If you’re in over your head with a mold issue, you can’t afford to waste a second of time. You need to act quickly, and you need the best team by your side as you do so.
Unfortunately, when you’re in the throes of this problem, it can be confusing and challenging to figure out your next steps. Who should you call to help you eliminate the mold and prevent future damage? More importantly, how can you make sure you’re teaming with the right local experts?
If you’ve spent far too long searching online for “mold specialist near me”, we’re here to help you shorten your quest and head straight to the top. Today, we’re sharing 10 important questions that can help you identify if a prospective mold removal expert is trustworthy, reputable and worth your time and money.
Mold Specialist Near Me: Why Expertise Matters
Not all businesses are created equal. This is true in almost every industry, and that includes cleanup and restorations services.
As you begin your search for the best mold remediation specialist, you’ll likely find dozens of experts in your area who can help with the task at hand. Yet, narrowing this list down to a select few can be more complicated than you’d expect.
At first glance, these companies might all seem similar. They may even possess the same certifications and make the same claims over the phone or on their website. However, it’s critical to do your homework and perform your due diligence at this initial step.
Why is this so important? Mold is more than just an unsightly and costly mess. If left untreated, it can also lead to ongoing, chronic health concerns. Let’s take a look at what could happen if you trust your mold issue to a team that isn’t fully qualified to perform a complete, professional remediation.
The Health Risks of Mold Exposure
In short, mold can grow anywhere that moisture is present. From basements and crawl spaces to kitchens and bathrooms, no room in your home is immune to these effects. It’s commonly found around leaks in your pipes, roof or windows, or in any area where flooding has occurred.
The same holds true for commercial spaces, as well. Your office kitchen could fall victim to mold, as could your offices or warehouse. If this happens, will you know what to do next? Your success hinges on the ability to provide a safe and healthy workspace for your employees, and if this isn’t possible, the ensuing downtime could be costly.
That’s why it pays to have a team you can trust on speed dial. Your health and that of your family depends on it. If you’re a business owner, the safety and security of your workforce is at stake.
An untreated mold issue can lead to a host of health issues. While some people aren’t sensitive to it at all, others are extremely so. In these cases, mold can trigger many adverse effects, including:
- Red, itchy eyes
- Stuffy nose
- Sinus headaches
- Nasal congestion
If the exposed person suffers from asthma, the presence of mold can exacerbate and worsen any existing symptoms associated with that condition, as well. The same holds true for anyone who already suffers from any form of chronic respiratory disease, as the presence of mold can make it more difficult to breathe.
In instances where people are exposed to large quantities of mold, severe skin reactions can occur. This type of widespread exposure most commonly occurs in a commercial or occupational setting, where the severity of the issue isn’t immediately noticeable. For instance, a farmer could handle moldy hay for a substantial amount of time before realizing its condition.
10 Questions to Ask a Mold Removal Specialist
You took the right precautions, but you’ve still fallen victim to an instance of water damage. Whether you can see visible mold or not, you’re still rightfully concerned about its presence, and you want a professional on your side.
Whether you require extensive remediation services or only minor assistance, it’s still essential to make sure the team you hire is equipped to do the job the right way.
Let’s take a look at 10 key questions to ask as you conduct interviews and seek the most qualified local resource.
- Can You Provide a Thorough Inspection?
Any mold removal company will take the time to perform a thorough inspection as the very first step in your remediation plan. Be wary of anyone who offers to quote the job over the phone without carefully inspecting your residential or commercial property, first.
At CTR, we know that mold isn’t always extremely obvious. While it can occur in areas that see lots of traffic, it can also hide in less apparent places, too. This includes inside of your walls and underneath your floorboards.
That’s why we always provide an initial inspection as part of our remediation services. During this time, we’ll carefully inspect every part of your property to fully assess the extent of any damage that may have occurred.
Taking the time to perform this step enables us to provide an accurate and complete quote that covers all of the services required to bring your property back to its pre-loss condition.
- Can You Provide a Complete Scope of Work?
You deserve to know every step that the mold removal team plans to take to remove the mold on your property, as well as the tools and technologies they’ll use along the way.
Before signing on the dotted line with any company, make sure that you receive a complete scope of work that details the entire process. Our team partners with professionally certified industrial hygienists to develop a comprehensive scope of work for every project we work on.
