Author Topic: How to Hire Quality Mold Testing and Remediation Contractors  (Read 2584 times)


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      How to Hire Quality Mold Testing & Remediation Contractors
      April 18, 2017
      Cheryl Ciecko

      Avoid scams! 
      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.

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      Re: How to Hire Quality Mold Testing and Remediation Contractors
      « Reply #1 on: April 20, 2017, 09:52:50 AM »
          This is a wonderful article d-man. Thank you for sharing


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          Re: How to Hire Quality Mold Testing and Remediation Contractors
          « Reply #2 on: April 20, 2017, 10:12:52 AM »
              love to share!  :D


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              Re: How to Hire Quality Mold Testing and Remediation Contractors
              « Reply #3 on: May 02, 2017, 08:56:02 AM »
                  You mention there are only a handful of states that recognize conflict of interest in testing and remediation by one company.  That's only through expressed license laws - not actual legal or judicial recognition.  For example, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky don't have those laws but in court cases throw out contractors who do both - citing the act as a conflict of interest.  (I've heard Illinois and Michigan have done the same.)  So, don't assume things off poor license laws (which is what most of these are), and don't just look at the IICRC.  They are not a resource for assessors, testers and inspectors.  They are for restoration, remediation and the like....  Look for a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH), Council-certified Indoor Environmental Consultant (CIEC) or a Council-certified Indoor Environmentalist (CIE) for this type of work.  Websites like the keep lists in specific zip codes for consumers.

                  I'd add to this:  Get a warranty from your remediator.  While many tell you that they cannot give warranties, the corrective actions taken to eliminate the cause of contamination is often a service that can be warranted to a degree.  For example, I know of water-proofing (foundation) companies who give 25+ years warranty on their work.  That is part of remediation.  (One can't be remedying a problem if they aren't addressing these causal factors.)

                  And, don't settle for your insurance company's "preferred vendor".  You have a legal right to hire who you want to assess and remediate your property.

                  For more, consumers may want to look at my article on this and the link to the federal procurement standards (i.e., the standards the federal government uses to evaluate and hire people to do this kind of work in their facilities).

                  Tony R.

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                  Re: How to Hire Quality Mold Testing and Remediation Contractors
                  « Reply #4 on: May 30, 2017, 06:23:39 PM »
                      Kentucky has mold regulations too.

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