A common question from all parties related to a mold condition at a property loss, is “should we do a pre-test and a post remediation test for mold as part of a remediation project”. The answer is not simple with regards to a pre-test. Sometimes a mold condition is very obvious in its origin and extent, that all involved parties might agree that a pre-test is not necessary. Not taking a pre-test, however, might create liability issues, most specifically, for the remediation company.
Pre-testing for mold should never be optional, when certain situations exist, most specifically:
- If there are any medical conditions of a building occupant, that might make them more susceptible to a reaction from mold exposure.
- If there is no visible indication of the cause of a mold condition, and the exact cause needs to be determined. Pre-testing can help to determine the cause, and assist in designing the required remediation plan.
- If there is the potential cross contamination within a building, that might cause other rooms to be effected. Testing other areas in a dwelling might add or minimize the recommended scope of work.
- If the parties involved disagree with the way to proceed on a remediation, pre-testing can be used to prepare an accurate scope of the remediation required.
- If the client, insurance carrier, remediator or testing company requests that pre-testing of a property be done for accurate assessment.
Most remediators will say that they are always more comfortable with performing a remediation, when they have a copy of an Assessor report in their hands. This report becomes the governing document on the project. The cost of the report, and the time delays which occur while scheduling the Assessment and waiting for the lab report and protocol to be prepared are well worth the wait, in this writer’s opinion, in all but the smallest of mold projects.
Post-testing, on the other hand should never be an option for the remediator, or the property owner, as there is little to gain for not having a post-test performed. Most mold projects are the result of a covered loss, and, therefore, paid for by insurance companies. It would be foolish not to perform a post-test on a mold project, as assurance of a proper remediation having been performed will set everyone at ease. Restoration Xperts always requests post-testing, and a clearance report from the Assessor to protect all the parties related to the project.
We tell building owners, that if they were ever to sell their property, they will be asked if they have ever experienced any water loss or mold condition at their property. If they do not disclose that they had a water loss, they could be held liable for this non-disclosure. If they had had a mold remediation at their property, a “passed” clearance test from an Assessor would be a valuable document. We have seen many property sales that were cancelled due to a mold condition.
Following the suggested methodology of handling a mold remediation project will extend the project timeline for a few days. Knowing that the project was done properly, and examined by a third party who gave the project a “thumbs up” gives everyone involved, welcomed reassurance. The cost of a few extra dollars and a few extra days is well worth this added time and expense.