Mold Remediation

The mold industry has many different areas of expertise including but not limited to Consultants, Mold Remediators, Inspectors, Laboratories, Educators, and Trainers.  We thought it might be fun to do a series of blog posts where we ask Indoor Air Quality(IAQ) professionals about their side of the industry. For our first post we have selected Mold Remediation as the focus.

We asked Katie Slyter of IAQM, Inc., a Dallas / Fort Worth Mold Remediation company for over 10 years, her thoughts on the following questions:

1.   What is the difference between a Mold Remediator and a Restoration company?

Katie writes:  “A Mold Remediator specializes in removing mold and mold damaged building materials from a structure.  A Restoration company acts more as a project manager or general contractor. They coordinate many services including water extraction, soot and smoke removal after a fire, and complete reconstruction. They may subcontract some of the services they offer such as mold remediation that they are not licensed to perform. You should also be wary of possible conflicts of interest on the part of companies that provided multiple services. As a rule you save money by hiring the individual contractors you need yourself.”
 

2.    When hiring a Mold Remediation company, what are some things a person should ask for or about?

Katie writes: “#1 – Are they licensed by the Texas Department of State Health Services? Many companies advertise online that they are “certified” or even “licensed”.  Often times it is discovered to be an out-of-state company that may has a $50 online mold certificate that is not valid in Texas. Texas has led the way in licensing and regulating our industry to protect consumers from these fly-by-night operations. You can verify licenses by visiting www.dshs.state.tx.us/mold/profession.shtm
#2 – Ask for a copy of the companies insurance policy. The best companies will carry General Liability, Professional Liability, and even Pollution Liability. Call and verify the insurance to make sure it covers the activities the company is performing. Many multi-service companies such as a mold remediation company that also cleans carpets will take the cheaper way out and get General Liability coverage for their carpet cleaning business and the insurance company does not even know they are performing mold removal. If that’s the case, guess what? They aren’t covered for the mold removal they did in your home.
#3 – Other things to ask are typical of what you would want to know of any contractor working in your home. How long have they been in business? Do they have any references from recent or similar projects? Are they Accredited by the Better Business Bureau?
 

3.    How does a homeowner know if they need a professional to clean up their mold problem or if it is something they can tackle on their own?

Katie writes: “The EPA recommends that if the mold covers an area more than 10 square feet, a homeowner may want to consult a professional. As a homeowner, there are no state or federal regulations that REQUIRE a homeowner to ever use a professional, no matter how large the problem is.
You should take into consideration your health and the other residents of the home. If you or another resident are allergic to molds, have a suppressed immune system from other illnesses or pregnancy, are elderly or have an infant you may want to consult with a professional remediation company.”
 
 

DIY Mold Testing:  Find out what you are up against for as low as $35

 

 

4.    What is the most common question you are asked?

Katie writes: “The two most common questions I am asked are:
1. Can you give me a ballpark cost for remediation over the phone? In most cases, no.
and
2. Is it covered by insurance? Most homeowners do not have mold coverage on their homeowner’s insurance policies. You can request a “rider” be added to your policy for mold coverage for an additional cost. If you do have mold coverage, the mold must have been caused by what is referred to as a   covered loss, such as a hot water heater or pipe bursts. Slow, ongoing leaks are not covered.
 

5.    Any tips you would like to share?

Katie writes: “Mold Remediation is not cheap and it’s not a fun process. It’s an inconvenience in that you are without access to the portion of your home being worked on, the machines are noisy, and if the mold is in an area such as your kitchen or the only bathroom, you may have to move out of the home until remediation is complete. Perform a monthly inspection of your home and look for water stains on ceilings, peeling or bubbling paint, discoloration along baseboards, warped or swollen cabinets, etc. A pier and beam home should have the crawl space inspected regularly for any standing water that may cause mold on the joists. If you discover leaks or other water intrusions in the early stages, you can prevent having to ever call me.”
 

Thank you Katie, you have been most generous with your time.

If anyone needs mold remediation in the DFW area or has a mold clean-up question, please see their website at http://www.iaqm.com/ or give them a call at (972)-564-0477.

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