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So You Have a Mold Problem, Now What?

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Dead-end

Hardly a week goes by that we don’t get an email from someone asking for us to interpret lab results from some other mold company. Naturally, we are more than happy to oblige, but it always makes me scratch my head and wonder, “Why aren’t they asking the people who collected the samples?”

People send us lab reports from other companies for a few reasons.

1. Sometimes it’s because it was a home inspector that collected the samples and he doesn’t seem to know how to interpret them, and what the next steps should be. In this case, a little information can be dangerous, and it’s exactly why 99% of home inspectors should not be collecting microbiological samples for analysis. If you don’t know what to do with the data, it just muddies the waters.

2. Sometimes it’s because the company that collected the samples also performs remediation, and the customer is concerned about the obvious conflict of interest that arises when companies perform mold testing AND mold remediation. It’s a bad practice that’s illegal in many states and will become illegal in many more, the same way it happened with asbestos and other environmental hazards. Here’s a piece I wrote about this very thing.

3. Most of the time, it’s because the company that collected the samples didn’t provide a full report, and the customer is at a dead-end, with no clear idea how to proceed. Why hire a professional to take samples and perform an inspection if you aren’t going to get a remediation plan? That’s what you’re paying for, not the lab report by itself.

The byproduct of an inspection by 1-800-GOT-MOLD? is a comprehensive document with all of the observations made and correlating recommendations, along with the lab report, a written summary of the analysis, and a step-by-step remediation and repair plan that’s in accordance with best practices and industry standards. Since 1-800-GOT-MOLD? does NOT perform any of the remediation or repairs, it’s an unbiased document that’s designed to be a blueprint for the solution from beginning to end.  After you’ve hired a professional, you should know the source(s) of the problem, the underlying cause(s), and what to do next, in an easy-to-understand format.

When we go through the other companies’ reports, we see every amateur mistake in the book. Bad data, lousy labs, failed protocol, too few samples, you name it. If this person actually wants to get their house in order, they end up having to hire a competent company and do it all over again.

So before you make the call and say you want your house tested for mold, make sure you ask them what you get along with the lab report. Sometimes you get what you pay for. Sometimes you get a whole lot less.

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