Here are some things to know when hiring a contractor to complete a mold inspection.
The mold inspection and remediation process is a balancing act of ensuring occupant health and safety and preserving the property value for the owner.
The mold inspection company you choose should offer a value proposition that stands apart from others. The credentials should include a certification, experience, a fine work product and a competitive price. In addition, the company should be able to provide multiple references of past customers who were satisfied with their experience.
To minimize the chance for conflict of interest, the mold inspection company should strictly be in the business of inspecting, testing and consulting. That way, the company has no vested interested in benefiting from the repair that may be necessary through mold remediation.
The inspection report should be a two-part document – lab results and an inspection report. Once mold testing is conducted, samples should be sent to an independent laboratory for analysis. The results of the lab analysis will be interpreted by the inspection company, which will then provide a comprehensive analysis of the property condition, laboratory findings and recommendations.
The report should be easy to understand when you read it. Some inspectors simply provide lab results without any additional documentation. An inspector also serves as a consultant and should be able to produce a document to reflect his/her interpretation of the inspection process.
The value proposition is reflected in the promptness of service, availability of an inspector to speak with and schedule an appointment, the price and the quality of the report. The report should be informative and easy to read. Beware of lengthy reports with a lot of heavy wording designed to protect the inspection company instead of educate the customer.
There are several disclosures and disclaimers that should be included in most reports. Ask yourself, “Do I really need a legal dissertation included with an inspection report?” At times, they are the most expensive reports, although they reach similar conclusions as a simplified report designed to answer the question as to whether or not there is a mold problem.
Property owners and managers dealing with a mold problem want to know four things:
Do I have a mold problem?If so, how do I solve it?How much will it cost?How long will it take?
The mold inspection company will address the first two questions, and the remediation company will address the last two.
It is acceptable for an inspection company to make referrals to remediation companies; however, an objective inspection company should be able to refer more than one remediation company. The remediation company should be licensed and insured, because contractors will be destroying portions of the property in order to repair it. This can be an expensive endeavor. You want to have recourse in the event something goes wrong.
The basics of mold remediation should include area containment, removal of moldy materials, treatment of remaining construction materials with antimicrobial solution, disposal of moldy materials and air scrubber treatment to remove airborne mold spores. The source of water damage or moisture penetration may need to be done by a plumber or other trade specialty, depending on the source of the water intrusion.
Once the remediation has been completed, a post-remediation verification (PRV) inspection should be conducted prior to rebuilding the affected area. It is prudent to use the same inspection company before and after the remediation to ensure consistency in the inspection protocol and testing methodology. The PRV inspection will verify that the mold problem has been handled properly before reconstruction.
The scheduling and billing for the PRV or clearance inspection should be handled through the inspection company directly instead of the remediation company. This ensures accurate pricing and independent reporting.
Whenever a mold problem has been identified, it needs to be solved. Inspection and remediation is the way to solve it. It is in the best interest of owners and occupants to work collaboratively to have the problem solved as soon as possible to prevent further risk to persons and property. The key to mold control is moisture control.
Jason Harris of Same Day Mold Testing offers fast affordable results for owners and occupants concerned about the indoor environment of their structures. The company was established in 2005 to serve owners, managers and tenants in the arena of mold contamination.
As of June 24, 2011, this service provider was highly rated on Angie’s List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check AngiesList.com for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie’s List.