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-   -   $1200 bill for mold removal? (http://www.diychatroom.com/f17/1200-bill-mold-removal-6328/)

Jemo 02-05-2007 05:33 PM

$1200 bill for mold removal?
 
I got one of those flyers in the mail saying they would vacuum out your air vents for $65. We just bought a home and the previous owner had a dog so I thought that was pretty cheap.

The guy comes over, goes into the attic, and comes back and says "I have real bad news.....do you have children?" I climb up in the attic and he has the cover off the a/c unit. It has black stuff everywhere.

The unit is 10+ years old, maybe older. The guy says that my whole a/c system and ductwork is infiltrated with mold and that they need to take apart the unit completely and clean out all the ductwork....for $1200.

I don't really trust this guy taking apart my a/c unit. My wife is super-sensitive to mold and hasn't made any hints that she's bothered when she comes in the house. Last, the unit will probably need to be replaced soon anyways. I'm skeptical.

Is this guy taking me for a ride? Is there anything I can do myself to clean out whatever this black stuff is? If it were mold, why would it be growing in the middle of winter?

Jeff

redline 02-06-2007 06:45 AM

Did you have a home inspection prior to buying the house?

Jemo 02-06-2007 07:21 AM

:censored: Yes.

I remember being with the inspector and when we went up in the attic, there were so many boxes and stuff in the way that we couldn't get over to the unit. He also made a comment that "legally, I can't move stuff out of the way to get over there...." It kinda made me nervous because I was ready to start moving the boxes out of the way.

The sellers did buy a home warranty for 1 yr. I wonder if that would cover this?

cibula11 02-06-2007 12:25 PM

How long have you lived in the house?
Your lungs (or your wife's) won't lie. If there is that much mold and you have been running the unit, you would know. Definately get a second opinion from someone who has been around for awhile. I've asked contractos to refer me to people if I'm unsure who to believe.

cibula11 02-06-2007 12:28 PM

Instead of having a duct cleaning service come out, have someone who specialized in HVAC jobs. Sometimes the cleaning service is seperate from the guys who actually install HVAC.

harleysilo 02-06-2007 03:18 PM

I was all about having our ducts cleaned when we got our new furnance. They guy we bought it from who installed it wouldn't even recommend a duct cleaning. Our furnance came with a Large filter, the ones that are supposed to last a year. He says that it's all airtight, all air passes through the filter, so if there is dirt or whatever in the returns, it's not going into the furnance or into the vents as long as we have a filter.

He also says that unless you have old school metal duct work they can't clean jack anyways, well not more than you can do. They basically shove a hose through your vents with a heavy metal ball with a bunch of wholes on end and blow air through it. They remove your furnance and put in a large vacum system. If they don't do that and you arn't paying 600-800 buxs it ain't worth it.

elementx440 02-06-2007 05:46 PM

i'd determine why there was mold there in the first place... then get some bleach and a pole with a sponge on the end and save yourself the money.

Jemo 02-06-2007 09:02 PM

Thanks everyone for the help.

I just have a funny feeling about this and don't feel good about those clowns that told me about the mold.

I also called another place in town that is better known that does duct cleaning and they said that their service to do the same job costs $550+ so what are these guys doing for $60? Scam scam scam.

I'm going to do as suggested and call an HVAC guy to inspect the system and clean the "mold" with some bleach and water. Maybe I'll luck out and the guy will say the whole system needs to be replaced while I still have this home warranty.

Jeff

elementx440 04-04-2007 09:06 PM

bleach will help clean it, but it wont eliminate it unless you eliminate the source. i.e. moisture, lack of ventilation, etc.

Jemo 04-04-2007 09:41 PM

Sorry, I forgot to post a follow-up.

I had an HVAC guy look at it and he said that it was NOT mold. He told me that there are a few of these duct cleaning/carpet cleaning companies that have been doing this scam for a few years. They get convicted and change their company name and do it all over again.

AtlanticWBConst. 04-05-2007 06:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jemo (Post 39652)
Sorry, I forgot to post a follow-up.

I had an HVAC guy look at it and he said that it was NOT mold. He told me that there are a few of these duct cleaning/carpet cleaning companies that have been doing this scam for a few years. They get convicted and change their company name and do it all over again.

That was my first thought, when you told us the way this happened...
Sounded like a scam....

Good for you on getting a 2nd opinion....

...thanks for sharing your experience - to help warn others....

MauriceManhattan 11-13-2008 10:42 AM

Be wary of scammers and bleach
 
There is not much difference between bleach and so called home mold inspection contractors.

I would not recommend using bleach to clean mold, in fact it will not kill the DNA makeup of the mold. So in about a week you will find it coming back.

There are mold products that you can spray in the A/C that will change the DNA makeup of mold. There is some mold kits out there like Molderizer and Safe Shield, but I believe finding the source it truly the main issue you need to handle before even think of buying a product.

I would see if you have any moisture around the A/C, this may be from the system needing a balance. I find mold problems caused from a leaky A/C handler.

Look if you keep getting no where, you could always do it yourself and remove the mold problem yourself, this video on youtube shows all the equipment and procedures you would need.


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