Are you a home owner or a tenant looking for a “FREE OR CHEAP MOLD INSPECTION”?
Even though you might come across certain companies that advertise for free or incredibly cheap mold inspections online, I`m sorry to tell you there is no such thing. If you live in the US, you would know that any corporation offering free services comes attached with either a hidden financial obligation or a catch, unfortunately this common factor applies for free mold inspections as well, unless you find a non for profit organization or government branch offering those services which there aren’t any, you should automatically assume that they will take your money sooner or later and just think about the fact that no one works for free.
All companies offering really cheap or free mold inspections are remediation companies or building contractors looking for the opportunity to take advantage of those of you that are not familiar with the industry, these companies would make you think they will come to your property and perform a free assessment and that is not the case at all. What they do is provide you with an estimate for repairs based on visual finding that are not only based without any logical or scientifically proven explanation but also carries a huge conflict of interest.
Remember the fact that if they do not find anything wrong with your property they will lose money, but don’t worry they always do. After the “inspection” is finished you will not obtain a mold and air quality report but a quote for the repairs “they think you need”, no air or surface samples will collected since lab work its very expensive and most of this companies are not even certified to collect them on the first place and if they are, you will of course be charged for those services.
The conflict of interest carried by these corporations is not only immoral but it’s actually illegal since July 1st 2010. This new mold law (Senate bill SB2234) was put in place to protect consumers against fraudulent and unqualified mold companies. Unfortunately the law is not yet being enforced. These are the essential things you should look for on a mold inspection company:
1- No conflict of interest, make sure the company you choose does not perform any repairs or recommends any remediation companies, contractors , plumbers, A/C technicians or that offers any other service non related to indoor air quality or moisture control.
2- Make sure the company and or inspector is licensed by the State you live in.
3- Make sure they carry liability and errors and omissions insurance.
4- Try to look for companies that are members of the Better Business Bureau, if they are not members you should still be able to check their rating and complaint history.
5- State of the art equipment should be used to obtain accurate information and detailed scopes of work. Must have at least infra-red cameras, moisture meters, hygrometers, particle counters and professional sampling pumps.
6- Make sure they use reputable and accredited labs for their testing, do not use a company that analyses their own samples unless they are industrial hygienists.
7- Ask them if you will be charged an additional fee for a remediation protocol or scope of work if needed (should included with the service) but if it’s not they will not tell you that until is time to collect payment.
8- Make sure they inspect all the air conditioner systems, including components, insulation and duct work system (it is essential to know the condition of the systems in order to provide proper interpretations for the lab results obtained as well as the readings collected during the inspection.
If you find a company online that you want to use, you would not have to look too hard to find this information on their site, if they carry the right equipment, use reputable labs and if they are licensed and insured they will make sure to advertise it on their web site. The services provided will not be free of charge.
The word free will not be found within the website of any of these reputable companies.