Every step we take will repair the damage caused by mold. We’ll also take measures to help you prevent future mold outbreaks and occurrences.
- Is Your Company Insured?
Any company you hire should carry insurance to protect both their workers, as well as your property. This is a non-negotiable requirement, as you could be left footing the bill if personal injury or property damage occurs during the project and this safeguard is not in place.
While conducting your initial interviews, ask each potential partner to show verification of an active and up-to-date insurance policy. A reputable team will be more than happy to provide a copy of this documentation upon request.
Mold removal can be a dangerous process, as it could directly expose the specialists to the mold spores and put them at risk. A credible company will prepare beforehand and ensure all team members are appropriately outfitted with the correct protective equipment, but some might not take this extra precaution.
Insurance helps ensure that if any issues occur during the cleanup process, the company will cover any associated costs. If you fail to perform this check, you could wind up paying far more than you intended, even if your initial mold damage was minor.
Our company is bonded, licensed and insured, so you never have to think twice about this concern. Anyone who enters your property will be professional, trained, and trustworthy at every turn.
- Can You Provide a Written Quote?
Never agree to partner with a mold removal company based on an initial estimate alone. After all, an estimate works exactly as its name implies. It is merely a rough figure of what you can expect to pay.
Usually, these are given over the phone or via email after the company representatives first hear about your project. Judging from the facts you provide, they may be able to share a ballpark figure of what they gauge that the project will cost.
The only issue? When they arrive on site to actually inspect your property, the extent of the damage could be greater or even less than you’d explained. This could greatly affect the bottom-line figure on your quote.
Any reliable and professional company will not require that you sign off on an estimate alone. Instead, they should be able to provide you with a detailed line item quote that thoroughly explains every price associated with the work to be performed.
As the property owner, you’ll be the one responsible for paying for the work, and will ultimately authorize the payment for the restoration services. There shouldn’t be any gray areas in what you’re approving, and you’ll need to keep this quote for your records.
Another advantage to requesting a written quote? Once you have a few in hand, you can then compare them against one another. This is a great way to quickly identify any outliers. If one company is charging a significantly larger amount than the other for the same service, you’re within your rights to inquire why this is the case.
These differences might exist for viable reasons, or they could signify an unscrupulous company that’s more focused on turning a profit than providing real help in your time of need. A side-by-side comparison of all associated prices can help you more clearly understand which mold removal specialists are the right ones for you.
- Are There Additional Mold Tests Required?
In most cases, the answer to this question will be “no”. If the mold removal company locates and identifies mold in your home or business, then you have it and it’s time to take immediate action.
Sometimes, however, the next steps aren’t quite as cut and dry. For instance, you may require additional tests to see if the mold has spread to other parts of your property. Or, you may need to know if your indoor air quality has been affected or compromised by the mold issue.
As such, charging for additional tests isn’t exactly a red flag. However, if you notice these tests on your written quote or scope of work, go ahead and ask more about them. Are they necessary and if so, exactly what steps will be included?
While many such tests are valid, look out for any that sound vague or are written in industry jargon. Some untrustworthy remediation specialists could assume that a desperate homeowner or business owner will simply sign without looking too far into these line items. This could result in unnecessary charges for services never rendered.
- Do You Remediate Water Damage, Too?
Mold removal is critical, but if you don’t address the underlying cause, the issue could come back. This is especially the case when it comes to water damage.
Many times, if you’re dealing with a mold issue, some degree of flooding has also occurred. That said, in addition to helping you clean up the resulting mold, can the company you hire also address the source of your water damage and help you restore your property?
There are several reasons why flooding can occur. These include:
- Sewer backups
- Broken or frozen pipes
- Roof leaks
- Fire sprinklers
- Sink or toilet overflows
- Severe weather
- Dishwasher, water heater or washing machine malfunctions
Unfortunately, even the smallest leak can cause an enormous amount of damage. When water is allowed to stand on your flooring, foundation, walls or personal belongings, it doesn’t take long for it to wreak havoc on everything it touches. This becomes even trickier when the damage goes undetected, which can put the structural integrity of your entire building at risk.
Ideally, any mold removal specialist that you hire will also be certified to perform water damage restoration services as well. You need a team that can not only rid your home or business of the excess water, but also clean and sanitize it, too.
