Complete Guide to Mold Remediation and Testing
Walls, books, carpets, clothes, ceiling – molds can grow anywhere if there is moisture.
Mold is a type of fungus that can develop indoors or outdoors, especially in places where sunlight doesn’t reach. Most homes will have mold growth in damp places such as kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, etc.
When mold grows outdoors, it plays an important role in nature by breaking down dead leaves and other organic matter. It creates a “mycorrhizal network” in the soil that connects plants, delivers nutrients and helps the billions of other living microorganisms to thrive.
Think of it as the “internet of soil.”
However, when it grows indoors, mold spores get released into the air which you and your family breathe. Thus, it can turn from Nature’s Soil Miracle to a harmful pathogen for your health as well as the property.
Molds are mostly harmless in small quantities. In fact, your body’s natural immune system is well equipped to deal with the normal amount of mold spores in the air.
However, you cannot leave mold to proliferate. In fact, you should be proactive in initiating the mold remediation task. Failing to do so may increase the cost and negatively affects your health as some types of molds are dangerous.
How can you control the growth of molds inside your home? The best way is to carry out a timely house mold inspection and testing.
In this blog, we have detailed everything you need to know about mold inspection at home or at your office.
Is Mold Testing a Scam?
Let us start from here. As you may know, mold remediation has grown into a big business in recent years. Subsequently, the mold remediation industry includes a good number of scammers who pretend to be house mold removal specialists.
Some of them use scare tactics to increase their business. These fake mold experts not only make the mold inspection a scam but also may break your bank in the pretext of mold remediation.
In a nutshell, mold inspection is not a scam. Although the mold remediation industry is legitimate, dishonest people play fraud games and consider it as a source of easy money. If you are wondering how to prevent yourself from falling into a scam, we have a few tips to share.
1. Scare Tactics:
If the company is trying to make you scared or share ‘horror’ stories of mold growths, you can definitely suspect a scam.
2. No Guarantee:
Most fake companies will not offer a guarantee for their mold remediation work. Whereas, if you are hiring mold removal specialists from a legitimate company like DryCare Restoration, you will get a 5-years mold-free guarantee.
3. Free Testing:
Some companies offer free inspections, others charge for them. This is not a “make or break” indicator, as many professional and honest companies now inspect for free – to stay ahead in a competitive market. Either way, it’s important to look at the company’s history and testimonials. Just because it’s free, doesn’t mean it isn’t thorough. Here at DryCare, for example, we offer free inspections without obligation or pressure. We just want to make sure – if you have mold – to give you the very best options, even if you don’t end up hiring us for the mold remediation.
4. Payment Terms:
If the company is asking you to pay the total cost upfront, it could be a scam. As per standard practices, you have to pay 25-30% percent of the total cost as an advance, 50% during the work and the rest after completion. Moreover, you should not have to pay a large sum as a deposit. Many times, you can also negotiate with a company if you need a little extra help in the “budget department.”
5. Lack of Knowledge:
A fake team for house mold inspection will not possess in-depth knowledge about mold formation, types of molds, remediation activities, etc. If they lack knowledge, you should ask for more credentials and make sure it is not a scam.
6. Negative Reviews:
In this digital age, it is a matter of seconds to check the online reviews about any company. Most of the credible companies will have a website or have a presence in business listing pages where you can read reviews. If you find several negative reviews, think twice before you hire them.
7. Post Floods:
There are scammers who suddenly pop up after a natural disaster and offer mold testing and mold remediation services. If someone approaches you soon after floods or hurricanes, make sure you check their credentials and read reviews before you let them inside your premises.
What are the Benefits of Mold Inspection and Testing?
As mentioned above, timely mold inspection and testing is the only remedy to keep your home free of molds. If your home is located in the wet parts of the country, the chance of mold growth stands higher hence require extra attention from you.
Listed below are the various benefits of conducting an inspection and testing process by professional mold inspection companies.
1. Identify and Eliminate
Not all molds are visible to human eyes. Most of the time, homeowners recognize the presence of mold only when a home mold inspection is carried out. Another aspect is that mold growth occurs mostly at places that are away from sunlight such as the dark corners or beneath the carpet.
You may hardly notice its growth until it starts causing allergic reactions to the persons living inside the house. By hiring professional mold inspection companies, you can identify such dark spots and eliminate their presence.
READ ALSO: Top 9 Myths About Mold Debunked
2. A Cost-Effective Step
As molds multiply quickly, it can create damage to the structure easily. When you fail to identify its presence and take steps to eliminate it, it may lead to further damage to the property.
Hence, you will have to spend more money on restoring it. To avoid such occurrence, it is always better to ensure timely inspection of molds by professional experts.
