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What should a homeowner look for when hiring a mold removal company in Columbus, Ohio?
Mold removal specialists are not just handymen. Mold is dangerous stuff, so it requires special training and special equipment to do it right.
You may have never dealt with a serious mold problem before, so you may not know what to look for when talking with a professional. Here are some things you need to know to hire the right person.
Beware of Pricey Scams
Unfortunately, not everyone will be equally ethical. Some mold remediation pros will be looking to take advantage and make a quick buck. Here are some common price-gouging techniques:
Pre-testing: If you just want the mold removed, you don't need it tested to determine what kind of mold it is. Pre-testing is generally only relevant in legal situations, such as bidding on a house and trying to get the seller to cover the problem or suing someone in court. Be leery of anyone who pushes pre-testing without a specific reason for the recommendation.
Overcharging: Since proper mold remediation is not cheap, some people simply overcharge to pad their bottom line with no extra work. Call at least three people to get an idea of what it should cost for your area. You do not want to hire someone based solely on the low price because that is a red flag that they aren't really qualified and won't do things right, but you also don't want to be gouged.
Of course, you want to avoid some bad things but that's not enough. You also need to find someone with good qualifications. Here are some things to seek out:
Clear Communication: A qualified professional should know what they are doing and be able to explain it in plain English. If they can't readily explain it, they may not really understand it. If you aren't satisfied with the explanation, it's reasonable to keep looking. Even if they are qualified, maybe they just don't click with you. Serious communication problems can cause other problems.
Proper Safety Gear: Mold can be deadly. That's part of why people hire professionals to deal with the problem. So professionals should have and use proper safety gear, such as a high quality face mask, gloves (vinyl or neoprene) and sometimes even a full protective suit.
Proper Equipment: You can also expect them to use plastic sheeting, HEPA filtration systems, HEPA vacuums and commercial dehumidifiers.
Proper Procedures: Cheap materials, like baseboards and drywall, are typically simply removed and replaced. They may also use chemical cleaners and various sealants to try to protect you and keep the problem from recurring.
Experience: Ideally, you want someone with years of experience. It's fine to have younger crew members on the team, but the company and at least one crew member should have at least five years experience, ideally working in the city where you live. Local risk factors can vary and so can local laws, so hiring local matters.