How to Hire Quality Mold Testing & Remediation Contractors
April 18, 2017
1. Always compare qualifications of contractors/industrial Hygienists/remediators through reputable organizations. Keep in mind, however,that just being connected to any organization does not ensure quality performance or qualify as a recommendation...but it is a good start to use in your screening process.
2. Get at least 3 bids for work. Require detailed estimates and compare protocols, safety measures and products used.
3. Ask for references and ask questions. Ask if the references had health issues, did they have noticeable improvements? What safety/protection measures will be taken? What equipment will be used? What treatments will be used? Who will determine if the mold has been competely removed? (This should be third party testing.) Will HEPA air scrubbers be used? For how long? Will they be vented outside? Will areas not affected be protected? How?
4. Does the 'professional' believe mold spores can cause health issues? Do they believe mold in attics or behind walls can be dangerous? (The answer should be YES!)
5. Avoid contractors who are arrogant, dismissive or unwilling to consider your research. Knowledgeable contractors dealing with mold with an educated mind, know that mold is complex to deal with. NO ONE knows it all! Mold is just too complicated and research is not complete.
Know that only 5 states have ANY regulations regarding the mold toxins, so buyer beware! Anyone who can make a website can sell their services as a 'mold professional' in most states. There is NO third party verification of qualifications in most states so do your own research. Look to IICRC for certification or look for professionals with engineering or architectural licenses.
AS of Jan 2016 NY State Now Requires Licensing for Mold Professionals
Only the following states have state regulations regarding mold:
2003 - Louisiana
2004 - Texas
2011 - Florida
2016 - New Hampshire
2016 - California
Mold Remediation - Conducting the business of removal, cleaning, sanitizing or surface disinfection of mold, mold containment, and waste handling of mold, contaminated materials and materials used to remove mold from surfaces by a business enterprise. MOLD REMEDIATION DOES NOT INCLUDE REMEDIATION OF THE UNDERLYING SOURCES OF MOISTURE THAT MAY BE THE CAUSE OF THE MOLD.
Mold Abatement - Means the act of removing, cleaning, sanitizing or surface disinfections of mold, mold containment and waste handleing of mold, mold contaminated materials and other materials used to remove mold from surfaces by an individual.
Assessor - A mold assessor shall prepare a REMEDIATION PLAN specific to each project and provide to the client before remediation begins. The plan must specify:
1. Rooms/ area and extent of the work
2. Quantities of materials to be removed/cleaned.
3. Methods to be used for each type of remediation in each area.
4. PPE (Professional Protection Equipment) to be supplied by remediators for use by qualified abators.
5. Proposed clearance procedures and criteria
Remediation Plans should include the following:
1. When a project is occupied, occupant notification method including project size, duratios and means of egress and access for entry and removal of debris.
2. Estimated cost and time for completion
3. Variables and how they should be addresses
4. Determination of how underlying causes and sources of moisture that may cause mold and recommendations for remedies. (A licensed architect may be necessary and beneficial for determining appropriate remedies.)
5. Location and extend of containment.
6. Notification of occupants as necessary for the safety of all occupants and visitor.s
7. No dismantling of containment prior to receipt of clearance confirmation by mold assessor.
8. Disinfectants, biocides and anti-microbial coatings should only be used if their use is specified in the plan, if they are registered with the EPA for intended use and the use is consistent with manufacturer's instructions. Coating are not necessary and should only be used AFTER cleaning and adequate drying has been completed.
9. Recommendations for HVAC systems should be considered. This may include blocking off of vents.
Local universities can also be good sources of quality professionals. ANSI/IICRC S520 is the ONLY accepted reference standard. Homeowners and other building owners should get to know this standard to determine if the contractor they are considering has the best possible qualifications. While ANSI/IICRC S520 is voluntary, it is based on very robust research and is the best possible guidance available to follow.