As a home owner, the presence of mold in your home can be very alarming. If you suspect there could be mold in your house, the first thing you should do is schedule a mold inspection to be performed. Even though this is the best way to learn whether your house has gotten contaminated, you need to be wary of air duct cleaning companies providing free mold inspections.
When you find an air duct cleaning company claiming to offer free mold inspections, this should immediately raise concerns. In many areas, you will find companies using this sales tactic. They will offer to inspect the residence for free, and when they find mold present (which they always do) charge you hundreds of dollars to have it removed.
They find mold in all the houses they inspect. The cleaners are very convincing and appear to be credible when explaining the presence of mold. They use an ATP swab which is the standard tool of choice. Where present, the ATP swab changes its color to purple.
However, what they do not tell you is that the presence of an organic substance will force the swab to amend its color. As such, skin cells, bacteria, body fluids and bacteria will all make it change its color. Upon contact, the ATP swab turns purple within sixty seconds. It is important to note that it will continue to turn purple after five minutes even if there is nothing present.
Understand that just because it changed color, that does NOT mean there was a positive reaction to the presence of mold. Using this color change they will then claim that your house is contaminated by mold and should be decontaminated immediately.
Solutions proposed will often involve spraying, or fogging as it is known, but again this is unnecessary in many cases. It has nothing to do with the mold removal process. It’s important that you be cautious of air duct cleaning companies offering mold removal. This is a dead ringer that the company is dishonest and cannot be trusted.
Typical mold inspection and removal scams you should be on the lookout for include:
- Duct cleaners using field tests – most of the field tests use the ATP swab. If you are to use a duct cleaner, ensure that they are an associated with the NADCA (National Air Duct Cleaners Association)
- Off-site sampling – the scam is perpetuated by inspectors in the remediation business looking to make a quick buck
- Other scams – Many other “foot in the door” methods to sell you an unnecessary service are being used, so you need to think twice and check credentials
If you hire a mold remediation or cleaning company, make sure they are licensed and IICRC certified (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification). This is the best way to avoid mold inspections scams.
If your home suffers from air quality issues, heavy dust buildup, or you have frequent allergies, sinus issues, or other respiratory problems, THEN you should strongly consider contacting an air duct cleaning company. They can perform a video inspection to ensure you need their service before they start.