How to hire the right company and how to protect yourself from getting taken
Mold has become a big industry over the last 20 years. With buildings getting “tighter” to improve energy efficiency, mold has become more and more common in buildings and its effects are more prominent.
Unfortunately, with the exception of a few states, mold regulations have not been established in the US leading to a large industry with a wide variety of contractors and consultants. With such a large number of companies offering mold services, it can be virtually impossible to know who to choose and how to protect yourself from the con-artists. However, there are things you can do to help weed out the bad apples.
Hire a consultant. Some mold removal companies will tell you that “if you can see mold, you don’t need a consultant”. While not entirely untrue, hiring a consultant provides you with an experienced professional to work for your interests when you are hiring a remediation contractor, sort of like having your own realtor or your own lawyer rather than just relying on the other side to do what’s right. The consultant should evaluate the area(s) of concern and provide you with a report detailing their findings, the apparent source of the mold growth, and recommendations for remediation. The
consultant should be an experienced professional (ask for company information & references) with no business ties to the remediation contractor. Consulting firms that have a financial tie to a contractor should disclose that relationship prior to any contractual agreement. Ultimately, however, it is the property owner’s responsibility to ask about such a relationship.
Get more than one estimate. When getting estimates, make sure all parties are bidding on exactly the same work (Your consultant can help you with this.) and make sure the contractor comes to the job site rather than giving a telephone estimate. Be cautious of a contractor or consultant that uses SCARE tactics to make you do more than you really need to have done or are comfortable doing.
“Mold Free” = Untrue. A building cannot be made mold free. Avoid contractors who claim to remove all mold from your building or make something “mold free”. This is not possible.
Ask to see certifications. Professional mold remediation contractors will have training and certifications in the removal of mold contamination and cleaning of mold impacted materials. Once you receive these credentials, verify that they are legitimate. Again, your consultant can help you with this determination.
There are many contractors in the mold remediation industry and most of them are professional and qualified. Any qualified professional will be happy to accommodate the above recommendations. Don’t be afraid to ask! A good contractor or consultant will appreciate it.