If your home has experienced water damage or excess moisture of any kind, you’ll want to work fast to address a critical threat: black mold. Research suggests that this stubborn scourge can take root within 24 hours when the conditions are right. In moisture-rich environments, they’ll start reproducing via spores soon after!
Fortunately, mold specialists can help. Prompt testing and remediation can get rid of mold before it starts to spread, meaning the removal will do less damage to your home and belongings. Of course, this is only true if you hire the right expert.
When you need the job done fast, following the right tips to find an experienced mold removal pro is essential. Let’s take a look at five key tips for picking a trustworthy specialist.
1. Ask Around
First things first: see if anyone you know can refer you to a company they trust. If you have any friends, family members, or colleagues who have experienced a home leak or flood, they’ll likely have worked with mold remediation specialists after the fact.
If you are dealing with moisture issues like a leak or flood, ask the contractors you’re working with. Plumbers and other specialists often have a list of mold experts they partner with.
Word-of-mouth recommendations are a great way to find an expert you can trust, as people only recommend mold testing services if they’re satisfied with a job well done!
2. Create a Shortlist
If your personal network comes up short, you’ll want to create a shortlist of mold specialist services in your area.
A simple online search is a great place to start. Try Google as well as third-party recommendation services for contractors such as Angi or Yelp. In some cases, you may also be able to find a list from your local health department’s website.
3. Do Your Homework
Once you have a list of likely candidates, narrow down your options by researching each business. There are a few areas you’ll want to check:
Licensing and Insurance
Before you dig deeper, make sure any candidate you’re considering is licensed and insured in your area.
Licensing ensures that a company has filed the proper paperwork to do mold remediation where you live. It shows that they mean business, and it also protects you if things go wrong.
Insurance protects you as well. This ensures that you won’t be held responsible if any of the contractors has an accident and gets hurt on your property. It can also protect you if the contractors damage your property by accident.
It’s important to make sure you’re letting a knowledgeable and experienced team onto your property. To that end, be sure to check the business’s years of experience.
While newer companies may do a thorough job, you should always be wary of trusting untested brands. Instead, look for evidence that the company has tackled jobs similar to yours. Testimonials and before-and-after photos are helpful here.
Not all remediation companies also perform mold testing. If you need this service, check that the company in question has mold testing specialists. This can give you peace of mind if you aren’t sure whether there are spores present in your home.
Not all mold remediation companies provide warranties on their work. Because mold can be so persistent and stubborn, companies often do their best but make no promises.
However, reliable companies will sometimes provide a short-term warranty, often between six months and a year, for your peace of mind. This means that they’ll return and perform mold testing if you suspect that the mold has come back, and they’ll get rid of any lingering mold free of charge.
4. Call With Questions
Whether you need a mold testing service or full remediation, it’s a good idea to call the companies on your shortlist as you narrow down your options. This helps you ask questions about a few key details that are hard to find on most company websites:
Tools and Equipment
Mold remediation services won’t often list their tools and equipment, but these items are crucial to their work.
Ask what kind of gear they bring on the job to help them identify or remove mold. A mold testing specialist, for example, should have a moisture meter, hygrometer, and infrared camera. Mold remediation experts may need to bring equipment for ventilation as well as spray pumps to apply cleaning solutions.
Are there any things each business won’t do? Ask about any limitations on their work.
Some companies, for example, won’t move and clean heavy furniture. Others refuse to open up a property’s walls. In these cases, it will be your responsibility to do these things in advance.
Procedures and Recommendations
What steps will the company take to address your problems? Ask about their typical procedures for mold testing and removal.
Many companies provide a detailed checklist for their contractors and allow customers to see this list as well.
The turnaround time often varies from job to job, so you may not be able to get details about the projected timeline until you call or get an on-site consultation. Be sure to ask how long they think the job will take!
References and Testimonials
If you were unable to find testimonials or before-and-after photos on the business’s website, be sure to ask for them. You can also ask for references so you can call past customers and inquire about their satisfaction with their mold services.
5. Get a Quote
Last, but not least, get a quote from each business for the services you need. Comparing these quotes often helps you greatly narrow down your options.
Keep in mind that you shouldn’t always go with the lowest price tag. Factor in the details above, like the company’s experience or any warranties, as you make your decision.
Get the Right Mold Specialists
When you’re dealing with an infestation of mold, the right mold specialists can make all the difference. That’s why going through the steps above can be so crucial: doing your research to narrow down your options ensures that you bring a company you can trust into your home. With a bit of effort on the front end, you’ll be breathing clean, mold-free air in no time.
Need more tips to help you make crucial decisions like these? Our other guides are full of helpful insights, so don’t hesitate to check them out!