Mold Remediation Tactics Used to Rack Up High Bills
(Secrets mold remediation companies don’t want you to know.)
A few bad apples can ruin the bunch. As a result, mold remediation companies have a bad reputation. We are known to bill for remedies to problems that don’t exist. With high insurance deductibles and outrageous estimates, it’s no wonder most home owners feel used and abused after an initial mold inspection. There’s hope. We’ve put together a list of billing tactics other restoration companies don’t want you to know to help consumers protect themselves and rebuild trust for honest restoration companies who believe integrity and transparency should be the rule, not the exception.
As home owners consider the following:
Home owners may be misguided when it comes to demolition. Is It really necessary? Perhaps. But here’s a good example that should help you understand how the company should go about demolition. If you have water damage in the bathroom and the restoration company suggests they need to tear down the tiled bathroom wall to get to the damage, consider what’s behind the bathroom. It will most likely be a closet wall or room wall. It is much easier, and cost effective, to go around and break through dry wall to dry out and remediate mold than it is to tear down a bathroom wall that most likely is tiled, where toilets and sinks will have to be removed, and therefore cost a substantial amount to reconstruct.
Drying out vs. Reconstruction
If you have water damage it is imperative that you dry the damaged areas to prevent mold growth. Compare the amount of time and resources it will take to dry out a space vs. replacing it altogether. For example, replacing carpet padding is a much better option than drying it out. Restoration companies charge per diem on rental equipment and labor. It can take 2 or more days to dry out carpet padding. On the other hand, materials to replace these items are inexpensive and it would only take a few hours to replace.
Other Measures to Keep Costs Down
We realize you have a duty to protect your home as well as your pockets. We recommend you spot check the technicians in the initial inspection and throughout the project. Invest in a moisture meter to confirm their findings or conduct a pre-inspection yourself if you suspect water damage. You can find one at JonDon.com starting at just $29.
Once the project begins, be sure to have a log. Technicians should log in and out every time they are on site. Don’t be afraid that you’re breathing down their neck. If the restoration company is honest, these measures won’t offend them.
Is More Equipment Than Necessary Being Used?
Mold remediation is not effective unless all water damage has been addressed first. Which means more money for water extraction and drying out the affected space. There is no way around this. What you can do is make sure the restoration company is economizing and not using more equipment than necessary.
Restoration companies bill per piece of equipment and per hour that it is used. Some companies will claim you need more equipment than the job requires in order to rack up a higher bill. How do you know if they’re using too much equipment? Basic rule of thumb, if you’re tripping over the equipment when you walk into a space it may be a red flag.
Size also matters as bigger equipment cost more. You may be billed for extra large dehumidifiers when all you need are regular sized ones. To give you an idea, an extra large dehumidifier is ideal for a lobby in a hotel not a room in a house. If you’re not sure what the difference is, simply ask. Educated consumers are less likely to be taken for a ride.
Double Check Pricing
Some companies may claim that their estimate is competitive when it may not be at all. Our suggestion? Do your homework. Get a second quote or request a price list from another company to get an idea of what your costs should be. If the project is estimated to cost an exorbitant amount of money, reach out to a restoration company that offers consulting services to review the project and ensure there’s no foul play. It may be worth their fee and save you money in the long run.
Water and fire restoration is intended to help and serve the community in the face of disasters like floods, fires and water leaks. It is intended to help people put there lives back in order when their homes are completely destroyed. Somewhere along the path these values have derailed. It has been an uphill battle for honest companies to regain consumer trust- but not impossible. Remember that an educated consumer leaves no room for dishonest vendors.
Jessica Raffo works at the The Water Restoration Group, a family owned business specializing in water and fire damage restoration and mold remediation services. They have been Serving the South Florida Community for over 11 years. Integrity is at the core of their business philosophy as well as strong work ethics and craftsmanship.