There are many reasons why a homeowner or business owner might need mold cleaning services.
Sometimes, natural disasters can lead to water damage, which can create a habitat for mold populations to grow if left unchecked. Or, the property where you live or work could have visible signs of mold damage that have only grown worse over the years. In fact, one report shows that more than half of the homes in the United States have mold problems!
When you’re in the throes of such an issue, you need access to the best local mold cleaning companies, as soon as possible. Yet, before you trust your structure to just any team, it pays to do your due diligence beforehand.
Today, we’re taking a look at a few of the top traits and characteristics that set industry leaders apart in this space. Grab a notebook, write these down, and check to make sure any team you hire can check all the boxes.
Recognizing a Mold Problem: Signs to Understand
Anywhere there’s an opportunity for excess moisture and humidity to develop, mold spores could potentially grow. These are types of fungi that can grow both indoors or outdoors and prefer damp, warm locations, such as:
- Ceiling tiles
- Plumbing fixtures
The signs of a severe mold problem vary, but there are a few telltale signs that could point to an issue.
First, you might experience physical symptoms stemming from a mold sensitivity. Researchers believe around 10% of the U.S. population is particularly sensitive to mold spores. If this includes you, you may experience any or all of these issues upon exposure:
- Sore, itchy throat
- Sinus headache
- Runny nose
- Watery, itchy eyes
- Skin rash
Around your property, you may also spot physical signs of a prospective mold problem. Some of the most common ones include:
- A persistent musty odor
- Visible signs of mold growth
- Visible signs of water damage
- Water leaks
Not all mold populations look alike, so it’s important to get anything suspicious checked out immediately. Some molds will appear white and almost thread-like, while others are much darker, rounder and grouped into clusters. If mold is growing behind wallpaper or another surface, it can even appear pink or purple!
At the very first sign of mold, it’s critical to hire a remediation team to visit your residential or commercial property to perform a thorough site inspection. Yet, before you thumb through the phone book and choose the first company you find, read on. Let’s take a look at why it’s important to make the right calls and ask the right questions before you bring anyone on board.
Mold Cleaning Companies: Why Professionalism and Expertise Matter
If the pipes burst in your home, you wouldn’t call just anyone, right? What about if you needed repairs performed on your roof, or your refrigerator broke down?
The point is that there are specialized and skilled experts in every home services niche. When you need such assistance, it’s important to thoroughly vet your options to make sure you’re hiring the right team.
Why is this especially important for mold remediation? The answer lies in how mold attacks your property and affects your health.
If you eliminate it successfully in its early stages, mold growth may only lead to a slight headache, and nothing more. Yet, if it goes undetected or if a crew fails to eradicate it completely, you could be left with a much bigger issue.
A novice or unprepared team could actually spread mold from one area of your property to an adjacent one, making the problem worse and widening the impact. From there, once an infestation takes hold, it can be more difficult than anticipated to restore your home or business to its pre-damaged state.
Mold can infest almost every square inch of your property, including your drywall and floorboards. The costs to repair such structures could be enormous, and the task is often complicated to complete. In addition, it can also negatively impact the overall value of your home or business.
At the same time, mold’s effect on your overall health levels cannot be overstated. Breathing in mold can lead to a range of respiratory conditions. It can also exacerbate pre-existing allergies and asthma, which can lead to breathing difficulties.
Knowing all of this, it simply makes sense to check the credentials and qualifications of any team you trust to correct your mold problem. Before you make a hiring decision and sign on the dotted line, check out these traits that you should prioritize.
- Consideration and Compassion
No, the first trait on our list isn’t a specific industry certification or a number of years of experience. Rather, the very first thing to look for in a mold remediation company is a compassionate nature.
No matter the originating cause, mold problems can be stressful, upsetting and even traumatic for property owners. The breadth of the issue can feel enormous, especially when it’s coupled with other concerns, including water damage.
You need a company led by employees who have a caring and considerate nature. Above anything else, they should treat you with decency and patience, understanding that this is a sensitive and emotional time for you, your family or your colleagues.
While it can be a little difficult to gauge this nature over the phone, you can get many hints during your initial conversation. Ask yourself the following after you first reach out:
- Did you feel rushed as you explained your condition?
- Did it seem as though the other party was listening intently the entire time?
- Was any of the language used condescending or unkind?
