Unfortunately there are many people who wear a contractor hat, pick up a hammer and claim themselves to be an expert when it comes to mold remediation.
Quite unsurprisingly, when natural disasters strike and several basements get flooded, there are many ‘mold remediation’ companies which suddenly spring up and start offering their services. Unfortunately, these ‘mold remediation’ companies happen to be contractors who think they can offer these services when they are most needed by people and make some quick money.
You will identify a bogus contractor, the minute they claim that they can completely remediate the mold in your home using ozone other such machines. The other scams which revolve around mold are those claiming that just fogging your home, or spraying a few chemicals all around will magically get rid of all the mold problems. Well... Not really!!
Protect Yourself from Bogus Contractors
Educate yourself. Know everything there is to know in this regard.
Know what exactly are mold and the causes for the growth of the same.
Equipping yourself with knowledge will ensure that you will not fall for one of these mold removal scams.
Mold and How to Deal with It
Mold needs sufficient moisture, as well as, water to grow and multiply. Materials like insulation and drywall tend to remain wet for an extremely long time; although on the surface they look perfectly dry.
The very first problem that needs to be addressed with respect to mold removal is moisture control. There is no use of remediating mold, if you do not remove mold from your premises.
Removal of mold is in no sense an easy fix. If you find a contractor who says it is, then the person simply does not understand mold and reasons behind its growth.
Removing mold from a premises, does not involve spraying chemicals everywhere. It is important to understand that though mold is killed, even the dead spores turn out be, as harmful as, those that are living.
Mold is a fungus; hence, this is its survival mechanism. The mold disperses spores and finds areas which are suitable for its growth.
While dealing with mold, one must understand that the first thing that needs to be addressed is the prevention of spread of mold. This helps in the prevention of cross-contamination, as well as, containing it. Now that the mold has been contained, we can then begin to address the problem.
Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Contractor
If you are looking to hire a contractor who will remediate the mold present in your property, do not forget to ask the following questions.
Has the contractor agreed to give you a change order or written contract?
Has the contractor agreed to give you a remediation plan which will be used on your premises?
Has the contractor agreed to give you the post-remediation verification report for the mold remediation?
Has the contractor agreed to provide you with the post-remediation verification report provided by an independent environment professional?
Is the contractor carrying insurance?
Are the employees of the contractor IICRC certified?
Has the contactor put up containment for prevention of cross contamination?
Are HEPA filtered air machines, as well as, air scrubbers used by the contractor to clean air?
Has the contractor agreed to provide referrals along with their contact information?
Is the equipment used by the contractor DOP tested?
If answers to one or more questions are NO, then you might want to look out for a different contractor.
In case you feel sick, you get to a doctor immediately and avail the treatment. Similarly mold remediation specialists happen to be doctors of the buildings. They treat the building to remove the toxic mold in order to ensure that the structure remains healthy. Just like health care professionals, the mold remediation specialists are also specialised in tackling certain problems. Hence to get rid of the mold problem, the contractor must have been trained properly to do the same.
Long Term Fix
If you are looking for a long term fix for the mold problems, then follow the below mentioned steps,
Hire a highly reputed mold remediation professional.
Verify the work of the contractor before you hire him. Hire an Environmental Consultant who can perform a post-remediation verification. This happens to be an extremely step as this will ensure that proper remediation has been done. In case you sell the property in future, the documentation that has been provided by the environmental professional will come in handy.
Now you can hire the contractor. Do ensure that the work is done in accordance with the building standards.
If you get a long term fix then you will end up saving a lot in the longer run, as compared to getting a short term fix.