Mold Remediation Cost

The average cost of mold remediation is $2,000 - $6,000‚Äč.

In this guide

Causes
How to identify a mold infestation
Mold facts
Health effects
Mold removal vs remediation
Cost factors
Types of mold
Mold testing
Remediation process
Labor
DIY vs professional remediation
Enhancement and improvement costs
Additional considerations and costs
FAQ

How much does it cost to have a mold remediation done?

Mold is a type of invasive fungi that may grow on surfaces inside your home. It varies in color and type, and is usually found in areas that have been subjected to moisture at some point in time, such as bathrooms or in areas around leaking pipes.

While some types of mold are harmless, others can cause serious health issues in some individuals. According to the EPA, mold allergies are extremely common and can be a leading cause of asthma symptoms. Mold can also cause irritations of the eyes, nose, and throat, and may also cause lung issues even in people who are not allergic. For this reason, mold found growing in the home should be treated as a serious issue and cleaned up in a timely way.

Mold remediation is the process of seeking out and eliminating the mold within your home, while containing it and preventing it from spreading to other surfaces. Because mold spores can become airborne and spread to other damp areas, it’s important to have professional air testing and remediation done whenever you encounter mold in the home.

Typical mold remediation of areas such as crawlspaces in the home can cost between $500 and $4,000 depending on the extent of the mold and the type. Most homeowners can expect to pay around $2,000 for remediation of areas such as crawlspaces, attics, or basements where mold is most commonly found.

Causes

Mold spores are everywhere. A type of fungus that presents in a thread-like structure, mold is common and can be found in nearly every part of the world. The problem arises when mold begins to grow inside the home. This is usually because the mold spores have found their way to a damp area where conditions are right for them to begin to grow.

Common causes of mold growth indoors include:

  • Roof leaks
  • Pipe leaks
  • High humidity levels in basements or bathrooms
  • Floods

Once the mold spores have taken root in the home, they can easily spread to other areas. So, if mold is present in your basement, and your bathroom becomes excessively humid over a long period of time, mold spores may find their way up from the basement to the bathroom where they will take root in the damp areas of the room.

Location

While mold can technically take root and begin growing anywhere, there are a few common areas that it can usually be found:

  • Basements
  • Crawlspaces
  • Attics
  • The underside of the roof deck
  • Bathrooms
  • Inside walls, particularly near leaking or sweating pipes
  • Ducts
  • Vents

However, if you have excessive amounts of moisture or humidity in the home, you may find mold growing anywhere, including on the inside of closet doors, in carpeting, and on fabrics.

How to identify a mold infestation

Most mold infestations start out small, and may go unnoticed if they are inside a crawl space, duct, or other unobtrusive area. Therefore, your first sign of a mold infestation may be a musty odor. Other signs include staining on the walls or ceilings and visible mold growth on walls and other surfaces. If you have an increase in allergy symptoms occurring indoors, this may also be a sign of a mold infestation.

If you detect mold, or suspect a mold infestation, a mold remediation or abatement team can help confirm its presence, test for the type of mold, and offer solutions on dealing with the issue.

Mold facts

  • Mold spores are found nearly everywhere, both indoors and out. If water or very high levels of humidity are present in your home, mold growth can begin in as little as 48 hours. Mold spores thrive in moisture, high humidity, and other wet environments. They grow rapidly into colonies once exposed to water. Any indoor humidity levels above 45 percent could lead to conditions that allow mold colonies to establish.
  • The mold spores themselves are microscopic, and float on the air. They may enter your home through windows, doors, HVAC systems, or they may enter on your clothing or in the fur of a pet. In small numbers and in a dry atmosphere, these spores are relatively harmless.
  • Mold colonies produce allergens and irritants, which are the cause of potential health concerns.
  • Because mold thrives in moisture, any sources of water, humidity, or moisture must be addressed and thoroughly dried before mold remediation can begin. Otherwise, while the visible mold may be removed, the microscopic spores could simply recolonize the area within a few days.
  • Mold very often produces a strong odor that can be described as musty. This odor is often the first sign of a possible mold colony, and is often the first reported problem that most people discover.

