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Find a property restoration professional near Westminster, CO

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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

How is a mold test done?

Mold testing can help identify a mold infestation in your home or business. The EPA explains that if you have a visible mold problem, in most cases sampling and testing is unnecessary. However, if you have unexplained and potential mold-related illness or can smell mold in your house, mold inspection costs may be a good investment.

To avoid unscrupulous testers, the EPA recommends working with a testing agency that adheres to the analytical methods laid out by professional organizations such as the American Industrial Hygiene Association or the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists

If you suspect there's mold growing in your home, contact the best mold removal experts to get it tested.

How often should you get your air ducts cleaned?

How often you should clean your air ducts depends on your situation. If you or someone in the home has asthma or is acutely allergic to certain airborne materials or pollen, regular duct cleaning may be helpful. The Environmental Protection Agency doesn’t have an official position on the necessity of air duct cleaning unless the ducts have been contaminated by rodents, insects or mold, or you are aware of particles blowing out through the vents. The EPA recommends you have your air ducts cleaned on an as-needed basis. The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) suggests having air ducts cleaned every three to five years.

Be cautious with companies that offer “whole house air duct cleaning,” urges the NADCA. The company may be using unscrupulous tactics to upsell you once they get started. Before any work begins, always clarify in writing what the job entails and what the cost will be. To protect yourself against fraud, read customer reviews and verify that your HVAC cleaning service has applicable licenses and certifications.

What is mold remediation and how does it work?

Mold remediation is the process of identifying and removing unhealthy levels of mold that have colonized in a home, office, school or other building. Over time, if untreated, mold can destroy a home by breaking down cellulose-based materials (like wood or ceiling tiles) and causing a slow and messy decay. In the shorter term, a mold infestation can cause severe health problems.

If mold has been positively identified in your house, either by visual examination or through mold testing, remediation can safely remove it. Properly trained and equipped professionals use specialized equipment (like vacuums and air scrubbers with HEPA filters) to keep mold spores contained while they remove contaminated materials and treat infested areas with antimicrobial spray. 

Here's an example of the steps involved in professional mold remediation:

  • Contain work area and apply negative air pressure HEPA air purifiers to prevent cross-contamination. If spores spread, the colonies can easily regrow elsewhere in your home.
  • Mist an EPA-registered antimicrobial to suspend and kill mold spores.
  • Remove affected building surfaces.
  • Bag and dispose of contaminated materials properly.
  • Treat cavities/underlayment and dehumidify.
  • Abrasively remove dead loose mold.
  • Apply EPA-registered protective sealer.
  • Perform clearance testing.
  • Remove containment materials.

A key component to a successful mold remediation after eliminating the mold is ensuring that the water source that caused the mold infestation is also resolved.

If you think there's mold in your home, contact the best mold remediation experts immediately.

How long does it take to get rid of mold in a house?

You can never completely remove mold from your house; a small number of mold spores will always exist indoors and are a natural and helpful part of our world. However, if water or moisture is left unchecked inside your home and mold begins to colonize, it can pose a serious health risk. Mold remediation can quickly and safely remove a mold infestation from your home or office. Depending on the size of your problem, mold remediation might take anywhere from one to seven days (or more) to wipe out the major sources of mold in your home.

Mold growths (colonies) can establish within 24-48 hours, so it is important to act immediately if you have a water spill or leak — especially if you live in a hot or humid climate. If you are past the point of DIY and need professional help, mold remediation teams will come to your location, assess the extent of the mold problem, identify and rectify all water leaks and sources of dampness, identify all mold sources (both visible and hidden), use specialized equipment to contain and prevent migration of mold spores, safely remove contaminated materials, treat infested areas with approved antimicrobial sprays, dehumidify and dry the appropriate areas, and seal areas as needed.

Can mold grow behind drywall?

Mold can grow behind drywall, in your attic, in the basement, under floors — mold can grow anywhere.

If your home has been exposed to excessive water due to flooding or heavy rains, if you have an old home with leaky pipes, or if you live in an area with high humidity, you need to be vigilant about mold. Mold is most easily identified by sight. You may see blooms of mold on furniture, on walls, or along the floor.

If you can spot mold, you probably don’t need to test for it and can save on mold inspection costs and direct your energies towards mold remediation. But if you’re not certain, you may need to contact a pro who can help you determine whether you have hidden mold. 

How long does it take to get your ducts cleaned?

