5 Ways To Protect Yourself When
Choosing a Mold Inspection
It’s an unfortunate fact in the mold world that inspection and remediation companies often have shady relationships and kickback agreements that put consumers at risk. Here are 5 ways to protect your finances and health:
1. Don’t hire an inspector that also does remediation.
This is a recipe for disaster as some inspectors will exaggerate the extent of mold damage in order to make more money on the remediation.
When your remediation is complete, you should have your home tested to verify that the mold is actually gone. If your inspector does your remediation, you cannot necessarily count on him or her to tell you if the remediation wasn’t done properly and completely.
2. Do not share with your inspector who is doing your remediation and don’t tell the person doing your remediation who will do your post-remediation mold inspection.
Again, this is a way to protect yourself from conflicts of interest that can cost you money and impact your health.
3. Choose inspectors who use third-party certified laboratories to process their mold samples and who will provide you with the actual lab reports.
Proper identification of mold spores is important. Mold identification courses for amateurs have popped up throughout the country so it is difficult to know who knows what they’re doing without laboratory certification. You don’t want to worry that Stachybotrys (“toxic black mold”) was mistaken for Cladosporium (a mold commonly found on houseplants) or vice versa.
4. Ask what certifications your inspector holds.
In most of the United States, mold inspectors must complete only a three-day certification course. Mold inspection isn’t rocket science but additional education and certifications can provide you with reassurance that you’re working with someone who is truly interested in protecting your health.
5. Ask how many samples your inspector plans to take and be suspicious of those who claim they’re trying to save you money by doing the fewest samples possible.
Mold inspectors incur additional costs with each mold sample they take which can chip away at their profits. While a thorough inspection for water intrusion and areas of elevated moisture is very important, taking an adequate number of mold samples is equally important. Mold hidden within wall cavities or within HVAC systems or ductwork is often discovered only through sampling. The more samples the inspector takes, the higher the chances of catching a hidden problem area.
Anna Conkey graduated from the highly regarded Institute of Building Biology and Ecology as a Building Biology Environmental Consultant as well as an Electromagnetic Radiation Specialist. Additionally, she holds certifications in mold inspection, mold remediation, and is a Council-Certified Residential Indoor Environmentalist.
Anna offers a hybrid service for mold, VOC, and formaldehyde testing that combines rental of professional sampling, thermal imaging, and moisture meter equipment with DIY test kits that are processed by a professional laboratory. For more, visit: www.conflictfreemold.com.
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