Health effects

According to the CDC, exposure to mold can lead to a number of different health issues, or none at all. It depends on the sensitivity of the person exposed, whether that person has any allergies to mold, the type of mold, and the level of exposure.

The most common symptoms of mold exposure include:

  • Nose, throat, eye, and lung irritation.
  • Coughing or wheezing.
  • Eye irritation.
  • Nasal stuffiness.
  • Skin irritations.

In people who have asthma, exposure to mold may trigger asthma attacks, while in people with compromised immune systems, mold exposure may lead to more serious problems, such as lung infections.

Mold removal vs remediation

Mold exists naturally in the air inside and outside of your home. Therefore, it is not possible to completely “remove” all of the mold from within a building, as microscopic spores will still exist even after the problem has been addressed.

Mold remediation removes and cleans mold colonies and excessive mold growth from surfaces inside your home, getting mold levels back to what is considered “normal” for your area and air humidity levels. Because it is not possible to guarantee “removal” of all the mold in a building, most companies offer what is known as remediation services, cleaning and removing the mold problem from your home.

Cost factors

When the time comes to deal with a mold problem in your home, you’ll find that there is often a wide range of costs, often from $500 to $4,000. This can be accounted for by several different factors, including:

  • The size of the mold issue. The more mold that you discover in your home, the higher the cost will be to clean and remove it. Small, contained areas such as crawl spaces cost around $500, while an entire attic will cost closer to $4,000.
  • Where the mold is located. Heating, ventilation, and AC systems require special cleaning, which can potentially increase costs. You can expect costs upwards of $4,000-$6,000 if your HVAC system is involved.
  • Whether the moldy items can be cleaned or whether they need to be removed and replaced. Fabrics may be cleaned, for example, but anything the mold and moisture may have permanently discolored or damaged, such as drywall 1, insulation, or carpeting may need to be removed. Costs start at $2,000 for cleaning fabrics, but can reach $10,000 for removing and replacing drywall 1 and carpeting.
  • The cause of the mold. Floods due to a septic tank fail will require more invasive testing and cleaning for hazardous substances, which will further increase costs. Sewage flooding can lead to costs between $10,000 and $20,000 with the necessary testing and cleaning.
  • The damage caused with the mold. A leaking pipe may lead to mold, but may also lead to wood rot or damage to other areas that need to be repaired and replaced. Any damage that needs to be dealt with alongside the mold can increase costs to $5,000 and beyond.

Types of mold

There are more than 100 different types of mold that could potentially be found in the air in and around your home. However, not all of these typically colonize or become problems.The follow types of mold are the ones most commonly seen in homes:

  • Alternaria: this type of mold is most commonly seen outdoors, but can be seen in basements after flooding. It’s most commonly associated with asthma attacks in allergic people.
  • Aspergillus: this is one of the most common molds found indoors. It can lead to lung infections and a condition called hypersensitivity pneumonitis in individuals who are sensitive to molds.
  • Aureobasidium: this is the mold most people are allergic to. It can be pink or black in color and may be found on painted surfaces and around window ledges. This mold may leave stains behind, particularly if it is the black variety, and may require painting over the ledge with an encapsulating agent such as Killz.
  • Botrytis: it is most commonly found in bathrooms and other high humidity areas. It can cause allergic reactions and asthma in sensitive people.
  • Chaetomium: it is the mold that gives off the musty odor most people associate with flood or water damage. It’s often found on drywall 1 and other areas after a flood.
  • Cladosporium: this mold can be found on nearly all surfaces, including carpeting, drywall 1, and paint. It can cause many different respiratory issues in people.
  • Fusarium: this is another fast-spreading mold that can be found on all surfaces, even at low temperatures. Many people may have allergies to this mold, and those with compromised immune systems may develop infections because of it.
  • Penicillium: this is known as blue mold or blue/green mold. It grows quickly after exposure to moisture and can be found on nearly all surfaces. While unsightly, this mold is easy to clean and does not often leave stains.
  • Stachybotrys chartarum: this mold is often referred to as black mold or toxic mold because of the mycotoxins that it can give off. This mold can be harmful to your health in the form of chronic sinus infections, asthma, and fatigue. It grows in areas that remain constantly wet, like air conditioning systems. In addition to be harmful, black mold can also stain surfaces it grows on, which can make it more difficult to successfully remove. Often surfaces with black mold may require additional bleaching or replacement to deal with the stains. In some cases, an encapsulating agent may be necessary to cover the stain and any remaining spores.
  • Serpula lacrymans: this yellow mold may lead to dry rot, as it feeds on the wood it inhabits. Often deep yellow in color, the mold does not often lead to staining, however, making it easy to eradicate.
  • Trichoderma: this mold causes health issues similar to black mold, and can be found on any surface that remains at least slightly damp.
  • Ulocladium: this mold requires excessive amounts of water to grow, so is usually only found in homes that have undergone flooding. Many people are allergic to this type of mold.

