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Are mold inspections free advice?

Aug 4, 2021 9:30:00 AM / by David C Sulock

You get what you pay for, is free ever free?    Free means there is a catch.   Free mold inspection, mean, I will make money on mold remediation if you need it or not.

are free mold inspections free?

Regarding the photo above, do you need someone to complete a mold inspection?   The answer is yes, because you have to remediate the mold but you also want to know the causes of the growth.  Yes causes, there are typically a few reasons that compound upon each other to fuel mold growth. 

Mold happens, it grows silently and relentlessly.  In a perfect world you would only notice mold outside, because you see it everyday but don't realize it, how else do leaves, mulch and grass clipping breakdown?   The rub is all those items are organic and unless you live in  a glass house, you have organic material that mold would like to consume.


expert mold inspections

So don't be surprised if mold is in your home and its found during the sale of the house, or maybe you find it due to odor, visual or health concerns, those are the common situations that trigger our involvement with mold.

Professional mold advice is an oxymoron, since New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware have no mold licensing you are hard pressed to find a company that would actually be professional.  Add to the fact that there are mold remediation franchises, it tells you how popular mold is.

People I consider to be mold professionals, mold experts, mold guru so to speak, well they have years of hands on experience and use tools to perform inspections, such as the thermal image photo below.

Inspectors should have spent time actually remediating mold, so they have the hands on understanding of mold, learn by doing, not just inspecting.


best mold inspections


How to Find a Mold Professional

I am going to offer some sage advice on mold remediation, based on thousands of mold projects and 20 plus years doing those projects.  aka where have I seen mold failures and mold successes.

Don't hire any mold person working out of their house.  Why, well mold remediation is labor intensive and you need equipment and labor which a one may show must subcontract (read hire cost, lower quality control).    Second when you review mold testing data its nice to get a 2nd opinion two heads are better than one.  We require all our reports get a 2nd review and opinion in our office.  It's hard to proof read your own work and 2nd opinions matter. 

Are Franchisee Mold Companies good?

Franchise Mold is a hard pass.  Look a restaurant franchise is fine, everybody has to eat, not everyone needs mold work, but a franchise must pay fees and you will pay for those fees, we see it all the time the franchises have awesome marketing, but high prices and low quality of work, we inspect and have seen what they call remediated, what we see is something that needs more work.   We also get calls about franchise warranty work, its very common that franchises change owners and new owners don't want to warranty the work (read not get paid) for the prior franchises mistakes. 

The mold company must be able to define the cause of mold, not just want to remediate the mold.  Bottom line you don't fix the mold cause, mold will come back, see it all the time, all the time.  

Hire a company that can test/inspect and remediate. Yes I know that goes against common advice you read, but hear me out.   We charge for mold inspections, because we are professionals and can on average find the mold cause within about 15 minutes of a site inspection, we can also test for mold and actually understand what the test data means.  The point is mold inspections are a fee for hire professional service and worth the money.  Hey if we find mold, sure we can provide a cost to remediate, if we don't end up doing the mold remediation, no harm no foul we were hired and paid for an inspection and that's fine.


See the photo below this was a mold air test supplied by a person working out of his house.  The sampling is 100% wrong, because the sample collection was on the ground no breathing height.

Air Sample Equipment
The photo below shows the proper way to test the mold for air, which is at breathing height on a tripod, center of the room.  You do this to avoid bias in the sample.
mold inspection with testing

Understand the fox guarding the hen house. 

The opposite of my above statement, is don't hire someone to both test and remediate.  I get it, but lets pull the layers of the onion back.  One, if you feel like you are being sold a service, you likely are. 

Professionals don't sell, they provide objective data and allow you to make an informed decision.  Nothing is free, a free mold inspection has a hidden cost, which is being sold a remediation that may not be needed, maybe over priced and typically will be needed to make up for the free inspection.  Sorry folks you get what you pay for.


Black Mold is a Scam

Don't buy into black mold.  Black mold is not a mold, its a color but it is also a sales word use to scare people (you have the black mold).   If you get pitched with scare tactics, you are getting sold. 

Quick story, I mold inspected a basement for a young couple buying the house.  There was mold throughout the basement, mold was present due to a couple issues.   After buying the home, the couple was planning on making a part of the basement an exercise room for the wife, who also had an asthma issue.   Another another area was going to be a play room for kids (it was a descent size basement).  One of the kids had asthma.    Again the basement had heavy growth throughout the space, I don't scare clients, I inform and make calm statements. After the inspection I explained what I saw, afterwards the couple said "so the mold is not that bad, we don't need to do anything"?  This was a lightbulb moment, my calm statements lulled them into not seeing what I was seeing.  I had to switch gears and walk them around again and show them that mold was present (white greyish in color, no black).  I had to clearly say the mold was heavy and worse than a lot of sites I inspect, mold remediation was 100% needed and at a minimum the wife and child would be at risk due to their health issues.  The wife in particular as she would be doing cardio in a basement (not a lot of fresh air) just sucking in the spores.  They remediated, but I learned I have to ask people to spit back out what they think I said or even wrote in a report.  

Mold inspections are a professional service and like any professional service there are fees involved.  These fees pay for the advice and paying protects your best interest as their are no hidden agendas to recoup money from doing something for free.

Call for Mold Questions.

Professional Advice 888-301-1050 for over 20 years. 


David C Sulock

Written by David C Sulock

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