The remediation and repair of your home can cost thousands of dollars. Therefore, it is important to be selective in your choice of a mold remediation specialist and use the same care that you would employ when selecting any company Although you may feel a sense of urgency, don’t rush into signing a remediation contract. Take sufficient time to get bids and evaluate bidders.
- Bids should be in writing and specifically itemize all of the work to be done.
- Do not assume that something not included in the bid is included in the price, even if it seems trivial.
- Question any bid that seems out-of-line. If one bid seems much lower than the others, make sure that the bidder is not taking shortcuts to lower the estimated cost.
- Make sure all companies are offering to do the same quality work, so that you can accurately compare prices.
- Ask in advance what the company charges for change orders. Do not assume that the company will do extra work for the cost of the work alone.
- Many legitimate companies add a service charge on top of the cost of the work.
- Review all bids with your insurance company to determine which costs will be covered by your policy and which are your responsibility. If your mortgage lender is supervising or involved in the process, make sure the bid specifics and payment schedule meet the lender’s requirements.
- Be wary of possible conflicts of interest on the part of companies that provide multiple services, such as testing, and build-back. Remember that by law, the same person or company may not do both mold assessment and remediation on the same process.
- Ask people you know for references. Ask each company for references of satisfied customers and call them before signing a contract. If the company is unwilling to give references, they may have something to hide. Even if they do give references, the “references” sometimes turn out to be people who are paid to say good things about the company. Therefore, if possible you should personally examine examples of previous work.
- Only choose a company who guarantees the work.
- Beware of companies who demand payment in full up front, or who say they will need final payment before the work is done. Be aware, however, that it is not unusual for companies to ask for partial payment as work progresses.
- Your insurer is prohibited from requiring you to use a specific company, but may assist you with the selection of a company and with getting remediation work done in a timely manner.
If your insurer gives you a list of companies, ask:
- How are the vendors selected?
- What are the benefits of selecting a recommended vendor?
- If you choose a contractor from the insurer’s list, will the work be guaranteed by the insurer?
As with any company under consideration, you should check for proper licensing and insurance, ask for a list of references from each recommended specialist and review their work before making a decision.