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Basement Mold Removal - Remediation

Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia

Mold in basements & crawlspaces is caused by excess moisture from condensation, flooding, leaks, spills, cracks & poor ventilation

This is a common problem especially in the humid summertime throughout VA, MD and WVA. Mold will grow in dark, damp and warm areas – and many basements provide the perfect environment for mold to grow. Items such as drywall, wood, carpet, insulation, wallpaper, furniture, clothes, and cardboard boxes are basement materials that may grow mold rapidly – under the right conditions. Basement mold is a serious health risk that can cause a health hazard to humans, potentially causing allergic reactions and respiratory problems. If you suffer from headaches, stuffy nose, or other allergic reactions while at home that go away when you are away from home, you may have a mold problem. 
Black mold hidden in the basement. A poorly installed bathtub and shower surround caused a basement mold issue. 
Our basement & crawl space black (and all colors) mold remediation program is a comprehensive 5-step program that will clean and remove existing mold, make the area safe again, and prevent future mold from returning.  We begin the mold removal treatment by utilizing an air scrubber with a HEPA air filter to purify the air from unsafe levels of mold. We then treat and remove any visible mold using chemical applications and a HEPA vacuum as needed. Then, we will treat the entire contaminated area with a mold removal treatment that will "knockdown" all mold in the air and also will protect the treatment area from any mold regrowth. Lastly, it is recommended a dehumidifier be installed to maintain proper humidity levels moving forward. As with all mold issues, it is imperative that any underlying causes of moisture are fixed. Common issues such as cracks in foundation walls, leaky windows, broken sump pumps, clogged gutters and downspouts are all issues that will result in excess water, excess moisture, and ultimately create the perfect environment for mold to be able to grow. Call us today or click for a free estimate.
  • Certified in Water Damage Restoration
  • Certified in Applied Microbial Remediation
  • Locally owned & operated
  • Fully insured with environmental insurance for mold removal
  • Basement black mold removal
  • Crawlspace black mold removal
  • Commercial & residential mold remediation experts

Basement Mold Removal FAQ's

What areas do you service?

We have facilities in Virginia and Maryland and service the entire metro DC area. Please click here to see our service area by specific county, city and town.

How do you treat mold in basements?

Environmental’s Basement Mold Remediation Program is a comprehensive 5-step program that will clean and remove existing mold, make the area safe again, and prevent future mold from returning:

  1. Air Scrubber cleans the air
  2. HEPA Vacuum
  3. Mold and mildew stain remover treatment
  4. Mold remediation and protection treatment
  5. Recommended installation of dehumidifier

How can I prevent mold from coming back?

First, if there are any water issues due to defects in the home those must be fixed.  Second, bring down the humidity level in the treatment area by installing a dehumidifier.  Mold cannot grow in low humidity environments.

Why is there mold in the basement of my house?

Mold occurs naturally everywhere.  It is healthy and is naturally occurring in nature, at certain levels.  Mold is found both indoors and outdoors. Mold can enter your home in many ways. Open doorways, windows, vents, and HVAC systems are all entry points. Outside mold in the air can attach itself to pets, clothing, shoes, and be carried indoors. When these tiny mold spores drop on places where there is excessive moisture, a food source and the right temperature - such as in basements - they will grow. When mold levels increase to an unhealthy level, that is when we start to see visible signs of black mold on basements walls, carpeting, woodwork, ceilings and cement floors. When mold grows, it gives off a strong musty odor. If you notice a musty smell in your basement, this indicates unhealthy levels of mold.

 Is mold in my basement dangerous to my health?

Like many allergens, some people are sensitive to mold and some are not. So, exposure to household mold may cause health issues, or none at all. Symptoms of black mold sensitivity include asthma, stuffy nose, wheezing, itchy eyes, headache or skin irritations. Mold in basements is dangerous since it can be spread through HVAC systems to the entire house. According to the CDC “No matter what type of mold is present; you should remove it.”

Can I identify mold visually or by smell?

It might be highly visible but often the growth is hidden behind basement walls, carpets and even wallpaper. Basement mold comes in all colors from black to white to green to stains with a yellowish tint. The term “black mold” is widely used but in truth that type of mold isn’t the most common one.  Four other types are much more common, according to the CDC, and they include Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Alternaria. Black mold is technically Stachybotrys chartarum or Stachybotrys atra. Use your sense of smell! Mold hidden behind the walls usually leaves a trademark musty odor.  However, when basement temperatures fall into the 60’s, molds may go temporarily dormant and stop emitting that musty smell. 

Can a homeowners take steps to prevent mold in basements?

There steps you can take decrease the likelihood of having a mold issue. Mold needs three conditions to take hold: an ideal temperature, a source of food and moisture. Keep humidity levels as low as possible - especially during high humidity months - via dehumidifiers and well-maintained HVAC systems. Replace HVAC filters often. Make sure ALL house ventilation systems are working properly. These include kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans which vent outside and clothes dryers exhaust ducts.  Eliminate sources of moisture from any leaks in roofs, walls, gutters, windows, sump pumps or plumbing. Avoid carpets in basements. If your laundry is in the basement, consider moving it.  Do not store wood in your basement. Avoid running your HVAC system if you know or suspect that it is contaminated with mold. That may greatly exacerbate the situation by spreading mold throughout your home.

Can a homeowners eliminate basement mold or should they call a professional company?

