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If you’ve found or suspect mold in your home, you probably have questions about how to hire a mold removal contractor. These considerations might include whether you should hire a company or do the work yourself, the process, and other factors. Mold Advisor has all the information you’ll need to help you make these decisions with the best knowledge under your belt.
When to Hire a Mold Removal Contractor
Deciding when it’s time to hire a mold removal contractor can be a confusing process. First you must determine if you have mold. When you can’t see the mold, it can sometimes be hard to discern its presence. After determining you have mold, you must choose to remove it yourself or hire a mold removal contractor. If you opt to bring in the pros, they will walk you through the process of the remediation. This can often include testing for the presence of mold or for the type of mold where your state requires testing.
· Is it mold?
o Mold forms when moisture is present in one area for too long. Common locations for mold include attics, basements, bathrooms, crawl spaces, and kitchens. Still, mold can be present anywhere in your home because spores can travel in the air under the right conditions. If you can visibly see signs of mold, most cases are that’s what you have. If you can’t see signs of mold with the naked eye, it may still be present in these kinds of areas. Other signs of mold are musty odors, discoloration on ceilings and walls, spots of stains from water or an unknown source.
· Can I get rid of mold by myself?
o It is possible to remove mold by yourself. However, you should bring in professionals if the area is larger than 10 feet squared or goes deeper than the surface of the affected materials. If the mold hasn’t gone through the affected cabinets or walls, you should be safe to remove the mold on your own. If you decide to remove the mold by yourself, you should take precautions to ensure you stay safe and accurately perform the work. This will prevent possible illnesses or health risks. This will also prevent the regrowth of mold in the treated area or a mold in a new area from contamination.
§ How to remove mold by yourself
· While removing mold from your home by yourself, you should always wear protective gear like gloves, a ventilator, and safety goggles. You can prevent mold spores from spreading by segregating the room undergoing treatment with plastic sheeting. Properly dispose your contaminated items and materials by using heavy-duty plastic bags. Use a bleach disinfectant to properly kill the mold. Be sure to repair the initial source of the mold, whether it be a leaky pipe or a hole in the roof.
· Mold testing and inspections
o When you see mold with the naked eye, a test is no necessary to prove that mold is present. If you cannot see the mold, a mold contractor may be able to find signs of mold with a test. They often look for signs of moisture that would lead to a problem and sometimes even poke small holes in the wall to get a better idea of what is going on behind them. If mold is sighted during their visual inspection, they’ll provide you with a process to remove the it. The only exception is in states that require mold testing prior to the remediation process. This requirement comes to prevent fraud, so the extra cost may be worth it to consumers.
· Reasons to hire a mold removal contractor
o If you’ve got a failed attempt at removing the mold your self on your hands, it may be time to call in the pros. You should look to hire a mold removal contractor that is experienced and has the proper tools to get rid of your home’s mold problem for good. You should look to hire a mold removal contractor if:
§ Frequent attempts to disinfect haven’t killed the mold
§ The mold keeps growing after using bleach to treat it
§ Your safety might be impaired during a try at self-removal
§ You are allergic to mold or suffer from respiratory illnesses, like asthma or emphysema
§ The mold coverage is larger than 10 square feet
§ The mold appears thick or has eaten through walls or cabinets
§ You can’t find the moisture problem that lead to the growth in mold
Finding the Right Mold Removal Contractor
There are many factors you should be concerned about when hiring a mold removal contractor. It’s crucial that you gather information about each company you are considering. This will help you find the contractor that is best suited for your needs and gives you the best value. A simple internet search on each company should provide you with most of the information you’ll need. For the rest of the questions you may have, you can contact the companies directly to ask.
· Reputation of the mold removal company
o The reputation of a company will help you discern whether to hire a company. You should do thorough investigation of every contractor you consider prior to authorizing them to remove mold in your home. Any red flags in their reviews and referrals might be a reason not to hire such contractors.
§ Online reviews
· You can tell a lot about a company by what others say online. Lots of consumers will leave a review of a company on Google or the company’s own website. This is useful information to show how satisfied previous clients are. If the contractor has no online presence, you may not be able to rely on online reviews.
· You can ask the contractor for contacts of clients they’ve worked for previously. However, many won’t give you these references prior to obtaining a contract with you. Others may refuse altogether, citing privacy of the customers.
