Are you having trouble deciding where to start with a suspected mold issue? If you are like many who are experiencing water and mold issues, the choices and information can be overwhelming. It seems like everyone has an opinion on where to start, who to you use, and how to address it. The fact is, mold is not regulated in Tennessee. This means good news for companies looking to profit off of your lack of education and bad news for your pocket. Because mold is not regulated, anyone and everyone can brand themselves as a mold expert or mold cleaning company, and sell their services to you.
What does this mean for you? As a consumer you must be protected. It is important that you vet the person or company you are hiring to perform mold services. I recently performed a search on mold inspectors and mold remediation companies in Knoxville, TN to determine whether or not companies promoting themselves as mold inspectors and mold remediation companies actually had experience or certifications to provide those services. A recent trend in the industry is for home inspectors to offer mold inspection services. Most home inspectors have no knowledge or experience in the water restoration or mold remediation industry. Home inspector schools are training home inspectors to offer mold inspection services as a way to increase their annual revenue. However, this can be troublesome for clients experiencing mold/water issues. The service they are promoting is mold sampling. Mold sampling is very easy, in fact, easy enough for anyone to learn in just a few, short minutes. Mold sampling is only a small part of what a thorough mold inspection should include. If a company can not interpret the lab results and provide written protocols for the correction of the problem, the company is not providing a true mold assessment of your home or building. Often times, customers will call Twofold Mold Inspections after receiving a lab report from another company with requests to interpret the results. Unfortunately, without a thorough visual inspection of the home or building, it can be difficult to understand. Its then explained to the customer that this service should have been included in the mold inspection they paid for. Companies are charging several hundred dollars to take samples, with no understanding of mold protocols, mold types, water damage, and correction solutions.
Another alarming trend are companies who are providing both testing and remediation. Would you go to a restaurant in which the cook was the health inspector? Because sample results can be interpreted in many different ways, a company that test for mold and provides mold remediation, can interpret results to benefit them and sell their remediation services. An even scarier thought, is that some Knoxville companies are providing post clearance testing on the remediation service they performed. I would assume they never fail a test. I had a friend in high school that would never switch papers when then teacher asked the class to grade each others work. He always made a 100. In states where mold is regulated, you must either provide mold assessment or mold remediation, you can not provide both because it is a conflict of interest.
Then you have the "free inspection" trend. Companies are hiring salesmen to provide these free inspections and paying them 100 percent commission on services sold, whether you need the service or not. Your estimate for services could depend on how many bills are due at the time of the "free inspection". I have inspected several homes in Knoxville after a customer has received a "free inspection" followed by a 10,000 dollar estimate for services only to find that there was a minor issue that could be corrected for a tenth of the estimate they received.
So, if you need to know where to start, I would advise you to educate yourself as much as possible. In industries with no regulations, the consumer pays the price. Twofold Mold Inspections' services are designed to educate you from an unbiased, third party point of view. Our job is to give you all the tools you need to make an educated decision when it comes to your home and your health. Our inspector has 13 years experience in mold remediation and water mitigation. This is all we do, its in the name. We hold certifications for residential mold inspections, commercial mold inspections, and mold remediation. We do not provide remediation services but feel it is important to provide clients with the proper protocols to treat their mold issue and correct it at its source to prevent further damages.