Business & Real Estate: Fighting mold in your home, part III

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There are a number of factors that can impact the cost of mold removal in any particular instance.

The amount of mold and level of development can necessitate the replacement of structural materials, for example, and specialized protective and disposal equipment is often required.

Small remediation projects can be performed by a property owner for a minimal cost, but larger jobs should be performed by professionals and may cost upwards of $10,000.

Nationally, homeowners report an average cost for mold remediation of just over $7,500.

If the mold infestation covers 100 square feet or less in total area, the EPA says that property owners can generally handle the project themselves.

For larger areas, though, mold remediation is best left to the professionals. Additionally, if mold is found in more than one area of the home, it is best to leave the cleanup work to a professional mold removal crew.

Labor costs can make up a large part of the total price of mold remediation. Qualified removal companies make use of skilled labor and expensive equipment. A High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) vacuum, for example, is a $10,000 piece of machinery that makes use of special filters and powerful suction to remove mold from materials. Workers operating HEPA vacuums must wear mold-proof suits and face masks and must be specially-trained.

Material costs will vary widely from one project to another. In some cases, mold may have eaten away lumber, sheet rock and floor boards. In other cases, it may be present only in carpet or small areas of walls and ceilings. Thus, material costs vary from less than a hundred dollars on the low end to tens-of-thousands of dollars for the remediation of a flooded basement, for example.

Those who are attempting to take the project on themselves will probably want to rent or purchase a wet vacuum to pull moisture from carpet and wood. They can be rented for around $30 per day or can be purchased for between $80 and $200. For very small mold remediation projects, only water and detergent are required.

Moisture is the key to mold growth. Fix any plumbing leaks or other sources of moisture as early on in the process as possible. Dry everything completely. Use a solution of detergent and water to scrub away mold on hard surfaces.

Drywall, carpet and other porous materials are often irreparable once they are moldy. Throw away and replace these materials. Wear gloves and goggles and use a respirator to avoid breathing airborne mold. An N-95respirator, available at most hardware stores for between $12 and $25, is recommended for those performing mold remediation.

Remediation is done when all of the mold is completely removed.

There should be no visible mold and no odor of mold. After cleanup, the site or sites should not show signs of moisture accumulation or mold growth.

Remember these Tips when selling your home:

If married when selling you are allowed a $500,000 deduction, plus add your original purchase price, plus any capital (permanent) improvements to your interior or exterior of your home, condo, or co-op).

Then subtract that from the selling price and if there is any amount left, that would be your capital gains.

If you are single then you are allowed only a $250,000 exemption, plus the original purchase price and again any capital improvements in the interior and/or exterior.

Ask your accountant for the amount owed if any, because it could vary from 0 percent-20 percent capital gains, depending on variables of your tax bracket and amount of income.

All expenses related to the sale are also added to the amount, not subject to the capital gains rule. However, you must have lived in your primary residence at least 2 out of 5 years.

However, if a spouse had died within that two-year period the surviving spouse is still protected from all the deductions, as long as the home is sold within two years of the spouse’s passing.

Previously, it had to be sold within the year of the spouse passing.

Philip A. Raices is the owner of Turn Key Real Estate in Great Neck. He can be reached by email: Phil@TurnKeyRealEstate.Com or by Cell, (516) 647-4289 to answer any of your questions. 

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