If you have or suspect a mold issue in your home, you should call an experienced mold investigator FIRST!
Click here to view BONSAI's available Mold Investigation Services
Why? Because in many cases I can save you hundreds - even thousands - of dollars in unnecessary cleanup costs! In some of those cases, professional mold cleanup was not even necessary or could have easily performed by you, the homeowner! The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued federal mold cleanup guidelines that explicitly allow non-professional personnel to handle certain small-scale projects needing only personal protective equipment (i.e: goggles, gloves, respirator, etc)
DON'T just call in the 'white vans'...!!! This mistake could end up costing you BIG BUCKS in unneeded cleanup! Here are some of my recent personal experiences:
- I have worked on large-scale mold cleanup projects in homes where a larger, well-known, 'white van' company quoted a cost that exceeded both my services AND a smaller, reputable, professional mold remediation company by ALMOST DOUBLE!
- I have observed this same 'white van' company walk into a customer's home, spend five minutes observing THE WRONG AREA, and then quoting over $2,500 for clean up! In that particular case, the customer could have cleaned up the problem ON THEIR OWN by simply removing a small section of drywall. My services, plus the services of a competent handyman would have likely cost around $600, and potentially less.
The bottom line is - beware of companies that perform both mold investigation/testing services AND cleaning/remediation - it is a professional conflict of interest, and in some states is illegal!
The big 'white van' companies will simply walk in, charge you the maximum, and NOT FIX THE SOURCE OF THE PROBLEM. If the source of the problem is not corrected, the mold WILL BE BACK. Under the right conditions, mold can begin re-growing in as little as 24-48 hours!
If you're going to be spending money on a mold-related issue, you should be spending it on FIXING THE SOURCE. That's what the 'white vans' don't want you to know or do. They will simply hope that you see their shiny vehicles, white coats, and big logo and cough up the cash because you don't know any better. BONSAI Inspection Company is committed to providing you with the information you need to make an informed decision. BONSAI does not offer or perform any mold remediation/cleaning services, is not affiliated with any such company, and receives no compensation for any referrals!
Please check out my Mold Info page for the truth about a lot more mold myths
Click here for a superbly well written article on avoiding mold scams, cheats, and rip-offs; from Advanced Mold Inspections of Oceanside, CA.
MOST COMMON REASONS FOR MOLD IN AN ATTIC AREAS:
- Inadequate or blocked/partially blocked ventilation openings
- Inadequate levels of insulation
- Bathroom exhaust fan discharging into attic or soffit
- Excessive amount of stored items in attic
- Un-insulated attic scuttle/pull-down staircase/ walk up staircase door
- High interior humidity levels
- Presence of whole-house fan
- Presence of Air Conditioning evaporator in attic
- Presence of un-insulated sheetmetal ductwork in attic
- Other, uncorrectable factors include - orientation of home and/or sections of roof (north, south, etc) , location of home (woody areas can have a much higher airborne spore level), and number of occupants in home
MOST COMMON REASONS FOR MOLD IN BASEMENT AREAS:
- Improper construction methods for finished areas
- Condition of gutters and downspouts
- Grading around exterior perimeter
- High interior humidity levels
When should you consider hiring BONSAI to perform a mold investigation?
- To determine if mold is in fact growing in your home.
- Before you purchase a home or investment property and wish to identify if mold is a pre-existing issue.
- You smell a moldy or musty odor and cannot locate the source.
- You suspect mold but do not see any visible mold growth.
- Residents of your home experience mold exposure related symptoms (headaches, breathing difficulties, congestions, skin or eye irritation, allergic reactions) without a known cause.
- After any flooding or water damage event.
- You find a water leak that has been active for more than 24 hours.
- Unusual stains appear on furniture or building material
REALTORS and HOME SELLERS:
If you have any troubles regarding the presence of mold in one of your listings/or as a result of a home inspection, PLEASE CONTACT ME. I can help you through this situation quickly and professionally. Most Home Inspectors are not trained in handling mold-related issues and thus can unnecessarily alarm customers/cause delays/increase costs. As a licensed Home Inspector and certified mold specialist, in many cases, these situations can be resolved in as little as 3-4 business days, and for around $400. DON'T RISK LOSING YOUR SALE as the result of an untrained or alarmist home inspector!
Click here to view a sample mold report. This customer had their house for sale, and had mold turn up in their attic during the Home Inspection. Their buyers had strong reservations based on the inexperienced (in mold) inspector's comments and were considering backing out. Their cost for my services was $350 and the report was ready in 4 business days. After seeing the report, the buyers felt assured the problem was not as stated and went on to purchase the home. CRISIS AVOIDED.
I carry state-of-the-art, high-tech equipment with me on every mold inspection, including:
- FLIR B-CAM Thermal Imaging Camera
- Extech 42510 Infrared Laser Thermometer
- Kestrel 3500 Thermal Anemometer Hygrometer
- Milwaukee 2300-20 Digital Inspection Camera
- Zefon International Z-LITE air sampling pump
- Protimeter Surveymaster non-contact Moisture Detector
For Sample Results Interpretation BONSAI follows the guidance of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (Publications 2001/2002), the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) and the New York City Department of Health (NYCDOH) (2008).
BONSAI follows the mold sampling protocols as described in the International Association of Certified Air Consultants' (IAC2) "Mold Inspection Standards of Practice", and EM Labs P&K.
For mold sample laboratory analysis, BONSAI relies on the leading commercial air quality lab in North America, EM Labs P&K. (Marlton, NJ facility)
BONSAI uses Zefon International mold sampling media
To view my mold qualifications and certifications, visit my "About Me" page.