- Did you hang up feeling like just another number?
Our team is dedicated to daily serving our clients at their time of need. Every person on our team possesses a special degree of empathy and courtesy, along with unwavering professionalism. From your very first encounter with our crew, you’ll know that you’ve found a company that cares.
- Trained Staff
You’re well within your rights to ask a mold remediation company to share its team member training plan. At the same time, you can ask them to explain their team members’ certifications and credentials. Check to see that they’re in-date and still active before accepting them as truth.
As you evaluate your responses, pay close attention to the companies that invest in ongoing training for their workforce. Procedures, rules and regulations in the restoration industry are constantly changing and being upgraded on a regular basis. These are set in place by regulating bodies, such as the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC).
As such, it’s vital that anyone working on your property is up-to-date on the latest techniques.
Before moving forward, ask the representative to discuss how their company trains employees. Do they receive initial training and nothing more? Or, do they invest in refresher training to ensure that everyone has access to the latest knowledge?
When you partner with us, you can rest assured that every team member is well-versed on the latest industry approaches. We continually provide training sessions for our restoration technicians so they can respond quickly and skillfully to any call.
- Full-Service Project Ownership
It’s easiest and best to find a mold remediation company that can take total ownership of your project, from start to finish.
This way, you only have one centralized point of contact throughout the experience. This means rather than calling a variety of different numbers to get the resolution you need, you can go straight to the source, every time.
If you choose a company that only performs mold mitigation, who will you call when it’s time to complete the construction component of the project? What about personal property restoration?
Handling a mold problem can be dizzying enough on its own. You need a company that can take full ownership of the project from the very beginning, and we’re committed to doing just that.
- Project Transparency
When you allow someone to work on your personal property, you deserve more than just an eagle’s eye view of how the project is going.
Rather, you should be able to ask for a progress update at any time and receive a quick, thorough answer in return. While this seems like a simple enough request, it’s all too common for companies to develop missing links along their chains of command and communication.
That’s why we took it upon ourselves to develop our own, innovative cloud-based project management software that allows us instant visibility into every stage of any remediation project. Not only can we track and monitor where our team members are at any given time, but we can also manage their efforts and report on their progress at any point.
This functionality helps give you peace of mind. At the same time, it also keeps us informed on any potential roadblocks or issues before they snowball into bigger concerns.
Ask the company in question to explain which resources they currently use for project management support. If you’re met with a long pause or a convoluted answer, take this as a red flag. The risks are simply too high to allow an unprepared team to take the reins.
- Local Presence
Sure, there are national restoration brands that promise a personalized level of service. Yet, nothing comes close to the degree of attentiveness you’ll get from a local company.
Practically speaking, it’s best to find a company in close proximity to the property you’re restoring. This way, if you have any immediate needs or any pressing questions, you can reach them as quickly as possible. With a larger chain, you could wait for quite a while to have your voice heard.
Then, there’s the personal aspect of keeping your search small. Local companies like ours are often committed to giving back to their communities and by supporting them, you can help bolster these efforts.
For instance, our company avidly supports the Buy Idaho program. This is an independent business alliance that helps locally-owned companies thrive. In addition, we are dedicated to keeping our footprint small and promoting from within.
Throughout Idaho and Eastern Oregon, we’re making a major impact on the regions we serve. It’s important for us to make a difference and elevate the quality of life in these areas. Why? Because we live here, too.
All of our regional managers are natives of their assigned territories. This gives them the unique, localized knowledge required to best support our clients. They can navigate the areas quickly, respond promptly and create a sense of long-term loyalty and trust that you can’t find with a bigger enterprise.
- Excellent Communication
You shouldn’t have to wonder what your mold remediation specialist just told you. If the jargon is too technical or the delivery was unclear, it can heap stress and uncertainty on top of an already-tense situation.
To prevent this problem, be sure to gauge the team’s communication skills before hiring them. Can they speak clearly and confidently on the topic at hand? Are they adept at returning phone calls, texts and emails in a prompt manner or are you left hanging for hours?
You need daily updates on your project, in the form that is the most convenient for you. These conversations can help you better understand the team’s progress and anticipated timeline. They can also shed light on any issues that need prompt resolution before moving forward.
In addition to communicating one-on-one with the team leads, it’s also important to make sure the team you hire knows how to contact and communicate with other parties who might be associated with your project, including insurance representatives and referral sources.
