If you know what to expect during remediation it will help you manage the finances and the frustrations.
This photo shows new sheet rock, subfloor, plumbing, framing plus new sheet rock, plumbing, and framing in the area below this bath. Remediation means removing and cleaning up mold. Abatement means removing and cleaning up asbestos, lead, lead-based paint, chemicals, or sewage. The is seldom an easy or inexpensive process. Following these steps will save your money, your timeline, and maybe your sanity.
Get A Second Opinion
This work can become extremely expensive. Make sure all the work recommended is really necessary. This simple step can save you thousands of dollars. Yes, it will be an added cost to have a second consultant verify the removal instructions, but it’s very often worth it. This is more important on mold projects, than on lead, asbestos, sewage, or chemicals.
Sometimes insurance pays, but who they choose to pay leaves “unbiased consultant” and “clearance” in the dust. A few insurance companies do pay for evaluation and clearance documentation, so check with your claims adjuster. There are many horrific insurance issues we’ve heard of over the years. We seldom work for insurance companies as we will not change our lab results or our professional evaluation to suit the insurance company. And payment for us is usually as big an problem as it is for you.
Know what to expect during your remediation and/or abatement. Often mold removal requires asbestos and lead abatement. For budget purposes, this information is critical to know before beginning your project.
And then there’s “slick willy” that offers a “free” or “$99” mold inspection. More often than not, they find a “problem” that will require their workers to do $10,000 in removal that doesn’t need to be done.
A mold remediation company may do initial mold testing for worker safety, but always choose a 3rd party for clearance/verification documents.
Some contractors can test for asbestos but often do not follow the EPA testing rules for the number of samples taken. This opens the door for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to levy fines and require expensive asbestos abatement.
Get Directions For Your Project
What wall in the bathroom needs to be removed? Where should my mold remediation company begin? Who can I call if I have a question during the mold remediation? These are all good questions that needs answers. FYI: We will answer your questions whether we are involved in your project or not.
A lot of San Francisco buildings contain asbestos that was used as in insulator/strengthener until 1981. If these materials are removed incorrectly asbestos fibers can cross contaminate adjacent rooms or HVAC systems. Asbestos can’t be cleaned out of fibers. This can become quite expensive – all that contaminated carpet and furnishing has to go to a toxic dump. So get complete and accurate instructions first.
Get Written Contracts And Estimates
Specialty contractors that do mold, asbestos, sewage, and lead removal are busy. Always get three estimates. Always get a $1M+ insurance policy with your name as “additionally insured”. This way is things go not as planned, you have some recourse to recover losses. Be sure the phase “Time is of the essence.” is included in your contracts.
It will also serve you well to included the contractor pays for retesting if your job fails. We are always willing to speak with your chosen specialty contractor with your permission. We write complete and thorough instructions for mold and bacteria cleanup. For asbestos and lead, the protocols or cleanup directions are included in the codes, laws, executive orders, etc.
Always Hire Licensed Professionals
We have the greatest respect for licensed general contractors, but they do not have the trained staff for cleanup, the professional equipment, the licenses, or the insurance to perform mold, sewage, asbestos, chemical or lead removal. So many things can go wrong with untrained workers. When things go wrong it can become very expensive quickly. So, in this case, the cheap turns out expensive is often true.
Here’s a story. A man had some of the laborers that hang out around hardware stores remove asbestos popcorn ceiling texture from an expensive rental condo. The newly moved in tenants wanted asbestos clearance documents. We tested and found significant amounts of asbestos fibers in the air. So the landlord had to pay a fine, hire a professional to fix the mess, recarpet and redrape the entire unit, and pay for all the tenants’ contents. Plus he lost the tenant and the rents for about six months.