Four Tips to Protect Yourself During a Mold Inspection: ABC’s The Lookout

Four Tips to Protect Yourself During a Mold Inspection: ABC’s The Lookout
Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous professionals in our industry that attempt to betray the trust of people that have mold concerns.
Yesterday, ABC’s news program, The Lookout, ran a story which tested seven different mold inspectors. Not surprisingly, several of the companies determined that there was a mold problem, when in fact there was not.

This report was similar to a report aired by NBC in May last year.

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There are four key lessons you can learn from both of these videos.
1. DO YOUR RESEARCH
Yesterday, we advised you of the top ten questions you should ask your mold remediation professional. As stated in the article, you should get YES answers to all of your questions before requesting a mold remediation quote.
2. SLOWER IS BETTER
In the videos, some inspectors determined that there was mold without really doing a thorough investigation. In short, inspections that take 15 to 20 minutes are probably not reliable.
According to our Founder, James C. Watson:
Honest mold contractors should first determine the potential cause of a mold problem in the home by asking questions to gather information on the home’s history. How old is the home? Has there been any flooding issues? Are there any moisture issues? Is health an issue, i.e. do you feel sick when indoors but feel better when outside of the home? Respiratory problems? Questions, plus a thorough visual inspection of all rooms in the building, will give the mold inspector a fairly good idea if there are mold issues. (What To Expect From a Mold Inspection)
3. TESTS DO NOT HOLD ALL THE ANSWERS
The purpose of mold remediation is to remove all the mold and ensure that the indoor air quality is healthy and the properties structural integrity remains safe. As stated by the Lookout, quoting the EPA in most cases, if visible mold growth is present, sampling is unnecessary. However, testing may be necessary under the following circumstances:
1. To detect hidden mold.
2. To determine the spore count and type of mold present.
If an air quality or swab test is recommended, the samples should be sent to an independent and accredited laboratory with trained microbiologists. In addition, once the report is complete, it should be provided to the client for their review.
It is important to realize that testing for samples alone may not be the final answer on whether or not mold remediation is essential. As stated earlier, one of the key aspects of the mold inspector’s research is to determine if there are any underlying moisture issues caused by flooding, leaks, high humidity, etc. In order for mold remediation to be successful, the causes of the mold need to be determined and fixed as well. If no apparent causes are determined through the interview process, the mold inspector may even recommend thermal imaging to try to determine the sources of moisture, particularly if there are visible water stains.
4. DON’T THINK EXTREME
Finally, as stated by the Lookout:
Inspections should start with the least intrusive approaches first. Mold inspections can be like peeling an onion: If signs of mold or moisture are indicated, then an inspector may have to become more invasive and peel another layer. Mold inspection is a step-by-step process that is based on what you see.
SUMMARY: NOT ALL MOLD REMEDIATION PROFESSIONALS ARE EQUAL
Mold is a growing concern. As a consumer, you can protect yourself from dishonest mold remediators by investing in your own awareness and knowledge by learning more about mold and the process of removing mold. Knowledge is power!
In addition, it is highly recommended that you thoroughly research and interview more than one mold remediation professional before making a decision. If you get three mold remediation quotes, be sure to compare apples to apples and make sure that you are hiring a reputable firm that adheres to industry standards and conducts their business in an up front and honest way. Sometimes the cheapest option is not the best, in short, you get what you pay for!

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