Mold damage in your home is a serious issue that may require the help of a mold remediation expert. Unfortunately, it’s easy to fall prey to someone posing as a professional to rip you off. No wonder many people wonder if mold remediation is a scam.
Mold remediation is, in fact, a legitimate, safe, and necessary method for restoring or maintaining your space. It’s crucial to vet companies carefully to ensure you get the service you need and pay for. Here are some tips to help you determine whether a mold remediation professional is qualified to help you.
Signs of Mold Removal Scam
Mold removal fraudsters try a variety of schemes to snare unsuspecting customers. Watch out for these tactics that are common with scammers:
- No license: The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation licenses mold remediators and holds them to strict certification and insurance standards.
- Full payment upfront: A fair payment arrangement will allow partial payments with the last portion paid after the work is done and independently tested.
- Free mold testing: Mold testing is expensive, and reputable companies typically charge for this service.
- Dark sealant: Honest mold removal professionals apply clear sealant for easy inspection of their work, while shady companies may use a solid-colored sealant to hide evidence of remaining mold.
- No guarantees: A mold remediation professional should stand behind their work and offer written estimates.
Many reputable mold remediation companies offer both testing and remediation services. Florida’s state law requires that if a company performs mold testing and offers to remove the mold, the mold remediation contract must disclose that you, the homeowner, have the right to request competitive bids.
Do I Really Need a Mold Remediation Company?
Ultimately, you must decide whether you or a professional should remove the mold in your home. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), homeowners can remediate moldy areas less than 10 square feet – about 3 feet by 3 feet. For guidance on larger moldy areas or spaces with extensive water damage, read the EPA’s publication Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings. Although this information does not directly address residential properties, it can answer many of your concerns.
Should you decide to hire a mold removal provider, choose one with experience cleaning up mold. Ask if they follow the EPA’s recommendations or other government or professional organizations’ guidelines. Check for references, too.
Can Remediated Mold Come Back?
Mold thrives in moisture, so remediated mold can grow back if this issue isn’t resolved. Even after removing all evidence of mold, it is urgent to find and repair the underlying source of water or moisture. Otherwise, mold will show up again as new moisture collects. Look for leaks around:
- roof or gutters
- water heater
- refrigerator with icemaker
- exhaust fans
Mold also loves high humidity. Reduce the humidity in your home to 50% or lower, as long as your rooms remain comfortable.
How to Avoid Getting Taken by a Mold Removal Company
The best way to avoid becoming a victim of mold removal fraud is to hire a licensed professional with a solid record. They should be able to explain the difference between mold removal and mold remediation and offer the best remedy for your situation. Mold removal takes out mold but does not deal with the moisture source. Mold remediation can include inspection, testing, mold removal, containment, demolition, cleanup, and sanitizing to get mold levels back to a safe level.
Make sure your service provider accommodates post-remediation inspection before making your final payment. Finally, remember that no one can eradicate mold entirely because it’s a natural part of our ecosystem.