BBB Tips: Hiring a Mold Remediation or Mold Assessment Contractor in Florida

  
     
It is important to act quickly when cleaning and repairing a home or business after flooding because the longer mold grows, the more damage it can cause. A Mold Remediation or Mold Assessment Contractor can help you in your time of need. Use these tips as a guide when choosing who to hire.
September 14, 2017

Mold-Related Services are assessment and remediation of mold. An assessment of mold is a process performed by a mold assessor that includes the physical sampling and detailed evaluation of data obtained from a building history and inspection to formulate an initial hypothesis about the origin, identity, location, and extent of amplification of mold growth of greater than 10 square feet. A remediation of mold is the removal, cleaning, sanitizing, demolition, or other treatment, including preventive activities, of mold or mold-contaminated matter of greater than 10 square feet that was not purposely grown at that location. Any person advertising or representing oneself to be a Mold Assessor or Remediator, or taking samples for purposes of testing for the presence of mold has to have a state license.

  • Ask for Recommendations. Ask friends, family members, and neighbors who have worked with a mold remediation expert in the past for their suggestions .

  • Look for the BBB Accredited Business Seal. BBB Accredited businesses meet BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to build trust, advertise honestly, tell the truth, be transparent, honor their promises, be responsive to their customers, safeguard privacy and embody integrity.

  • Track Record. Before you hire check out the contractor at bbb.org. Read what previous customers have to say, and see how the businesses respond to complaints. Select a business with a track record worthy of your support. Also search the contractor online adding the word “Complaint”, “Reviews” or “Scam” after their name for different search results. Also, check to see if they are a member of professional organizations such as the Restoration Industry Association.

  • Verify License. Make sure the company has a current and active state license with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Call 850-487-1395 download their app named DBPR mobile, or go online to www.myfloridalicense.com to check whether a contractor is registered. The license information also should tell you how long the contractor has been licensed to perform work. Make sure the business has extensive experience in cleaning up mold.

  • Cost Comparisons. Get at least three quotes in writing, compare the quotes based on the same specification and make sure they have proper equipment to perform the job. Find out how long the project will take to complete. Don’t assume that something discussed verbally is included if it’s not specified. Remember, quality of work may be more important than price. Beware of  mold remediation contractors who claim to be the fastest or the cheapest. Hiring them could result in poor workmanship, inferior materials or unfinished jobs.

  • Plan the remediation before starting work. Asses the size of the mold and/or moisture problem and the type of damaged materials before planning the remediation work. The remediation plan should include steps to fix the water or moisture problem and use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Mold remediation may include temporary relocation of some or all of the building occupants, especially when dealing with aspergillus mold at a business location. If you have health concerns, consult a health professional before starting cleanup.

  • Insurance. Verify the company has personal and property damage liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance by getting certificates of insurance with you listed as the certificate holder. You can also verify proof of workers’ comp Insurance with the Florida Department of Financial Services. Make sure that all workers on the job site are covered.

  • Request References. Ask the business for a list of references you may contact. Ask the references about the services that were performed and their overall experience with the contractor. Ask if the contractor stuck to the estimated budget and completion date for the project. Find out if the references were completely satisfied with the job that was performed.

  • Deposits and Payment. Do not pay large payments up front. Pay by check or credit card for added protection. If paying by check, make it out to the name of the business, be cautious if asked to make check out to an individual especially when dealing with a company. Paying by credit card provides some recourse should the job not be completed as stated in the contract. Make sure your contractor provides you with releases of liens from his subcontractors and suppliers with each payment and a Contractor’s Affidavit at the completion of the job. This assures that everyone involved with this job has been paid.

  • Criminal History. Check out anyone you allow onto your property to see if they have a criminal history. Ask the company: Do the contractors on the job undergo a background check? Are they trained and certified? Will they be wearing name tags and uniforms on the job? Are company vehicles clearly marked?

  • Signing a Contract. Review your contract before you sign it. Get all the details in writing. Make sure the contract includes: the contractor’s name, street address, telephone number and state license number. A precise description of work to be completed, including a work completion time line (draw schedule) and list of materials that will be used, exact costs, estimated start and completion dates (including cleanup after the work is finished) and details of the work being done. Ask if there is a warranty, if so make sure to include it in the contract detailing length, terms and recourse. Be sure to read the fine print carefully and personally fill in any blank spaces. Consider having an attorney review the contract. Don’t sign anything you don’t understand. Clearly written proposals that are detailed and broken down into separate line items are a good sign that the contractor is being thorough and has prepared an accurate estimate.

 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides this Guide to Mold, Moisture and Your Home- follow the link for more information.

About BBB

For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2014, people turned to BBB more than 165 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 4.7 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for 113 local, independent BBBs in the United States, Canada and Mexico, as well as home to its national programs on dispute resolution, advertising review, and industry self-regulation. BBB Serving Northeast Florida & The Southeast Atlantic was founded in 1987 and serves 57 counties.