Posts filed under ‘Mold Inspection and Testing Certifications’
It’s not everyday that people have to deal with a potential mold problem. For most people, the thought of a mold problem in the home or workplace is scary and confusing. There is so much information on the Internet, much of it is conflicting and lots of it is wrong. Questions that come to people’s mind’s when they believe they may have a mold problem:
- Will the mold make me and my family sick?
- Do I actually have a mold problem, or is it just “mildew”?
- If I have a mold problem, will it be expensive to diagnose or remedy?
- Is all mold toxic?
- Is all mold dangerous?
- What type of company should I use to inspect and test my home?
- How do I know who I can trust?
- Who is qualified to inspect and test my home?
- If I am a renter, who should pay for the mold inspection and testing?
Most of the questions above can be answered by a qualified, mold inspection and testing professional. One of the first and the most important steps is to find a qualified mold inspection and testing company. Here is what I suggest if you believe you may have a mold problem.
- If you see visible mold-like growth or believe a room has a mold problem, avoid that room if you can.
- Find a qualified company to inspect and test your home or workplace.*
- Follow the recommendations of the company as stated in their inspection report and perform any mold remediation work that they recommend.
*How do you find a “qualified” company?
- Ask friends and colleagues for recommendations.
- Search the Internet. Look for quality company websites that are informative and don’t use scare tactics.
- A qualified company will a) have a good record with the Better Business Bureau, b) carry quality certifications from organizations like the American Council for Accredited Certification (ACAC), c) carry General Liability Insurance and Professional Liability Insurance (also known as Errors and Omissions insurance). The latter is the most important and differentiates the true professional companies from “fly by night” organizations., d) have good reviews and testimonials from past clients, and e) utilize an independent, accredited lab for their sample analysis.
- Ask to see a sample mold inspection report. Does the company do good work? Is the sample report complete, easy to read, and contain color photographs?
- Look for referrals from The Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA) or The Amercian Council for Accredited Certification (ACAC)
- Does the company answer their phone? Do they respond to web and email inquiries in a timely manner?
- Is the person you speak to on the phone professional? Are they patient and do they spend time to answer your questions?
Try not to feel overwhelmed. Take it one step at a time. The key is finding the right company to help you.
Here are a few places to go to perform research for mold related issues:
Choosing a mold consulting company can be a difficult process; especially when you have health concerns regarding your indoor environment. You may be thinking to yourself…can I trust this company? Will they follow through with what they promise on their website or over the phone? Are they qualified to determine if I have a mold problem in my home or business? Are they going to use scare tactics to try to sell me something I don’t need?
When selecting a mold inspection company, be sure to ask, at minimum, the following questions:
1. Do you also provide mold remediation or cleaning services?
In my opinion, it is a conflict of interest to perform both the initial investigation/testing AND profit from the cleaning/remediation of mold. It is in your best interest to use an unbiased and neutral third-party for your initial investigation and testing. The bottom line is: your mold inspector should not profit from the discovery of mold.
2. Can you provide me with a past client referral list or client testimonials?
Quality companies value hearing back from their clients and they should have a long list of satisfied customers. Many even obtain personal statements from past clients who endorse their services. If the company you are considering cannot or will not provide you with past client testimonials, then consider continuing your search.
3. Are you a member in good standing with the BBB (Better Business Bureau)?
The BBB can be a great resource to locate quality, ethical and honest mold companies. Look for companies that have no complaints and a solid rating.
4. Are You Certified?
Most states do not require any formal certification or licensing to perform mold investigations and testing. However, there are organizations that provide independent certifications for mold investigation and sampling. The ACAC is the best of those organizations. The ACAC requires a minimum number of years of field experience, successfully passing a stringent certification exam, and obtaining continuing education credits annually. Make sure your mold professional is certified by a credible organization.
5. And finally, do you carry Professional Liability Insurance (Errors and Omissions insurance, commonly called E&O insurance)?
Most quality companies carry general liability (GL) insurance. However, E&O insurance is expensive and cost prohibitive for most mold inspection firms. The vast majority of mold inspectors do not carry this form of insurance that provides you with a higher level of protection.
Best of luck with your search for a quality mold inspection company. I hope these questions help.
The ACAC offers the best, accredited certification programs available for mold inspectors. Many mold inspectors simply have a “training certificate”. There is a difference between “training certificates” and accredited certifications.
Training is vocational schooling. When a student completes a training course, he/she earns a training certificate or diploma. The student owns the training certificate and can add it to his/her curriculum vitae. No further requirements are necessary.
Certifications are affidavits of industry knowledge – knowledge beyond a course curriculum. When an individual demonstrates knowledge, he/she earns a certification designation. The individual does not own the designation, but may renew it after meeting its requirements.
Accredited Certifications are professional credentials qualified and recognized by one of three independent organizations. Certification programs accredited by the Council of Engineering and Scientific Specialty Boards (CESB) must require verifiable field experience. ACAC certifications are accredited by the CESB.
Among other items, the ACAC mold certifications require:
- Minimum years of verifiable field experience;
- Difficult certification exams,
- ACAC unanimous board approval; and
- Re-certification every two years with a minimum of 40 continuing education credits
When looking to hire a professional mold inspector, look for a company and inspectors that have reputable licenses, certifications, and ones that belong to industry leading organizations like the Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA).