November 12, 2019 @ 2:59 AM

Beware of Mold Assessment Scamsters. by Jim Poesl

I am basically out of the mold assessment and indoor air quality business but I still do it for friends and family members. One of the reasons is that it is rife with fraud and frankly I can't compete with fraudsters out there that give very compelling cases for thousands of dollars in "mold remediation". Recently a friend of the family asked me to look at one of his properties where there was a minor gutter leak that was fixed and all components that were impacted with water were removed, repaired, or replaced. The tenant hired a company that advertised on-line to do a "mold inspection". I was asked to evaluate the recommendations. Here are some of my comments:

1. The company wanted the owner to: "Remediate and sanitize HVAC Units, all duct work, all ventilation and all air returns." The only problem is that there are NO HVAC units, it is baseboard heat and window air conditioners.

2. The company wanted them to do the same with the attic area and the basement area, then wanted to rent/sell them an "air scrubber" for those areas. The problem is that there is no attic or basement.

3. The air samples indicated the presence of mold and they recommended a complete remediation. The air samples were analyzed by a legitimate lab, however they showed that the air inside the apartment was 3-4 times "safer" than the air outside. They likely sampled with the apartment windows open since it was the same species of mold inside and outside. So what is the message? Don't go outside I guess?

I spoke to a colleague of mine in the industry, after we stopped laughing, she indicated that she sees these type of reports almost every day and they are all form letters/reports. They prey on unknowing "victims". Hire a legitimate company that won't rip you off and ask for references. 

These companies don't make money on the initial assessments but make money on the referrals to other contractors to "fix" the problem. If you have people in the house that have significant immune system problems then some of the recommendations are reasonable, but you can see some of the issues here.