Why is this step important? Water can carry many different pathogens, including viral, bacterial and fungal ones. If you, a family member, or a co-worker came into contact with this contaminated water, you could become very ill.
Our CTR experts will use special equipment and cleaning techniques to completely extract the water from your space, as well as dry and repair the surfaces it touched. In this way, we can help address the mold right at the source and help prevent the same issue from occurring down the road.
- Are You Available Around the Clock For Emergencies?
Mold problems catch you off guard. They aren’t going to wait around to strike at the perfect time. Rather, they often happen when you least expect them, and usually when your schedule is filled to the brim with other obligations.
That said, you need a mold removal specialist who can visit your property at any time of day or night. Our team members are there when you need us, offering around the clock support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
You never have to worry about worsening the damage as you wait for a crew to show up a few business days later. We offer emergency services you can count on, and we’ll never make you wait until formal business hours commence.
This feature is so important because time is completely of the essence when you’re dealing with any type of water damage or mold damage. Even waiting a few hours could cause the problem to snowball from mild to severe, which can equal more money, stress and time in the long run.
Once we’re on site, we won’t rest until your property is restored to normal. We have adequately staffed our teams to avoid downtime, so you can rest assured the job will be done the right way, the first time.
- Are Your Team Members Trained and Certified?
This simple question can mean all the difference in hiring a capable company versus an unqualified one.
In your research, ask the company representative to tell you more about the team members who will be visiting your property to perform the work. What special industry certifications do they hold? What kind of training have they completed?
You want to make sure that anyone who works on your property knows exactly what to do and is qualified to use the tools at their disposal. Ask if there are any parts of the mold removal process that only certain employees are trained in, and if so, make sure those employees will be on-site if your project requires it.
This isn’t a quick fix that anyone can perform. Rather, mold removal is a methodical, step-by-step procedure that should only be performed by a trained, experienced and certified professional. To help make sure that the mold issue is completely addressed and will not return, ask about the expertise of anyone who will be working on it.
- Do You Perform Work Not Covered By Insurance?
In many cases, your insurance company will help pay for at least a portion of the work required to complete mold removal at your property.
At CTR, we’re skilled at working with insurance companies and understand how the process works. If your damage falls under an insurance claim, we’ll generally only collect the deductible, or co-payment, from you. Then, we’ll bill your insurance company for the remaining balance of the costs.
Of course, if your loss is not covered under your insurance policy or you decide against filing a claim, you’ll be responsible for paying for the project in full.
If you do leverage insurance coverage, you can also ask the team you hire if they can perform additional repair services for any issues that the claim might not cover. For instance, if you’d like to retain their services for a related renovation project, you can certainly ask them for a quote, but in most cases, this will be considered non-insured work.
These projects will usually require a separate cost estimate and written quote. In addition, they’ll also carry separate authorization and payment terms. It can be beneficial to keep the same team on-site, however, as they’ll already be familiar with your property.
- Do You Offer a Warranty or Guarantee on Your Services?
There are myriad different issues that could cause mold to return to your property, even after it’s initially removed. This is especially the case if you don’t address the underlying water leak that potentially caused the growth of mold spores in the first place.
Before you make a final decision, ask each prospective hire to explain the warranty or guarantee offered on their workmanship and services. If the mold comes back within a certain amount of time, will they return to your property and perform the services again? If so, will this be at no cost or a discount to you?
Look for a company whose terms you’re comfortable complying with, and always ask questions if you’re unsure about any detail. You shouldn’t be blindsided by an invoice that you don’t expect.
Find a Local Mold Specialist You Can Trust
When the unexpected happens, you should be able to focus on making sure that your loved ones or colleagues are taken care of. You shouldn’t have to stress over whether or not the team you hired to help you eliminate the damage is an upstanding and trustworthy one.
Our CTR team is regarded as the top local cleanup and total restoration service provider in the greater Boise area. In addition to water damage repair and mold remediation, we can also help you restore your property to pre-loss condition following a range of events and disasters, including damage caused by fire, smoke, wind and storms.
Instead of spinning your wheels and spending precious time searching for a “mold specialist near me”, go ahead and save our number. Then, contact us at any time to learn more about the services we offer or request emergency support.