Testing Scams

Sticking with the theme from yesterday, I want to again leave out anything technical, and focus in on one type of scam that is becoming more and more used in the restoration business, the Post Remediation Test.  Now is this test a scam, absolutely not, but it’s the way that some companies are utilizing it which is concerning.  Two quick examples of this will be in an attic, and in a basement.  The attic had mold and you’re remediation contractor says they’ll take a surface swab after the remediation is completed to insure there isn’t any mold.  Sounds good right?  Wrong.  It appears that these companies are being honest, but they’re actually being quite the contrary.  After they’re finished and the attic has been encapsulated or painted, (read yesterday’s entry), then they’re taking this test. Well of course it is going to pass because they’re swabbing a new surface.  To do this correctly, the surfaces should be sampled prior to any encapsulate so you can assure that the surface in question is clean.  Hence, another reason we always insist, not successfully with every customer, to apply clear.  Next is the basement and this is the most common type of scam.  I compete against a company who is famous for this type of procedure.  They set up containment and air control, remove the mold, then allow their equipment to run for three days and then take the test.  Or, they take the test when they’re done while the air machines are running.  Now some may think this is what you’re supposed to do to exchange the air, but how can a test be valid while machines are running specifically designed to clean or exchange the air?  Even if you do want these machines to run for an additional amount of time after the remediation, then the test should be done 3 to 7 days later so the natural air in the home resettles and you’re truly testing the home’s air quality.  If I run our air machines while mold is still in the basement and let it run for a day and take the test, I may get negative results with visible mold because the air machine is doing it’s job.  That’s why in post remediation testing, we always instruct every one of our customers that it should be done a week after the remediation is finished.  So, when you’re pricing out a job in your home, ask questions, do your due diligence and understand how some cheat their way into jobs by looking to be honest when they’re really not.