Mold testing

Mold testing is not always necessary. In fact, many specialists agree that if you see mold, it’s enough to treat it, and that testing is not always necessary. However, if your insurance requires it, or if you have specific health concerns that may be mold related, you can have your home tested for mold.

Always make sure you use an independent, third party testing agency, and that if you use a mold remediation company, that they use a third party testing agency themselves. Testing agencies should not give any information on how to deal with the issue, or charge you for remediation; they should only test the mold and tell you what it is.

There are a few ways you can test for mold. The most common is a rapid scratch test, which involves collecting a small sample of the mold and applying it to various chemicals to determine the reaction.

More involved testing may involve sending samples to a testing facility, or taking samples of the air to test if there is no visible mold, but mold is suspected. Testing for mold may cost as little as $20 for a home kit or as much as $500 for professional testing. Keep in mind, though, that it is often unwarranted, as most remediation services will proceed the same way regardless of what type of mold is found in your home.



Remediation process

Mold remediation is a multi-step process that begins after the area has been thoroughly dried. Large fans and dehumidifiers may be necessary to help dry the area before remediation can begin. In addition, if the source of the moisture or leak has not been fixed, this should occur first.

Once the area is dry, inspection begins, along with any testing. Not all mold remediation companies will test the mold; this is only done on request if there is believed to be another, underlying issue.

The area that is being treated is sealed, as mold spores can easily travel once they are disturbed. Air filtration systems are usually used in conjunction with the sealing of the area to remove as many airborne spores as possible and to prevent spread. Sealing the area involves the use of both physical barriers, such as plastic sheeting, as well as negative air pressure, which prevents the circulation of air between the contaminated space and the areas around it. All heating, cooling, and fans in the area will be turned off to prevent the mold from spreading as well.

The air is then cleaned using a combination of “air scrubbers” as well as HEPA vacuums to remove any mold particles or spores from the air.

Cleaning of all affected surfaces begins next. Antifungal and antimicrobial cleansers are used on any hard surfaces to remove the mold from the surface. If anything can be removed, such as furniture, clothing, or toys, these are generally brought offsite for cleaning to make sure all mold spores are eradicated, usually involving deep cleaning with an antifungal or antimicrobial cleanser.

Odors are removed from the area using fogging equipment to get rid of any musty smells that the mold may leave behind.

Tear-out of any surfaces that cannot be cleaned follows. This includes drywall 1, carpeting, wallpaper, and other surfaces that may be affected. New surfaces are installed following the removal of the old. This may be as simple as putting up a single sheet of drywall 1, or it may involve the complete tear-out and renovation of an entire room depending on the level of damage and mold growth.

Labor

Mold remediation services start at around $500 for a small, contained area such as a crawl space. This involves sealing and cleaning the entire area. Costs of only mold remediation typically run between $500 and $4,000, with most people paying about $2,000.

The higher costs, of up to $20,000, involve the tear-out and repair of large areas including carpeting, drywall 1, and cabinetry. The process can take anywhere from a few hours to several weeks depending on the amount of mold, what caused it, and the level of damage involved.

