In addition to fixing the moisture problem that caused the mold problem, you also need to get rid of the mold properly.
To do so, there are three options:
- Do it yourself (DIY) fixes to getting rid of attic mold (i.e. removing attic mold yourself)
- Fix the moisture problems only but leave the attic mold behind
- Professional attic mold remediation
Option #1: Do it yourself (DIY)
We take pride in the fact that nearly every day we turn down business and help consumers fix their mold problems on their own without hiring us. We will not take on certain jobs that we feel the homeowner can or is willing to do on their own. So we have absolutely no problem in providing a homeowner with a “do it yourself” (DIY) action plan for getting rid of mold. Just listen to what Gabriel from Chicago said when he contacted Moldman:
“My wife and I are extremely pleased with services provided by Moldman. We had a few small spots of mold growing in our baby’s room … We contacted Moldman for an inspection … And they were able to recommend us a remedy that we could do by ourselves … without charging a dime! [Bolded added]. Other companies we contacted wanted to charge hundreds of dollars just to come out and check if it was indeed mold: of course it is mold! It’s nice to see there are still honest people out there and Moldman is one of them.” Gabriel D. – Chicago, IL
We quote Gabriel not to brag and toot our own horn but to point out that we live by what we say and will recommend “do it yourself” (DIY) fixes when appropriate. We are not sure of any other mold company that would do this.
In the case of attic mold, we 100% can NOT recommend any do it yourself (DIY) fixes, though.
Attics are probably the most dangerous area of your home. They are extremely dangerous even for our experienced workers who have done countless attic mold removal jobs. One wrong step and you could fall through the floor joists and cause yourself serious injury or even death.
Besides falling through the ceiling, you can also step on a protruding nail, hit your head on a rafter, run into nesting animals or electrocute yourself, among many other dangers if you are not careful.
Further, respiration and breathing can be very difficult in attics due to their often small and hot confined spaces and even doubly so when the small confined attic space is filled with mold spores.
Lastly, even if you avoided all the dangers mentioned above, attic jobs can be complicated and require things like negative air setup, containment, creating temporary flooring, and other variables that take time and experience that can only be accrued from many attic jobs to learn and do properly.
It’s not likely the weekend warrior is going come close to do these things right with his first attic mold removal job. The last thing you or anyone else wants is for a job to be done incorrectly, putting you and your family at risk for future exposure.
Option #2: Fix the moisture problems only but leave the attic mold behind
Sometimes you may hear someone argue that mold in the attic doesn’t really matter because it’s not a livable space where much time is spent. We strongly disagree with this argument for a number of reasons:
- Mold in the attic will likely kill a real estate transaction and scare away potential buyers if it’s not fixed . If you ignore a mold problem in your attic, do not expect the next buyer of your house to do the same when it will inevitably be discovered during the home inspection. Home sellers take a major risk of buyers walking away if mold is discovered. Better to be proactive and fix it before you are ready to sell then let it be discovered during a home inspection when a buyer may simply decide to walk. If the buyer decides not to walk, he or she is almost certainly going to want it fixed before closing (or receive a big credit at closing / price reduction) and it’s pretty much a guarantee that the bank will require that the attic mold is remediated before giving a loan to the buyer.
- Air can be depressurized and pulled down from the attic into the livable space. This means it is possible for moldy attic air to enter livable spaces from the attic and affect the health of the occupants.
- Mold problems are indications of water problems. Water and mold problems in the attic can deteriorate wood in the roof sheathing, joists, etc and eventually cause rotting and reducing the life of your roof.
- At some point, you will probably need to go to your attic for something. Perhaps you use it for storage. Maybe it’s infrequently, but you’re exposing yourself and others (if the attic is open) to moldy air if you enter an attic that has a mold problem.
For all these reasons, simply fixing the water/moisture problem and not the mold problem in an attic is a bad idea.
Option #3: Professional attic mold remediation
Attics are too dangerous to try to fix on your own and even if you avoid the dangers, attic jobs are complex and there is a good chance someone with little experience will do the job improperly and potentially expose themselves and their family to mold related health symptoms. In addition, fixing the moisture/water problem while leaving the mold behind is a like putting the finger in the dam because sooner or later you are going to have to remove the mold too.
If you hire the right professional, you will obtain peace of mind for yourself and family that the job was done right and you can regain the clean healthy air in your home that you and your family deserve. You can also breathe a sigh of relief that you do not have to worry about nasty mold impacting your health and others living with you.
And of course, you can rest easy knowing that if and when you decide to sell your home, the transaction will not be held up or killed by a previously unknown attic mold problem.
How Much Does Professional Mold Removal Cost?
Now, the most important question: how much does mold removal cost? How much can you expect to pay on a per square foot basis for attic mold removal?
We’ll lift the veil and answer this question directly right away after we say just one very important thing beforehand: Make sure you read this entire section so you can really understand the cost of professional attic mold removal and remediation.
Moldman charges an average of about $1500-$3000 for professional attic mold removal and remediation. Other companies will charge upwards of $6,000 or higher for attic mold removal.
Note that since every job is different, sometimes it might be higher than $1500-$3000, but sometimes it might be lower, too.
We do have a Low Price Guarantee, though. This means we will beat any competitor’s price by 10%, so you can be sure you are always getting the lowest prices!
The Other Guys
When you check around for pricing, beware that 99% of companies that provide attic mold removal will hem and haw before answering this question. They’ll want a chance to come to your home before they’ll provide an estimate. Usually, they will give you some spiel along the lines of “All jobs are different. It’s impossible for me to give you a cost before I come to your house and look at your attic.”
