Can General Contractors Handle Mold Issues?
Here at Mastertech, we receive a lot of calls from property owners who, while doing home renovations, report that their general contractors have found mold. These calls usually include the client reporting that their contractor has taken care of the mold issue, but they need us to come and check. The issue is that general contractors may not be experienced in properly and safely dealing with mold remediation jobs. Their intentions may have been good while attempting to clean up your property’s mold issue – however, good intentions do not clean mold. Professional mold remediators do. Unfortunately, an improper “cleaning” can and usually does make a bad situation exponentially worse.
General Contractors May Not Have Mold Experience
General contractors only require general liability insurance in their trade. However, in order to be properly insured to do environmental cleanups like mold, you are required to have pollutant insurance. This requires training and certifications that general contractors may not possess. Most people without the proper training and experience don’t know the first thing about mold cleanup. So what do they do? They Google it, of course. Many sources online for mold cleanup will tell you to clean the mold with none other than bleach. To someone without experience in the mold cleanup world, this may make sense. What can’t bleach clean, right? Wrong. The high water content in bleach can actually feed the roots of the mold even more so, causing more damage.
Another thing that people without experience in the mold business may overlook is containment. Containment is highly necessary when removing mold from one’s property. Without proper containment, you run a high risk of cross contaminating other areas of the property that were previously unaffected. General contractors may remove the affected building materials, but simply walk through the property, disposing of affected materials outside. Without containment, they’ve basically just drug mold all throughout the property. Many general contractors are unaware that when mold is handled incorrectly, or as we say, “disturbed,” the spores are made airborne. These airborne spores are free to float around in the air and land anywhere they please. Without proper containment isolating the area of concern, these spores can continue to spread all throughout the property.
The Importance Of Proper Procedure During Mold Cleanup
Mold cleanup requires more than your average cleaning process and products. Unless the affected area is a non-porous surface that can simply be wiped clean, you’re going to need a lot more help than that. A professional mold remediation company will be able to not only properly remove the mold, but also identify the source and provide recommendations for prevention. When the source of moisture and other conducive conditions are eradicated, this decreases the risk of mold returning. Professionals who specialize in mold cleanup have the proper equipment, cleaning agents, and most importantly, the training and experience to handle this kind of job. They will contain the area to minimize the risk of cross contamination, keeping the mold from spreading to other areas of the property that were previously unaffected. Mold spores that become airborne can potentially pose a health risk for people with sensitivities. Professionals then safely dispose of any contaminated materials that cannot be restored without risking cross-contamination. This is why containment is absolutely necessary, and cannot be overlooked.
Some Things To Look For When Choosing A Mold Remediation Company:
- Do your research. Check a company’s online reputation and ask for references.
- Read reviews on Google, Facebook and anywhere you can find them.
- Check the company’s rating with the Better Business Bureau.
- Ask about their industry certifications and training.
- Make sure they are licensed as New Jersey Home Improvement Contractors.
- Make sure they are properly insured – and ask for their insurance certificate.
- Are their employees are individually certified to perform mold remediation?
- Ask if the workers who will be performing your project are full-time technicians as opposed to part-time laborers.
- Do they carry workman’s compensation for their employees?
- Ask if they provide a warranty or guarantee for their remediation.
It may seem like the more convenient, cheaper option to have your general contractor handle the mold problem that your home is experiencing. However, keep in mind that they may not have the experience, training, or certifications that a professional mold company needs. Trying to cut corners when dealing with mold never ends well. In fact, it can (and usually does) end with health potential issues for the affected occupants and an even more expensive remediation than it would have initially been.