DIY vs professional remediation

While it is possible to clean many surfaces of mold yourself, there are some advantages to using professional remediation. According to the EPA, if the mold in your home is affecting an area less than 100 feet square, you should be able to clean it up yourself. Anything larger, or anything caused by a flood or leaking pipe, however, should be dealt with by a professional.

Because mold spores are microscopic, simply cleaning the areas that you can see is often not enough to deal with the issue. True remediation also involves sealing the room, filtering the air, and removing odors, as well as cleaning and killing the mold itself. DIY methods may clean the visible mold, but may miss addressing underlying issues, such as leaks, and may fail to contain the mold spores adequately, leading to future colonies in new areas of the home.

If the mold infestation is small enough to deal with yourself, you can usually clean the area with detergent and water, or a non-toxic fungicide. Keep in mind that some molds, like black mold, may stain surfaces, and may requiring bleaching or replacement to remove the stain.

If the mold infestation requires professional help, you can expect that not only will the visible mold be treated, but the air will be filtered to help remove spores as well. In addition, things like negative pressure will contain the mold as it’s cleaned. Cleaning a large mold infestation yourself may lead to spores traveling to new areas of your home, which in turn means a new problem to deal with. This is why larger mold problems should always be handled professionally, not just to ensure their eradication, but to prevent the spread as well.

Mold prevention

The EPA also has the following recommendations for homeowners wanting to avoid dealing with mold in their homes:

  • Fix any leaks or underlying issues right away to help prevent mold growth or its return.
  • Dry all damp or wet areas thoroughly.
  • Clean hard surfaces with a mixture of detergent and water.
  • Remove and replace porous surfaces such as ceiling tiles and drywall 1, as you may not be able to completely remove the mold.
  • Do not paint or caulk 2 the moldy areas, as this may cause the paint to peel.
  • Protect yourself from the mold with face masks and gloves and wash the clothes you are wearing in hot soapy water immediately after tackling the mold.
  • If you feel that the issue is larger than you can handle, contact a professional to help.

Enhancement and improvement costs

Repairs

In most cases, simply cleaning the mold is enough to address the problem. However, if there has been ongoing water damage or a flood, you may need to repair and replace many of the porous areas of the home. These costs will typically range from $10,000 to $20,000 in addition to the mold remediation costs of $500 to $4,000.

Additional considerations and costs

  • If you see mold in your home, it is not necessary to test for it. Testing is often not recommended unless for specific health concerns.
  • A few types of mold, such as Stachybotrys chartarum are highly toxic and can lead to serious health issues. Address the issue as soon as you find the mold to prevent serious health concerns.
  • Untreated mold can eat drywall 1, lumber, subflooring 3, and siding, particularly Serpula lacrymans, which may mean that these areas need to be replaced to ensure the issue is dealt with.
  • To clean the mold yourself, use a mixture of detergent and water on hard surfaces, or use a mixture of bleach and water to kill the mold. Wear a mask, and use plastic to seal off the contaminated room from the rest of the home. Make sure everything is dry, and that the underlying issue has been addressed.
  • Some insurance companies will cover mold remediation, particularly if caused by a leak or flood. Contact your insurance company for more information.
  • Not all mold remediation companies can offer a guarantee, as mold spores are constantly present in the home. However, air testing can be done to ensure that spores have returned to normal levels and that all colonies have been addressed. Speak to your professional remediation company for more information on what they may offer.
  • Always get at least 3-5 estimates before hiring anyone to do the job.
  • If mold is found in air ducts, shut off the HVAC system and fans to prevent the circulation of the mold throughout the home. You may need to call in a specialized team to dismantle and clean the ducts, which can raise costs by an additional $2,000.
  • If you hire an inspector, or your mold remediation company recommends one, keep in mind that the inspector should at minimum have a degree in science or the engineering fields, and have competed industry-approved coursework in mold investigation. This should be through either the American Board of Industrial Hygiene or the American Council for Accredited Certification. They should be able to show  you industry credentials such as Certified Industrial Hygienist or Council-Certified Indoor Environmental Consultant.
  • An inspector should work independently of any mold remediation company, and should be hired as a third party inspector. They should never push mold-related products or hype one type of mold as worse than another.
  • An inspector should provide you with a report that includes lab results of air and surface samples taken. If the issue can be addressed DIY, they should tell you this or be able to tell you whether you need a mold remediation specialist.