· You can also refer to the Better Business Bureau for more information on the contractor. For instance, there may be unresolved complaints listed that you should be aware of.
o When you are trying to decide on a mold removal contractor, consider their qualifications. A company’s training and where their certifications come from can make a big difference in the quality of the people you’re hiring. You wouldn’t want to unknowingly put your trust in a company that has no trained skills or a proper certification. Some companies will train their employees on the job or through apprenticeships. In those cases, you should verify their level of experience and refer to their reputation.
§ Training and experience
· A good mold removal contractor will always stay up to date with new practices and training. Knowledge and expertise in their field is extra advantage for utilizing their services.
§ Sources for certification organizations and online listings
· When companies invest in training and continued education, they usually are happy to provide you with the sources. Displaying their credentials gives mold removal contractors a leg-up in the industry.
§ licenses, certifications, and specialization
· The Institute of Inspection Cleaning & Restoration Certification (IICRC) is the top certification in mold removal training. Many mold removal contractors will belong to the Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA).
· Products used
o To get the best value, you don’t always have to spend the most money. Still, you want to make sure that the equipment your mold removal contractor is using properly addresses the situation and maintains the health of your family and all the contractor’s workers. Check with your contractor to make sure they are using products that will be safe for your family while clearing out all the mold without cross contamination. Not all equipment is effective in fully removing mold, so it’s important that your contractor has access to the right products and knows how to use them properly.
§ HEPA filters
· HEPA filtered, negative air machines need to be fully placed in the containment zone to prevent cross contamination throughout your home. The exhaust of these machines should be positioned to aim the mold spores to the outside of the home.
§ Masks, suits, gloves, eye protection, respirators, protective footwear
· The mold removal contractor must ensure that their employees take precautions to protect themselves. This involves wearing Hazmat suites, eye protection, gloves, protective footwear, and respirators.
§ Cleaning products
· Your contractor will likely use strong cleaning agents to effectively remediate the mold. You can check with them to ensure they are using eco-friendly, non-toxic products.
· Value received
o When deciding to hire a mold removal contractor, check to see what added values are included in their services. Coverage of accidental damages and warranties on services go a long way to safeguard you against unexpected costs. These supplemental values can give you some added peace of mind when deciding between several companies.
§ Insurance for company
· When hiring a mold removal contractor, ask if they are insured. If a contractor makes a costly mistake or breaks something in your home on accident, the costs can be covered by their insurance in most cases.
· You should always check if your mold removal contractor provides a warranty with their service. This is vital for the rare occurrence of regrowth.
Process to Hire a Mold Removal Contractor
The process to hire a mold removal contractor involves several steps to ensure a smooth transaction. You’ll begin by making initial contact with the company. This is followed by the initial testing and communications on the scope of work. Once you’ve hired a company, they will begin the mold removal process and may follow up with air quality testing.
· Initial Contact
o To hire a mold removal contractor, you’ll need to contact them. Their website may have a contact form for you to fill out, or you can call them on the phone. You’ll have the opportunity to see how professionally they handle your interactions. This gives you your first impression of the company, be it positive or negative. Use the phone call as an opportunity to ask about their process. They should ask you about the particulars of your situation, like whether you are a renter or a homeowner and your mold info.
· Mold Inspections
o The next step in the process is the mold inspection. You’ll need to decide whether to have one completed or not. Several states require testing, so you may not have the choice to forgo this step. Not all companies provide testing, so you may need to consider bringing in a third-party company for this purpose. Be sure to get a copy of your written report if you do decide to have your mold tested. These will tell you how sever your case is and work as a guide to determine the removal process.
· Air Quality Testing
o Air quality testing can be performed by most mold removal contractors. This procedure will give you a better idea of how serious your mold problem may be. Samples are sent to a lab to determine the effectivity of your mold removal. Testing the air quality will provide you with information on the type of mold spores and the concentration. This testing is not required and may not be very helpful before the mold removal occurs. However, after the remediation, you can request air quality testing to be sure the situation has been properly eradicated. Failing this test means that the mold removal contractor has not fully removed the mold or may have caused an issue with cross contamination.
· Mold Removal
o When you hire a mole removal contractor, they should provide you with a scope of work on the steps they will take. They should also provide you with a quote based on their procedures. They need to have a clear plan that they will follow that includes keeping documented records during the removal. They should also record any new discoveries and communicate new costs to you as they are completing the work. Their plan should also specify their disposal methods and whether you must vacate the property.
Figuring out how to hire a mold removal contractor can be a challenging task. Mold Advisor makes it easy by clearing up the confusion. You can call Mold Advisor today to find the best mold removal company near you.
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