When you suspect that mold may be present in your home or business, finding the right professional to do an assessment of your property can be a difficult task. Locating a certified inspector that is both experienced and inexpensive can sometimes lead potential customers to the more unsavory characters within this industry. In many cases you can find advertisements for mold inspection companies that state they provide “free professional inspections” or “free samples” with each job. It is important that you are not misled by such statements, as a business is not going to just give away their services. Before you book an appointment, it is important to understand what to look for in both the mold inspection company and the mold inspector.
As mentioned above, inspectors and inspection companies will state that they provide their customers with free inspections and samples. This, however, is a ploy to rake in custumers with outlandish claims. In many instances the inspector will provide a free or severely discounted rate for their inspection process. However, when the mold inspectors come to the property they will suggest the custumer pay for additional samples. In some cases a customer will think they are going to receive an inspection for a low price until each additional sample racks the price up to several hundred dollars. These tricks are common among many of the less-certified inspectors in the mold inspection industry. When you are shopping for quotes, make sure that you determine exactly how much the inspection is, what is involved, and how many samples will be taken.
News report revealing how some companies don’t thorough inspect and scam clients:
Another common practice of dishonest mold inspectors is that they will claim to be able to determine the species of mold in your home merely by performing a visual inspection of your property. This is completely unfounded, and if an inspector claims to have this ability you are most definitely being misled. The only way to properly determine what kind of mold is present in your home or business is to have samples of the suspect mold sent to a lab for analysis. A legitimate mold inspection is necessary for a thorough understanding of the scope of the problem. This will allow for the proper remediation to be done and all contaminated items to be either removed or cleaned completely. The biggest problem with remediation efforts is avoiding cross-contamination.
Yet another important aspect of mold inspection and testing is determining if a mold infestation is the result of improper ventilation, mold-infested air ducts, moisture intrusion, construction abnormalities, or a pipe leak. For example, if an existing leak is to blame for current mold growth in a building an inspector should be able to determine the origins of this kind of issue. When the leak is discovered, it can be fixed and future mold problems will be far less frequent. Again, if an inspector claims to know what areas need work merely by viewing your property, without adequate air and surface testing and the use of moisture meter or infrared equipment, the problem will not be identified properly.
If you are planning on obtaining the services of a certified inspector, it is important to know whether or not they possess a variety of experience, training, and industry affiliations. These affiliations will indicate that the inspector knows the correct protocol and standards associated with the mold inspection and testing process.
As previously mentioned, the appropriate sampling and analysis is necessary during the inspection process to ensure that remediation efforts are not done in vain. If you hire an inspector that abides by the protocol and standards established within this industry, it is more likely the inspector will also employ the services of an accredited laboratory. It is also important that any inspector that you hire uses the services of a third-party lab. This will ensure that the results of the laboratory analysis are unbiased and accurate. You can also verify that the lab used by the inspector is accredited by checking for its affiliation with one of the following organizations: the National Board of Industrial Hygiene (NBIH), or the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA). By checking credentials you can receive the most accurate and comprehensive readings of the microbial spore levels in your home.
The proper inspection and testing of mold will lay the foundation for the remediation process. If an inspector claims to provide a free comprehensive mold inspection, know that something is not quite right. Companies are generally not willing to provide their services at no charge. In many cases they are looking to make an even bigger profit by indicating the presence of mold with physical proof. To determine if mold is present on your property the use of a certified, fully-trained and experienced inspector is necessary. Remember, if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.