FAQ

  • What is used for mold remediation?

Mold remediation can use a number of different techniques including dehumidifiers and fans to dry the affected area, plastic and negative pressure to seal the room, antifungal and antimicrobial cleansers, and the removal and reinstallation of different surfaces that may be affected.

  • How do you remediate black mold?

Black mold is remediated like any other mold. The area is dried using fans and dehumidifiers, then sealed with plastic and negative air pressure. Antifungal and antimicrobial cleaners are used on hard surfaces; removable soft surfaces are sent out for cleaning, and any porous surfaces such as drywall 1 are replaced.

  • What can be used to get rid of mold?

Small amounts of mold can be cleaned using detergent and water or a mixture of bleach and water. Porous surfaces should be replaced, as it can be difficult to ensure that all the mold has been removed.

  • How do you get rid of mold?

You can remove mold with detergent and water or bleach and water from most hard surfaces measuring less than 100 feet square. Larger areas require professional mold remediation, while porous surfaces should be replaced.

  • How much does mold remediation cost per square foot?

The average cost per square foot for mold remediation is between $0.65 and $0.85. However, most jobs are priced by the total service and not by the foot.

  • What is the average cost of mold remediation?

The average cost of mold remediation runs from $500 to $4,000, with most people paying around $2,000.

  • How much does it cost to clean up mold?

The average cost of mold remediation is between $500 and $4,000, with most people paying around $2,000.

  • How much does it cost to check for mold?

Many mold remediation services offer free inspections; testing is not necessary if mold can be seen. Otherwise, third party mold inspections 4 start around $300.

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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Drywall: Type of plasterboard, commonly used to build walls and ceilings, composed of gypsum that is layered between sheets of heavy paper
2 Caulk: A chemical sealant used to fill in and seal gaps where two materials join, for example, the tub and tile, to create a watertight and airtight seal. The term "caulking" is also used to refer to the process of applying this type of sealant
3 Subflooring: The bottom-most layer of a floor, supported by joists, over which finished flooring material is laid
4 Mold inspections: An assessment of the mold levels in a home. It can be carried out by a qualified professional, or it is also possible to test for mold with a kit sold at a home improvement store

Cost to have a mold remediation done varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Akron, OH
-6%
Albuquerque, NM
-14%
Amarillo, TX
-15%
Athens, GA
-9%
Atlanta, GA
+24%
Attleboro, MA
+7%
Baltimore, MD
+12%
Beloit, KS
-44%
Birmingham, AL
+6%
Boca Raton, FL
0%
Boston, MA
+40%
Buffalo, NY
-1%
Chandler, AZ
-2%
Charlotte, NC
+6%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Cleveland, OH
+7%
Columbus, GA
-20%
Columbus, OH
+5%
Corpus Christi, TX
+4%
Cottonwood, AZ
-27%
Daly City, CA
+51%
Detroit, MI
+16%
El Cajon, CA
+8%
Farmington, MI
+32%
Fort Bragg, NC
-21%
Franklin, MA
+38%
Fresno, CA
-6%
Garden Grove, CA
+20%
Gardena, CA
+9%
Grand Prairie, TX
+6%
Houston, TX
+24%
Indianapolis, IN
+6%
Jacksonville, FL
-1%
Jersey City, NJ
+23%
Las Vegas, NV
+7%
Lexington, KY
+1%
Los Angeles, CA
+11%
Lubbock, TX
-22%
Miami, FL
+1%
Milwaukee, WI
+12%
Minneapolis, MN
+25%
Mobile, AL
-8%
Montgomery, AL
-10%
New York, NY
+77%
Oakland, CA
+36%
Oneida, TN
-48%
Orange, NJ
+27%
Orlando, FL
+2%
Oxnard, CA
-1%
Philadelphia, PA
+40%

Labor cost in your zip code

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Methodology and sources