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Choosing a Mold Contractor | SERVPRO® of Hershey/Harrisburg East (717)-533-FIRE

8/15/2019 (Permalink)

Many people have a hard time trying to find a reliable mold contractor here in Central Pennsylvania. Here are a few tips to help you wade through the myriad of mold remediation listings, and hopefully find one that will do the job correctly and for the right price,

  1. Check out the reputation of the company - do some research on-line. 

  2. Are they insured for what they do? Because of the litigation associated with mold there are many insurance companies who will not insure against mold. It is common for commercial liability insurance to exclude pollution that apply to mold. Those that do usually require high premiums to offset the risk they incur. As a result, companies that advertise themselves as remediation companies may not be properly insured against risks.  You ask specifically about pollution coverage because it will be a special coverage of the liability insurance.

  3. Are they trained?  Pennsylvania does not have any special certification requirements. However, that does not mean that the technicians performing the work are not trained. The company you use should have an employee training and certification program.

  4. What is the planned job process?  Mold should be contained, and then removed. Generally accepted guidelines for mold remediation recommends that any mold remediation in excess of 10 square feet should be isolated with a containment to prevent spread of mold spores. A HEPA filtered air scrubber should be used inside the containment, and it is most effective if it is set up to provide negative air pressure (meaning air is being sucked into the containment so that mold spores can’t leak out). Mold infested porous material like sheetrock, carpet, and carpet pad should be removed and discarded (bagged for removal to prevent spreading the spores when being transferred out of the containment). The surfaces of non-porous material should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. For example, wood framing can be sprayed with an EPA approved disinfecting solution, then wiped and physically abraded with a wire brush or sandpaper to remove mold.  All surfaces inside the containment should then be thoroughly HEPA vacuumed, and wiped using an EPA-approved disinfecting solution.  Finally, no mold remediation job would be complete without post-remediation testing performed by a certified independent laboratory.  There are variations of the job process, especially if the mold-infested materials are still wet. If so, you should expect that after setting up the containment, the mold contaminated porous material will be removed, the non-porous wet mold –infested structure will be cleaned of mold as much as possible and dried, and then remediated to completion.  Testing generally involves taking an air sample inside the containment area and comparing the results to an air sample drawn outside the house or building. Finally, the remediation company should have its workers properly protected. They should wear protective coveralls, gloves, and a HEPA filtered respirator.

  5. How do they determine pricing? Most mold remediation jobs being performed as part of an insurance claim should be estimated using an estimating software system called Xactimate. Almost all insurance companies expect Xactimate to be used, and your mold remediation company should be familiar with it, and capable of submitting the estimate in this format. If the job is not covered by insurance you can still ask to see an Xactimate estimate for the job. The Xactimate pricing list is based on monthly surveys performed in the local area, so the pricing for labor and materials are the average price for the job being performed. Any quote provided to you that is not consistent with an Xactimate estimate (either too high or too low) should raise flags and be investigated.  They should provide you with a detailed list of charges.

  6. Does the company stand behind its work? The company doing remediation should offer a guarantee on workmanship for the area being remediated. 

  7. Beware of scare tactics - Mold can be a scary problem but many people exagerate the health impact.  Do your own research first - don't let someone scare you with phrases like "You have toxic black mold".  Mold contamination can present significant health effects - but don't let remediators scare you into signing a contract.

Whenever you discover that you have a mold problem, call SERVPRO of Hershey/Swatara. We promise that you will get an honest assessment of the problem, and we will ensure that you will be satisfied with our work.

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