Table of contents
- The Basics – Line Item Pricing vs. Time and Materials
- Great Employees Expect Greater Pay Rates and Benefits
- Condos, Townhouses and Single Family Homes – Why Location Matters
- Traditional Mold Remediation vs. Small Particle Remediation
- What Other Costs do I Need to be Aware of?
- Wrapping up – How Much Does Professional Mold Remediation Services Cost?
So, how much does professional mold remediation services cost? Excellent question! And, unfortunately, a question that has many answers – depending on who you ask. With no background information whatsoever, you may expect costs to be anywhere from $1,000 to $100,000+. This price range isn’t very helpful, as I’m sure you’re wondering if you’re closer to that $1k price or needing to sell your car to pay for the service(s) you need. If you were to google this phase, you’d find numerous non-service websites answering this question. Forbes, This Old House and Bob Villa are some examples of websites that discuss mold remediation services and their associated costs. While there is certainly some great information within these sites and others like them, there are numerous others factors not often talked about. In fact, many of these factors are truly what influence the cost of mold-related services. However, before we get into these, lets first cover the basics.
The Basics – Line Item Pricing vs. Time and Materials
There are two main industry-standardized approaches that professional mold companies will often follow: Line item pricing and Time and Materials (often called T&M) pricing. Line item pricing involves a project manager, sales team member or similar positioned individual putting together an estimate based on each task that will need to be performed. Common tasks are containment setup, floor protection, drywall removal, HEPA vacuuming, damp wiping, fogging and varying machinery. Often times, these line items will be priced per square foot (SF). With this type of pricing, it’s easy to understanding why remediating a 2,000 SF area is more than remediation within a 1,000 SF area.
Now, let’s talk about T&M pricing. This approach to project quoting involves a restoration professional estimating the amount of time remediation technicians will spend performing all of the tasks associated with the project. Furthermore, an estimation needs to be made on the costs associated with the materials needed to get the project done. Materials often include plastic or poly sheeting, painters tape, duct tape, lay-flat tubing, pleated filters, cleaning products and miscellaneous other consumables. With this type of pricing, the restoration professional’s experience and knowledge of the industry really comes into play. One benefit to this type of pricing is that the final cost of a project may come down, if less time is needed to complete the scope of work. With all things being equal, the opposite can also occur – increasing cost based on more time needed to complete the project. Now that we know the basics, let’s get into some of the more influential pricing factors.
Great Employees Expect Greater Pay Rates and Benefits
That’s right! We’ve all heard the phase, “everyone’s replaceable”, and while this is still true, it’s no longer that simple for employers of mold remediation companies. Any employer can replace any employee at any given time (in some States). However, with the major societal shift in interest by many prospective employees, not everyone is lining up to remove mold from your home. Crazy, right!? What exactly does this mean and why am I sharing this information which is generally only discussed within a company? I have a very simple answer for you: The public has to know. If consumers are not aware of industry developments and other factors driving our costs higher, there’s a greater likelihood that you will just hang up and call the next company. Here’s the kicker: I wouldn’t blame you. Employment discussion websites on the internet, such as Glassdoor tell us that a mold remediation worker should be making $xx.xx, while in reality they may be making $XX.XX.
Now, let’s define a “great employee”, so that we’re all on the same page. This individual is someone who has a medium to long term investment in time with the company. This person is one who not only knows how to perform the processes, but also understands why such processes are being performed. While this individual may not be able to recite to you the science of mycology, they will be able to sufficiently remediate the mold at-hand while limiting or eliminating the potential for cross-contamination along the way. Sounds easy, right? Wrong! As the owner and operator of a mold remediation company for over 15 years, I have seen everything from exceptional to horror story-level remediation services. Now, let’s talk about the elephant in the room… You’re reading this article on the website for my company. Does this mean that you’re merely being brought into a sales funnel intended to bring my company business? No. In fact, I’d rather you read this article and then interview a couple of restoration firms – maybe even consider making Discreet Restoration one of them. 😉 Let’s move on…
Condos, Townhouses and Single Family Homes – Why Location Matters
Where do you live? Are you located in a 27th floor apartment within a high-rise condo in the heart of the city? Well, if you are, you can expect to pay more than someone with similar mold remediation needs living in a 1st floor apartment. Even more so, the costs continue to come down when we get into work being performed within townhouses and single family homes. The fact is that it takes a great deal more time to service a client’s needs when our technicians are waiting on elevators, needing to schedule designated trash removal days, working within building operational hours, etc. We haven’t even reached the subject of parking, which can be an absolute nightmare at times. Often times, restoration vehicles need to be parked on the street or within a designating public parking area – both of which often have associated costs.
