Mold remediation or asbestos abatement can be emotionally draining and financially devastating. Understanding the process will help you.
Remediation means removing and cleaning up mold. Abatement means removing and cleaning up asbestos, lead, lead-based paint, chemicals, or sewage.
Following these steps will save your money and your sanity.
Get a second opinion
This work can be come extremely expensive. Sometimes insurance pays, but who they choose to pay leaves “unbiased consultant/clearance” in the dust. 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 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.
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, 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.