The following tips provided by Suburban Mold and Remediation Techniques (S.M.A.R.T.) are intended to assist those affected by hurricane Sandy and the resulting flooding mold, bacteria, toxins and allergens. Suburban Mold is a division of Suburban Exterminating.
After a flooding disaster, consumers need to be wary of fly-by-night operators seeking to take advantage of water damage victims.
Suburban Mold recommends that consumers use the following minimum guidelines to qualify any contractors they hire:
- Know your contractor (check references)
- Check with the Better Business Bureau
- Make sure the contractor is licensed, bonded and insured including professional liability
- Obtain a copy of their license and insurance certificates. Make sure their liability/general liability covers mold.
- Hire contractors certified by reputable trade organizations such as AEE, IAQA, IIRC, ASCR, AIHA, NADCA
- Differentiate between a “Restoration contractor” and a “Remediation contractor.” Most restoration contractors are not knowledgeable in environmental remediation techniques and protocols.
- For mold/bacteria damaged buildings, request pre-remediation (baseline study) and post-remediation environmental testing be performed.
- Request a post remedial environmental clearance study. This is essential to assure good indoor air quality (health and safety) and may be required when you sell your home.
- Request that the laboratory used for mold testing is accredited by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) Environmental Microbiology Laboratory Accreditation Program (EMLAP)
Contractors must work according to established industry standards and guidelines, including but not limited to:
– EPA Mold Remediation for Homeowners
– New York City Department of Health – Guidelines on Assessment and Remediation of Fungi in Indoor Environments
– EPA Mold Remediation for Schools and Commercial Buildings
– IICRC S500 Standard and Reference Guide for Water Damage Restoration, Guide for mold remediation
– NADCA ACR 2005, Assessment, Cleaning and Restoration of HVAC Systems
Find a qualified Indoor Air Quality Professional
– Indoor Air Quality Association: http://www.iaqa.org/
Specific Tips for Homeowners Having Restoration or Environmental Remediation Work:
- Compare the amount of the insurance check with the estimate by the restoration and remediation contractors. They aren’t always the same but should be close to each other for the covered part of the loss.
- Pay a minimal deposit, 10% (if any)
- Pay a portion of the cost at halfway, typically 40%
- Confirm quality of materials installed with those specified, inspect and verify satisfactory completion of work before paying the final 50%
- Request a clearance study before final payment
- Contractor wants 50% deposit plus cost of materials
- Contractor offers financing of the deductible or other significant costs
- Contractor offers to act as the homeowner’s agent in representing them to FEMA and lists themselves as beneficiaries
- Contractor offers to work on behalf of the insurance carrier (without the carrier’s approval)
- Contractor emphasizes cost saving over relationship, trust and final warranty of satisfaction
- Contractor is not capable or able to provide professional environmental clearance for your home
About Suburban Mold:
Suburban Mold is a division of Suburban Exterminating, a local company that has been serving Long Islanders for over 50 years and a name you can trust.
Suburban has an in-house Certified Indoor Environmental Consultant (AIQA) and partnerships with accredited environmental diagnostics laboratories providing DNA level testing for mold.
The Suburban family of services includes: Suburban Exterminating: www.suburbanexterminating.com; Phone 631-864-6900
Suburban Carpentry and Suburban Mold and Remediation Techniques.
For additional assistance on your flood damaged home or building, please call Suburban Mold (631/516) 864-6900