addressed.
Moisture Stains and Discoloration
Water stains on the ceiling can be gray, yellowish or brown and are usually a good place to start if looking for mold. Mold may be on the surface you are looking at or on the back side you can’t see. You may also see these stains on sheetrock, baseboards, on shower tile or around tubs. Remember that mold isn’t just black, it can be white, grayish, green or brown too.
Allergy-like Symptoms May Be An Indicator
Often mistaken for cold or allergy symptoms, exposure to mold spores can produce a variety of health issues such as headaches, runny nose, coughing, itchy eyes, sore throat and rashes. Unfortunately, this is more of a critical sign of mold growth that goes unrecognized because people typically suspect mold as the cause of their symptoms. Reoccurring symptoms for no apparent reason may be an indication of a lurking mold issue and should be investigated further as long-term exposure can produce more severe health issues.
Understanding the Mold Remediation Process
While each mold remediation project requires its own specific scope of work, there are general procedures that ECS adheres to for every job. The following is a list of how our process works if we take on a remediation project for you:
- Step 1: We will schedule an on-site inspection of the home or building along with a review of the Mold Assessment Report if a Mold Assessment Consultant was hired to perform one. (A Mold Assessment Consultant’s assessment report may be required for apartments where visible growth exceeds 25 contiguous sq ft)
- Step 2: We will put together a comprehensive scope of work and estimate for the cost of the project.
- Step 3: If approved we will arrive on our agreed upon schedule date to begin and set up all necessary containment and air control measures.
- Step 4: All unsalvageable contaminated materials will be removed and disposed of. This may include but not be limited to carpet, padding, sheetrock, baseboards, cabinetry and any other contaminated materials that are too damaged to be cleaned and saved.
- Step 5: Microfiber wipe down of all salvageable hard-surfaced materials to remove any surface growth
- Step 6: All exposed framing and subfloor will be cleaned of any microbial growth discovered after initial demo
- Step 7: All surfaces in the contained area will be HEPA vacuumed and wiped down with an anti-microbial solution to remove any remaining loose spores or hyphae.
- Step 8: A fungicidal encapsulate will be applied to exposed framing, subfloor and where necessary.
- Step 9: Breakdown of containment and final cleanup.
Frequently Asked Questions About Mold Remediation
Mold remediation isn’t a service most people hope to need someday so when it becomes necessary it’s important to get as much information as possible. We’ve put together a few of the most common questions surrounding mold remediation in Texas to help guide you through some of that information.
When Is Mold Remediation Required?
Mold remediation must be performed by a licensed mold remediation company in most circumstances, however, there are certain exemptions. If a project falls under the following categories, it is exempt from the Texas Mold Rules and licensing requirements:
- The amount of mold contamination affects a total surface area of less than 25 contiguous square feet.
- You are the owner, managing agent or employee of an owner performing mold-related activities on a residential property that has fewer than 10 residential dwelling units, regardless of the total surface area of mold contaminated material.
- You are the owner or tenant, or a managing agent or employee of an owner or tenant, performing mold-related activities on property owned or leased and the amount of mold contamination affects a total surface area of less than 25 contiguous square feet.
- You perform mold-related activities on a one or two-family dwelling in the process of constructing or improving the dwelling regardless of the total surface area of mold contaminated material. “Construction” and “improvement” are essentially anything that requires a building permit.
- Licensed professionals that provide consulting services in their field to a mold licensee do not need to have a separate mold license.
- Insurance adjusters that are investigating and reviewing losses to insured property, assigning coverage, or estimating reasonable and customary expenses due under the policy do not need to be separately licensed under the Texas Mold Regulations.
How Much Does Mold Remediation Cost?
Mold remediation can cost as little as a few hundred dollars for a small, simple area but can easily reach as much as several thousand dollars or more for complicated projects. Factors that impact the cost of mold remediation services in Texas include the size of the contaminated area, the type and amount of materials that need to be cleaned or removed and the complexity of the containment necessary to protect surrounding areas from exposure. There can also be additional contamination discovered when walls are opened up, ceiling is removed or cabinetry is removed. This may also have an impact on the scope of work and cost. An experienced remediation company should be able to give you a reasonably accurate estimation of cost after inspection.
How Long Does Mold Remediation Take?
How long a mold remediation project takes will depend on the size and scope of the project of course but contamination contained to a single room might take as little as a single day. Multiple rooms could take up to a week and an entire home could take multiple weeks. It all depends on how deep the contamination is and how widespread.
Can You Stay In Home During Mold Remediation?
If the contamination is limited to a single room or an area that can be safely contained to protect the remainder of the home then it is possible for a family to remain in the home during the remediation process. However, if the entire home or access points are contaminated then the home will need to be vacated for the duration of the project.
Does Home Insurance Cover Mold Remediation?
Most homeowners insurance policies in Texas only cover sudden accidental water leaks but don’t cover the damage resulting from continuous long-term water exposure such as mold growth. Mold coverage can be added to policies, however.
Can You Do Your Own Mold Remediation?
In the state of Texas, you can do your own mold remediation if the project falls under the exemption categories listed above. Please see the FAQ regarding when mold remediation is required.
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