- Fair, Competitive Pricing
Especially when you’re facing a large bill for property restoration or water damage cleanup, it can be disheartening to consider how much mold remediation services could cost.
Yet, resist the urge to immediately go with the absolute cheapest company you interview. Your property is too important to base this decision on dollar signs alone. While it’s important to understand the real costs and factor them into your overall budget, the most inexpensive companies will often shortchange you on quality, too.
Imagine how much more you’d have to pay if you choose the lowest bidder and wind up with a mold infestation that isn’t just still there, but has also spread to other areas of your house. Now, you’re already out what you spent on the first company, and you still need professional remediation services. At this point, your costs for property damage and even health treatments are likewise mounting.
When we commit to restoring your property back to its pre-loss condition, we take into account every aspect of the project. Then, we base our quote around standards established by both our communities and the insurance industry. Our pricing model is fair, ethical and competitive so you never have to look elsewhere for another quote.
- Satisfied Customers
Any mold cleaning company can wax poetic about its capabilities. They could even design a sleek, tech-savvy website to draw you in, along with colorful brand graphics and flashy videos.
Yet, the real proof of their expertise lies in what others are saying about their services. Any time you hire anyone to work at your property, it’s almost become second nature to hop online and check out a few testimonials first. This should also apply to anyone you’re eyeing to help solve your mold problem.
Many reputable companies will include pages on their websites or social media channels that feature feedback and comments from past clients. Take the time to read these and see if you can discern any common themes.
Are most people saying that the team was timely and courteous? Do they mention their skill sets or communication tactics? If these qualities are mentioned by multiple reviewers, it’s usually a good sign and suggests that you’ll have a similar experience.
Research shows that 84% of people now trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from their friends and family members. Unless you know someone who has actually experienced a mold remediation concern in the past, you might not know where to turn when it’s time to hire someone for your property.
In addition to reading online reviews, you can also extend your search to social media. Using tools like Facebook Recommendations, consider asking your network of followers if they’ve used similar services in the past. If so, who would they recommend?
We make it easy to find our testimonials right on our website. With separate sections for each of our three regional offices, it’s easy to find exactly the information you’re looking for.
- Detailed Scope of Work
A scope of work is a detailed explanation of exactly what your project will entail. It covers the time required for every step, as well as the sequence in which those steps will be performed. You should never feel pressured to sign a contract or agree to hire any company without seeing this documentation first.
Industry-leading companies like CTR will bring in qualified parties to help ensure their scope is accurate and aligned with current regulations. We proudly partner with professionally-certified industrial hygienists (IH) to facilitate our scope development. We also follow protocols for mold remediation and testing set forth by the IH.
Before you receive your scope of work, however, a site inspection is a can’t-miss step that any qualified mold cleaning company should provide. It can be difficult to gauge the extent of your problem over the phone, and you should never accept a quote from anyone who hasn’t seen your property in person.
A prompt inspection can confirm the presence and severity of your mold problem. Without one, you could be paying for services you don’t need. Or, the ones you pay for might not be enough to cover the full extent of the growth.
An estimate is only that: an estimate. To understand the real costs associated with your project, insist on an inspection, followed by a scope of work.
- Around-the-Clock Customer Support
Mold doesn’t care if it’s 1:00 in the morning. It doesn’t plan its spread around your family vacation, long weekend or working hours.
Rather, it can appear at any time of the day or night. When it does, you need a team that can respond, not one that makes you wait until 9:00 a.m. the following business day. As we’ve reiterated, timeliness is of the utmost importance. Taking swift action can make all the difference in the degree of property damage you suffer.
At CTR, our team of professionals is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We’re here for you when you need our support the most, and we make it easy to get in touch. In addition to our online contact form, you can also reach us after hours on our dedicated emergency response hotline.
Contact Us For Mold Remediation Services
We understand that facing a mold issue can feel insurmountable. On top of the actual mitigation, there’s new construction and property recovery to accomplish.
That’s where we come in. One of the highest-regarded restoration and cleanup companies across Idaho and Oregon, our team is second to none.
You can feel confident about entrusting your home or workplace to us for all of the 10 reasons listed above. If you’re facing a mold problem, we’re here to help. Reach out to us today and let’s get started.