Do you suspect that you have a mold infestation? You need to take care of it right away! However, in your rush to hire a mold remediation specialist, do not make the mistake of merely calling the first name in the phone book and signing a contract with them.
Here are ten questions that you need to ask of the mold removal companies that you are thinking of hiring, and a good idea of what you should be looking for when they answer.
1) What method do you use to do mold testing?
When testing for mold, some companies feel it is just to do an air quality sample. However, this does not give the most definitive results. Make sure that they are also doing a visual sweep and material samples when they see something concerning. A full and thorough inspection is the only way to definitively determine, not only if you have a mold infestation, but also the full extent of it.
2) What qualifications do the inspector and the removal specialist have?
Although there are not any nationally required certifications for mold removal personnel, it is still a good sign if the person working on your house is educated and licensed – and preferably engages in ongoing training, as well.
Two examples of licenses that mold removal specialists often hold are Certified Microbial Inspector (CMI) or Certified Microbial Consultant (CMC).
3) What kind of quality control does the company employ?
The answer you absolutely do not want to hear to this question is, “None.”
The truth is, many companies employ no quality control at all, or if they do, it is slipshod at best. For many companies, the idea of quality control means that they handle complaints as people call in. They investigate claims, but do no proactive quality assurance.
Look for a company that has a proven system of quality control in place. There should be a spot checks by management, as well as a robust training system in place.
4) When was the company founded?
Although every company has to start sometime, it behooves you in most cases to trust a company that has a long history of doing good business in your community. Finding out when the company was founded can give you a good baseline to compare when you are deciding between multiple services. A company that has been in business for two years might not be quite as trustworthy as one that has been in business for 20.
5) Are they a member in good standing with the Better Business Bureau?
You should definitely ask whether the company in question is in good standing with the Better Business Bureau, if they are even in fact a member. Don’t just take their word for it, though – you can call the Better Business Bureau itself and inquire about the status of any company. You can also find out the details of any open and unresolved issues they may have on the books.
6) What kind of black mold remediation experience does the company have? Do they specialize?
All types of home repair are not created equal. You do not want a higher a general contracting company which is passing itself off as a mold removal service. You want to make sure that you hire a company which specializes in the treatment and eradication of mold, specifically.
Make certain before you sign a contract that the person who will be coming out to service your home has the necessary training and experience to do a professional, and above all effective job.
Mold is a tricky business. It can seem as if it’s gone only to rear its ugly head at a later date. However, during that time that you were unaware of its presence, it is more firmly entrenching itself in the architecture of your home, and it can be causing health problems for you and your family, as well.
When you hire a service to remove mold from your home, you need to be able to trust that they are going to do the job that you paid them to do, and do it well. When they say the mold is gone, you have to be able to believe that it actually is.
7) Do they have both recent and past references, with contact information?
No one is in a better position to tell you whether the company that you are considering hiring is effective and professional than the people they have worked for in the past.
When you ask for references, make sure that those references come with contact information. Testimonials from people that you cannot personally contact are virtually worthless. You need to be able to, first of all, verify that those references are indeed real and from past clients, and you also need to make sure that their opinion of the company has not changed in the intervening time since they gave the reference.
8) What is the estimate of the total black mold removal cost?
When you ask for an estimate, you need to make clear that you are asking for an estimate of the total cost of the job – not just the basic cost, to which extras will be added later. Of course, any estimate is only that – a best guess. Still, you need to be clear that the estimate you are asking for should be comprehensive, and not foundational.
9) How soon are they available to start work on my home?
When you find out that you have a mold problem that needs to be taken care of, is not acceptable to have to wait weeks until the remediation professionals can come to your home and take care of it. The sooner any of the mold removal companies are available to start working on your home, the better.
10) What are their payment terms?
Some companies offer payment plans. If you sign a contract that includes a structured payment plan, make sure that the terms are clear and that you understand them.
When mold removal companies can answer these questions confidently and to your satisfaction, you will feel nothing but peace of mind entrusting the well-being of your property to one of them!