Once someone is confronted with significant mold damage their next thought is almost always, “great, how much will this mold abatement cost me!” I know that was certainly my first thought after our basement flooded while we were away. The water had actually all drained out by then but we were left with a terrible mess. Mold was covering everything up to about the three foot level, I actually asked and they said the mold line grows UP from the water line so we actually didn’t even have three feet of water in there but the job was far more than we could handle. We needed to hire some professionals, and that meant big dollars – or so we thoughts.
If you’re lucky enough to have limited mold damage you may be able to clean it up yourself. If the damaged area exceeds about half a dry wall panel (four by four feet) you’d best get professional help. Even if the mold is killed the remains alone pose a health hazard and must be removed. If there is not a significant amount you can just air the room out with fans and open some windows (or allow some other way for air to move.) That is, of course, after you’ve killed any mold spore with vigorous scrubbing and bleach. Let’s assume this option won’t work and get down to the dirty – how much will it cost to hire a pro to get the mold abatement done right.
The two main factors will be the area that needs to be cleaned and just how thorough the damage is, this depends mostly on how long the mold has been growing but also on the particular material. The typical job may include scrubbing walls, duct works or more. On the low end you may only be spending around five hundred dollars but that number can run considerably higher. If structural damage has occurred, which is not uncommon where flooding occurs and is left unchecked in wood framed structures, costs can run into the tens of thousands. The average job which would include both cleaning and air filtration of a typical crawlspace costs will range in the two to six thousand dollar range. Keep in mind though structural damage will significantly increase these costs. It can be tempting to take shortcuts with mold abatement projects, but the consequences far outweigh the potential benefits.
When there’s already been significant water damage (and significant repair costs) it’s always tempting to avoid costs by cutting any corner possible, to some cleaning up the mold seems completely doable without the help of a pro. Don’t fall into this trap; there is no substitute for proper a mold abatement project!