This is partially true, but it’s mostly a sales gimmick.
Every attic job is different, of course, but this does not mean the company you ask cannot provide a narrow range (a wide range of like $1,000-$10,000 is basically avoiding answering the question).
With attics, there are enough controlled variables that are the same from one job to the next that they should be able to give you a ballpark range before ever stepping foot in your home. At Moldman, we always go to your home, too, to provide a formal estimate but that does not mean we cannot give you a ballpark idea beforehand.
There are several reasons why most other mold companies probably avoid answering this question beforehand:
- Sticker shock. Even though we guarantee the lowest prices as noted above, it’s still not cheap.
- Scare tactics. Sadly many companies rely on instilling fear and bad information about mold, then unloading the bombshell afterwards (the cost) to make it much easier to swallow. This is a really effective sales tactic, but it’s unethical and Moldman would never do this.
- Competitive advantage. Some companies don’t want their competitors knowing their prices. But after a while when you have been in this industry long enough, it’s not a secret! They worry that you’ll price shop if they advertise their prices. Of course you will! But this will happen regardless whether they advertise their prices or not.
- Fatigue. By the time a mold removal company is at your home, you’re probably tired of dealing with phone calls and inspection appointments. Other companies figure that once they’re inside your home, you’ll just give up and sign anything to make the problem go away.
We don’t really see what the big deal is about talking about cost. You are going to find out eventually anyway! What are these other companies hiding from you?
Find a Long-term Solution
We know cost is essential. But it’s not the only factor to consider when hiring a professional. Once you make the decision to hire a professional, there are two questions to consider like Shannon did:
- What exactly are the steps that a properly trained professional takes to get rid of the mold? You want to make sure whoever you hire does the job right.
- What should you look for when considering hiring a professional to get rid of your attic mold? You want to make sure you hire the best professional for the job.
How To Remove Attic Mold
Moldman follows industry guidelines and performs the following steps with another crew member when removing attic mold:
- Safety. All workers wear appropriate PPE (Personal Protective Equipment – gloves, masks, suits, etc).
- Negative Air. All work performed in negative-air containment with HEPA filtered exhaust. (i.e. Remove contaminated air from the work space by pumping bad air out and pulling good air.)
- HEPA Clean Air. Clean air with industrial strength HEPA Air Scrubbers.
- HEPA Vacuum Affected Surfaces. HEPA vacuum affected surfaces such as exposed 2x4s, plywood, joists etc.
- Antimicrobial to Affected Areas. Clean affected surfaces with antimicrobial sanitizer/stain remover.
- Encapsulate. Encapsulate (seal) treated areas with sealer/preservative/fungicide.
No Demolition Required
Notice in these steps that there is no mention of taking a wrecking ball to the home! When you discover mold–whether it’s in the attic or elsewhere–you need to focus your attention on the source of the mold and water problem, in this case the attic. That doesn’t require demolition; it requires patience and intelligence.
Of course if the water problem is widespread, than other areas of the home could have mold besides the attic. If you know for certain that the moisture problem is confined to a certain area like a portion of the attic, though, you do not need to say go to an area of the home far away like the basement and start ripping everything out.
Even though you do not take a wrecking ball to the rest of the home, there should be a professional cleaning of the rest of the home using the techniques mentioned above (antimicrobial, HEPA air scrubbers, etc), but again, there’s no need for expensive demo (and subsequent expensive remodeling) in the rest of the home where there is no water or mold problem afterwards.
Note also, that we did not mention replacing the roof. You almost never need to replace a roof because of attic mold. You may need to replace the roof for other reasons –like the roof is in really poor condition due to age and wear and tear (which lead to mold growth). Attic mold itself will rarely require that you replace the roof, though.
In the field: A recent attic mold remediation experience
A recent client, Shannon, had us remove attic mold from her home. The job was difficult, however no type of demolition was required to complete the job. Mike Troyer of Moldman responded that “All attic jobs are a challenge. Shannon’s was no different. There was heavy mold throughout and the space was small, tight and hot, making working conditions a real challenge.”
When we asked him whether there was anything that stood out about this particular attic job, Mike responded without hesitation: “Yes. The opening to the attic was in the ceiling of a small closet in the bedroom. The closet space was small, making it hard to move around where we needed to be to get up to the attic.”
“But most challenging of all”, Mike continues, “Is that the entry point to the attic itself was very tiny. This made it difficult to get up and down the attic and to bring in materials for the job, like the plywoods that we needed to make temporary flooring to place on top of the attic floor joists.
We had to cut the plywoods in half just to make them fit through the access point to the attic and even then the plywoods barely fit. But we had to make it work because the floor joists of the attic were covered in blown in insulation and you cannot just walk around an attic on floor joists, especially ones that are covered up and hidden in insulation, or you risk falling and causing serious injury.”
Every attic job is different, but setting up temporary flooring with plywoods is always needed when there are only floor joists underneath. And finding the floor joists covered in blown-in insulation is quite common too.
Conclusion: Choose Moldman
Not all professionals are the same so what should you look for when considering hiring a professional to get rid of your attic mold?
Some factors may matter more to some than others, but for Shannon, she ultimately made her decision based on:
b) price, and
Shannon was really impressed with Moldman Manager Mike Troyer’s enthusiasm and attitude.
“Mike was really responsive”, Shannon recalls. “He came out right away, gave me an estimate soon after, then came out and did the job the next day once I gave him approval. He did a great job too. I’ve already recommended him to other real estate agents that I work with and passed out his business cards to many people.”