With the inability to park within close proximity to the work areas, we are faced with increased time frames to walk to and from our vehicles. The time delay is compounded when you’re needing to bring tools inside or debris outside, given the need to cart these items around and continue to wait on elevators. In a perfect world, no one would ever have a mold problem within a high-rise condominium. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world and water damages that lead to mold occur daily. As a means to service clients living within condos, restoration professionals should be conveying the difficulties associated with restoration projects within condominiums and ultimately, the pricing correlates to these challenges that we face. It doesn’t do anyone justice when a salesman sticks a very high estimate in front of you, yet fails to explain why your costs may be much higher than your friend who was also serviced by this company, but at a lower rate due to the difference in housing.
Traditional Mold Remediation vs. Small Particle Remediation
Wait… there are different types of mold remediation? Mhmm, there sure are. Historically, traditional mold remediation is more commonly sought after, as compared to small particle remediation. What’s the difference and why is one type more commonly performed over the other? The keynote difference between the two types of mold remediation services is that one targets the more commonly detected mold spores, and the other focuses on small particles in general – not only mold/fungi. Traditional mold removal is very common with real estate transactions, when there’s a presence of mold without any health issues in the household, and other instances when mold is more of a nuisance.
Small particle removal revolves around just that – removing small particles from the indoor environment. Situations which often result in the need for small particle remediation or small particle cleaning (SPC) are those where there are individuals suffering within a property (e.g. exhibiting brain fog, extreme fatigue, lightheadedness, more frequent sickness, etc.). Individuals with compromised immune systems, as well as those diagnosed with CIRS (Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome) are examples that would benefit from small particle remediation. Traditional mold remediation often still leaves fine particles behind. These particles often have fungal fragments and even bacteria present – posing potential contamination that may trigger reactions by more sensitive individuals. If you’re frequently seeing doctors, you might be someone who should be looking toward small particle remediation over traditional.
What Other Costs do I Need to be Aware of?
If you made it this far, you should have a good understanding of the major factors that influence pricing. As a general rule of thumb, pricing will vary from company to company, as well as from one region or location to another. In addition, there are two main elements of a mold remediation process that are often not included: 1. Mold assessment/PRV (often performed by a third-party company) and 2. Post-remediation reconstruction services. In some states, such as Florida, the preliminary mold assessment and PRV (post-remediation verification) services must be performed by a company different than the mold remediation company. In fact, even individuals working for or owning two different companies cannot perform both the mold testing and mold remediation service within a 12 month period.
The post-remediation reconstruction service entails the installation of replacement insulation, drywall, baseboards and other building materials removed during the remediation process. Finish work such as priming and painting walls also fall into this category. Mold remediation services don’t always include reconstruction, so you’ll need to find out if the company you’re thinking about hiring is also reinstalling materials, painting, etc. When factoring in the reconstruction process, it’s often good practice to add 50-100% of the remediation cost, to account for the labor and materials.
Wrapping up – How Much Does Professional Mold Remediation Services Cost?
All in all, mold remediation processes and pricing will vary depending on numerous factors. Having a preliminary mold assessment service performed before looking to hire mold remediators is often the best first step. Having a comprehensive report of the damages and a prescriptive protocol of the corrective actions and remediation needed will ensure that all prospective remediation companies that you interview will be “speaking the same language”, as far as the estimates go. Another best practice is to interview a few mold remediation contractors, ultimately collected a quote or estimate from each. You’ll want to compare these estimates to the protocol that you received, in an effort to ensure that work being proposed matches the recommendations at-hand. Good, honest mold remediation companies will often provide an estimate in line with a mold assessor’s protocol, also notifying you and the assessor of any concerns that they have with the report before any work starts.
Now that you’re a bit more prepared for the mold remediation world, get out there and start making some calls! Good luck on any future mold remediation services. 🙂