3. Scientific Inspection
In many homes, the growth of molds which you can see will be just be the tip of an iceberg. You may clean the surface with cleaning agents. But you may not be able to determine whether the growth is extensive anywhere else (which it most certainly will be).
When it is left to be accumulated inside, mold will slowly cause damage to the property. Or you may get frequent allergies. Sometimes what may appear as molds may not actually be that, and will turn out to be some other microorganisms.
Through a proper mold inspection, you can understand its category, reasons for growth, and figure out the best remediation activities.
However, if you see molds in the house, you may probably skip the step of a mold inspection. You can directly hire a professional team for mold removal services to eliminate it.
Tips to Hire the Best Mold Inspector
A normal individual will hardly have an in-depth understanding of molds, mold testing or mold remediation. It is always better to leave the task to experts if you are concerned about the health and safety of your home.
Moreover, complicated tasks such as toxic molds identification and black mold cleanup should definitely be done by professional experts.
On the flip side, you may find numerous unprofessional companies who have little knowledge about mold inspection. Since the industry is not well-regulated, you may have a hard time finding the right team for mold inspection at home.
We have listed out a few tips to help you search for a mold treatment company.
1. Get Referrals
When you start searching for a mold inspection company, start by taking referrals from people who have recently hired mold inspectors. It is always wise to go with word-of-mouth recommendations and referrals, if you can.
2. Verify the Credentials
First and foremost, make sure the company you consider for mold remediation has the required accreditations from relevant and recognized authorities. For accreditations, they have to comply with the requisite standards and protocols. Accreditation certificates are one way to verify their credentials.
3. Check the Insurance
If the company has not updated its insurance, do not hire them. You will have to incur the expense if unexpected damages occur during the mold removal project. Be sure that the company has updated its certifications and insurance policies before hiring them.
4. Dig up the History
Do consider the years of experience and types of projects that the company has carried out in the past. Generally, companies with considerable experience will be more professional and knowledgeable during the inspection process.
To put it another way, the experience and expertise of the mold inspector determine the quality of the work they do for you.
5. Consider Multiple Companies
Do not hire the first company that approaches you with a reasonable mold treatment assessment. It is better to shortlist two or three companies before you finalize the one.
To make an informed decision on price, get quotes from different mold inspection companies. Analyze it to have a better idea of the average cost of doing the job. It is always recommended to get at least three quotes so that you will know the rates prevailing in your locale.
6. Request Written Inspection Reports
Ask and confirm whether the mold inspection company you hire provides you with a detailed inspection report. You should request for a report on the investigation they have done for future references.
Once you have finalized the company for the mold removal task, make sure you go for a written contract including the timeline of work. This is very essential to avoid any issues in the future during the course of work.
7. Be Clear About the Payment Terms
Lastly, make sure you inquire about the payment terms and conditions of the mold testing company. As a rule of thumb, do not agree with any company that requests full payment in advance.
What Happens During House Mold Inspection?
If you are hiring a mold testing company for the first time, you may probably have questions on what’s happening during the process.
Here’s an insight into the procedures involved in a mold inspection project. It may have slight variations as each company has a different work protocol. Let’s take a generalized view of the procedure.
1. Hunt with Tools
During the house mold inspection, the process starts from looking for visual clues that indicate the presence of molds. A skilled professional will make use of multiple tools to identify the presence of molds. Those which cannot be seen by naked human eyes can be detected by using modern tools. They may use fiber-optic cameras for the process. The mold inspector will detect the exact location, the severity of mold growth and may even identify whether it has created any damage to the property.
2. Check for the Cause of Molds
A professional house mold inspection company will not only check for mold growth but also find the reason behind it. Wherever there is moisture, there is a chance for mold growth.
Therefore, the professional will identify leakage or water damage areas in the house to prevent the growth of molds later. Make sure you do water damage restoration work as soon as possible to prevent the recurrence of molds.
3. Measure the Moisture Level
If the humidity is high in the air, the chance of mold formation is higher inside your home. Therefore, the mold inspector will check the humidity level in each of the rooms in your home using moisture measuring devices.
4. Sample Analysis
As a last step in the inspection process, the individual will do certain procedures to identify the type of mold. If needed, the mold inspector will request for an air quality test in order to identify the count of spores in the room.
Also, they may ask you to send the sample to a third party lab for further examination if it is required.
Contact Us For All Damage Restoration Services
Known as the “Lifeguards of Property Damage,” DryCare Restoration provides fire and smoke damage remediation, water damage remediation, flood water removal, mold removal, and biohazard cleanup to commercial and residential customers. Founded in 2014, DryCare technicians are thoroughly screened, insured, and trained in utilizing the latest mitigation technology and procedures while operating under a strict code of ethics. DryCare is family-owned and operated. For more information, visit our About Us Page.
For professional water & fire damage restoration or mold remediation in Los Angeles, Ventura or Orange County, contact us today.