The amount of time air duct cleaning takes can depend on how extensive your duct system is, how old your air ducts are, and whether they have ever been cleaned. On average, expect a standard size home (between 2,000 and 3,000 square feet) to take 2-5 hours for one to two technicians to clean. Here are the proper protocol and equipment you should expect from a professional duct cleaning service, as recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency:

  • All doors and access ports opened to ensure the entire duct system is inspected and cleaned.
  • Thorough system inspection prior to cleaning to identify possible asbestos-containing materials. If asbestos is present, specially trained and equipped contractors must do the removal.
  • Use of approved vacuum equipment that exhausts particles outside of your house. If the vacuum exhausts inside your home, it must be HEPA equipment.
  • Furnishings and carpet covered and protected.
  • Soft-bristled brushes only on fiberglass duct board and sheet metal ducts internally lined with fiberglass.
  • Ductwork properly protected.
  • Adherence to guidelines and practices set down by the National Air Duct Cleaners Association.

How much does it cost to get rid of mold?

Mold inspection and remediation costs will vary based on the severity of your mold infestation. But typically, the cost can range from as low as $135 to $1,592.

The total square footage of your mold damage and mold colonization, the accessibility of the areas to be treated, and any demolition and repair work required will all affect how much it costs to get rid of mold. Mold remediation crews may also have a minimum fee for services to ensure their business expenses are met even when they take on small mold jobs.

To find out how much it will cost to remove mold from your home, contact the best mold remediation experts near you.

How much does it cost to have someone clean your dryer vent?

The national average dryer vent cleaning costs range from $190 to $260. Dryer vent or duct cleaning costs can vary based on where you live in the country and what ductwork repairs may be required. Duct cleaning pros will use a brush cleaning method, a forced air vacuum, or a combination of the two to remove lint and other debris that can collect in your dryer duct, lint trap housing and vent. If left unchecked, this buildup of highly flammable debris can catch fire and lead to a home fire, says the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. In addition to home safety, a great reason for regular cleaning is the money you’ll likely save on energy bills and improved indoor air quality. Pros may offer a lower rate on their dryer duct cleaning costs when you also hire them to clean your entire HVAC duct system. To ensure you’re working with a pro who will keep your home as safe as possible, read their reviews and check whether they have been certified by a reputable organization such as the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) or the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). Many duct cleaning pros will also show you before-and-after photos as proof of the cleaning.

How much does it cost to have your air ducts cleaned?

If you’re concerned about dust, allergens or mold, it may be time to have your air ducts cleaned. The national average cost for air duct cleaning ranges from $190 to $250. Air duct cleaning costs will vary based on a number of factors such as your location in the country, the age and condition of your air ducts, the number of linear feet to be cleaned, and any repairs your ducts may need. HVAC cleaning companies should clearly outline what is included in their services and at what rate, so always make sure you understand and have a written agreement before work begins. Here are some examples of average air duct cleaning costs:

  • Tiered pricing for different levels of service:
    • Standard cleaning: $100, which may include truck-mounted industrial vacuums, high-pressure air wands and air snakes to clean all supply and return vents, branch lines, and main trunk lines.
    • Advanced cleaning: $200, which may include standard cleaning services, plus rotobrush or viper clean sweep in the main trunk lines.
    • Ultimate cleaning: $400, which may include advanced cleaning, plus insertion of a viper microline into all vents to force debris down the branch lines and into the main trunk lines, to be handled by the viper clean sweep. Typically, all ductwork surface is contacted, before-and-after photos are provided, and the furnace is cleaned.
  • A flat rate for unlimited vents: $289.
  • Additional fees for larger houses: $20 for each additional 500 square feet over 2,500.

What are the signs there's mold in your house?

First, mold tends to grow in places with high moisture. Have you had water damage recently or a leak in your home? Check these areas for visible mold growth.

Mold can appear in a variety of colors, including white, gray, brown, black or green. It may have a rough or velvety appearance, and it often grows on walls, ceilings, under floorboards, or on wood or wallpaper. Also, pay attention to the odors in your home. Mold tends to smell earthy or musty.

And lastly, keep track of your health for possible symptoms. Mold may cause asthma attacks (if you have asthma and are allergic to mold), running noses, sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, difficulty breathing, skin irritation and more.

If you think you’re experiencing mold symptoms, hire a mold remediation specialist near you and perhaps even consult your doctor.

 

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