4 Signs You Might Not be Working With an Honest Mold Inspection Company
Like other service industries, the mold industry business has scam artists eager to profit from the public’s lack of information about mold. These scams are based on the fears of the general public in regard to mold and other indoor contaminants. While it may be hard for most law-abiding people to imagine, it happens quite often in the greater Los Angeles area. Here are a few top mold scams and tips on avoiding them.
1. Uncertified Inspector
This is not as hard to detect as believed, because a reputable mold inspector will hold membership with at least one nationally recognized trade association for mold professionals, and carry both worker’s compensation and professional liability insurance. Always verify a mold inspector’s certification(s), experience and references before choosing one
2. Visual-Only Mold Inspection
Companies or individuals claiming they can determine if there’s a mold problem simply by looking at it is one of the more common scams in the industry. While a thorough visual inspection is an important part of the inspection process, it should be accompanied by testing to scientifically determine whether mold is present, where it is and the level of concentrations that are present. A visual-only examination will never accurately prove that you have a problem.
3. Mold Inspectors Who Do Mold Removal
Some of the worst perpetrators of mold scams are “mold inspectors” who are also in the mold remediation (removal) business. Mold remediation is a highly lucrative business, and unscrupulous contractors use mold inspections as a means to drum up expensive remediation jobs for themselves. Most consumers don’t know enough about residential mold to comprehend they’re being conned until it’s too late. Performing both mold inspections and remediation is a severe conflict of interest with a high potential for fraudulently charging multiple thousands in unnecessary repair work.
The best way to dodge this mold scam is to hire an independent “inspection only” company that isn’t affiliated with any mold remediation business. It’s the best way to ensure you’re getting an honest inspection and unbiased inspection report.
4. “Self-graded” Post-Remediation Clearance Testing
The last step in the process is a post-remediation inspection to confirm and document that the mold removal was successful, but clearance testing should never be performed by the mold removal contractor — particularly if he or she offers to do if for free. Always have the post-remediation clearance testing conducted by a certified mold inspector without affiliation to the remediation contractor. Just as a teacher doesn’t let a student grade his or her paper, nor should you allow the repair company to grade their own work.