The answer depends on a number of factors. The top consideration is the size of your mold problem. When mold areas are easily accessible and less 10 square feet you may try to handle the job yourself. If mold damage is more extensive, or in inaccessible crawlspaces, behind walls, or was caused by sewage, flooding or other contaminated water, then call in a professional. Often, we are called to remediate a mold problem after the owner has tried DIY cleanup.  And the mold keeps coming back. Mold remediation is complex and must be performed properly and safely or you risk making things worse, or getting sick in the process.  There are reasons why proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) must be worn and very specific containment procedures followed. A HEPA air filtration system - and its proper use- is needed catch the spores and prevent them from spreading during cleanup.

 What types of basement mold testing are the best?

  1. Mold testing comes in 2 forms: swab testing and air testing.  When addressing any mold issue in your house, you need to engage an independent mold testing company to perform an air test of your home.  This ensures an unbiased report.
  2. Air Testing for Mold:  The air testing process is where multiple air samples are taken.  A control sample is taken outside of your home to gauge naturally occurring mold levels. Next, multiple air samples will be taken throughout your home.  It is this process that will properly identify exactly what area(s) of your home are contaminated.  Air tests should be performed for every mold issue so that the mold removal company knows exactly where to treat.  Skipping the air test can result in overcharging the customer because areas get treated that didn’t need treatment.  The other result is leaving the home contaminated because areas that should have been treated were never identified.  
  3. Swab Testing for Mold:   These tests are ONLY good to visually identify mold. Swab mold tests are not adequate for understanding and correctly solving mold issues.

What are the recommended steps for addressing basement mold in my home?

  1. When you have mold in your basement it can be stressful because mold, at unsafe levels can cause serious health issues. 
  2. Step 1:  Engage a mold testing company to do an air test.  The air samples will be sent to a science lab for full examination and a full report. Written recommendations will be provided to the homeowner. 
  3. Step 2:  If unsafe mold levels were found in the air test report, engage a certified mold removal company to professionally remediate the area. Ask about guarantees. 
  4. Step 3:  After mold remediation, have a follow up air test completed to ensure that the mold levels have now dropped to safe levels.  If they have not dropped, your mold remediation company should offer a guarantee to retreat for free until the problem is resolved. We offer this guarantee. 

Conflicts of Interest – Mold Testing & Remediation

Homeowners need to be aware of potential conflicts of interest when dealing with a company that performs both the basement mold testing and the remediation.  Mold testing and mold remediation are important - and costly - services so homeowners need to make sure they are spending money on real issues.  Do not rely on any company that only provides only a swab test and then tells you that you need to remediate a larger area.  Again, without a mold air test, it is not possible to know exactly what area(s) of the property have been affected.  Beware of any company that tries to sell mold remediation services based only a swab test.  Because of the well-known conflict of interest in the mold industry, there are a lot of mold test companies that only provide mold tests and they do not perform any mold removal services.  A dedicated mold test company will provide a thorough mold test (air test) and will then also provide a lab report with results and recommendations.  Conversely, there are mold removal professionals that do not do mold testing and only do mold removal services, such as Environmental Mold Control.  This ensures there are no conflicts and that the mold removal is solely based on the outside test results and recommendations.

How much does mold testing cost?

  1. Swab tests can range anywhere from $100 - $300 per test sample.  Again, swab tests are not recommended as they do not properly evaluate the mold situation.
  2. Air tests can range anywhere from $750 - $3,500 for a full air test where there will be a sample from outside (the “control”) and then many samples throughout the interior of the property.

How much does professional mold removal and remediation cost?

  1. Most basement jobs we do are based on size in square feet. Our prices include a warranty.
  2. Small                0-750 Sq.Ft.               $1,500-$2,500
  3. Medium           750-1,500Sq. Ft.        $1,875-$4,500 
  4. Large                1,500-2,500Sq. Ft.     $3,750-$7,500
  5. X-Large             2,500-5,000Sq. Ft.     $6,250-$15,000

What equipment do professional mold removal companies use?

  1. Air Scrubber w/ HEPA air filter – are set up in contaminated areas to purify the air.
  2. HEPA Vacuum – when mold is growing on objects (ducts, vents, drywall, desks, etc.…) then the mold remediation professional will use a HEPA vacuum to remove the physical mold and safely dispose of it.
  3. ULV Mold Fogger – this device used to treat the area by fogging, or misting, the treatment product into the air. 
  4.  Digital Moisture Probe - helps to determine the perimeter of water intrusion.
  5. Negative Air Machine (NAM) - Air filtration device pulls contaminated air through specialized filters discharges to the exterior.
  6. Commercial Dehumidifiers - bring the moisture levels down to below 50%.
  7. Professional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) - masks, gloves, respirators, suits.

Is mold damage covered by homeowner’s insurance?

Each policy is different. However, homeowners’ insurance policies are often vague regarding mold coverage. Insurers quickly realized that covering mold was too risky and therefore most policies now offer limited coverage, if any. It can be difficult to determine whether your specific claim will be covered. Policies usually exclude coverage for mold damage, except when the mold is the result of a "covered peril", such as some water damage which is caused by a failure in the homes plumbing (broken water pipe, broken sump pump).  Most all insurance plans do not include coverage from water damage caused by rain, snow, etc.…. You best insurance is mold prevention.

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