Our company frequently gets calls from potential clients who are shopping around for services, and we often hear the questions “What makes your inspections different?” For mold inspections, one size does not fit all. You want to make sure the person coming out to your home does the best job possible.
Moisture: The Key to Unlocking Mold Mysteries
Sure, mold is a big focus for our inspections, but truthfully there is a more important aspect that often goes overlooked by other companies: moisture. To boil it down, moisture is the key factor for mold growth in the indoor environment. We spend a major part of any mold inspection assessing areas of current moisture and looking for signs of past moisture. To find and document current moisture issues we use an infrared camera and a moisture meter. Together, these are valuable tools in mapping out and confirming the presence of moisture in building materials. Some lower cost inspections either neglect looking for moisture, or the inspector will only have a moisture meter, which is not very effective in finding hidden moisture. At the end of the day, a mold problem is inherently a moisture problem. No matter how you treat the mold, if you don’t address the underlying moisture the mold can continue to return.
Because finding moisture is the most time-consuming process of mold inspections, many other companies just do a cursory evaluation, if anything at all.
The Tools of the Mold Inspection Trade
One of the main things that set us apart from the less specialized inspectors and DIY mold testing kits is the equipment used. Many lesser-cost mold inspectors or home inspectors who offer mold services either don’t use an infrared camera or use a low-cost phone attachment. Our infrared cameras are all the latest product offered by a major infrared camera manufacturer to provide the best resolution for our moisture scans. The most important “tool” for a mold inspection isn’t a piece of equipment, it is the person conducting the inspection. Our project managers have all undergone extensive training, and carry certifications from the ACAC. This specialized training and experience allow our project managers to give you a more detailed and comprehensive inspection than our less experienced competitors.
Since we take our time and perform a thoughtful inspection and sampling, we issue reports with clear recommendations when we do find issues. Others may provide you with a report stating you have a mold problem, which is probably something you already knew! You probably most want to know how to clean it up and prevent it from happening again. Recommendations, however, can only be provided when the inspector follows all the extra steps we take; from doing a detailed moisture scan using the best current equipment to having highly trained and experienced employees. These make the real difference when it comes to providing you with the most useful recommendations.
Conflicts of Interest
One of the oldest tricks in the book is for a mold remediation company to offer a very low cost or even free mold inspection to get their foot in the door. These services are often very tempting to the unsuspecting person trying to save some money, however, we have seen countless times when people have a “free” mold inspection done (which typically only includes a swab sample and no actual inspection of the property) only to be given a quote for thousands of dollars of possibly unneeded remediation. There are a number of hidden camera exposés that have uncovered unscrupulous remediation contractors tricking homeowners into unnecessary remediation. Ideally, an independent company like ours identifies the problem and recommends a plan of action; the remediation contractor carries out the plan of action.
Another concern we see is when a mold inspection company has close relations to a mold remediation company. There are many stories of brothers, husband and wife, in-laws, etc who each own separate companies, but for all intents and purposes operate as one. In many states, this is prohibited by law, but not in Illinois. With mold, there is a lot of grey area which can lead to a lot of room for charming, but less than honest people to take advantage. Our company receives no kickbacks and we have no connections or financial interests in any remediation company, we strive to be free from any conflict of interest. This way you know that if you hire us, you are getting a completely unbiased report and any recommendations given are for your benefit, not ours.
If you have mold or moisture concerns in your property and are not sure who to turn to, give us a call and we would be happy to provide you with a detailed quote for your project.