Some Truth About Mold
After Hurricane Sandy hit in New York State in late October of 2012, the way in which mold is addressed changed forever.
Property owners were overwhelmed and, in many cases, underwater back in late 2012. Besides the flooding and water damage, the conditions were ripe for mold to colonize in thousands of residential homes and commercial structures. Tropical Storm Henri and Post Tropical Depression Ida in 2021 also created many cases that involved mold throughout New York City.
It is important to involve certified professionals in the mold remediation process, such as those with IICRC Certification (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification), as well as independent industrial hygienists. These professionals can provide accurate assessments of the extent and type of mold present, as well as ensure that the remediation process is carried out according to industry standards and guidelines.
New York State created guidelines to protect consumers in recent times. Simplified, if more than ten (10) Square Feet of mold is identified, you need to involve an industrial hygienist as a first step. They are independent, certified by New York State, and beholden to no contractor and in the end, work for you. It is also important for property owners to check with their insurance company to determine if they are covered for mold and if their insurance company will even send an industrial hygienist to survey the affected area.
Mold remediation can be expensive, but claims of "low price" remediation should be viewed with skepticism, as they may not be based in law or science. Following the proper guidelines and working with licensed professionals can help ensure a safe and effective remediation process. Many mold jobs are not covered by insurance. They can run from several thousand dollars on up depending on square footage, depth, and type of mold. A range of apple-to-apple estimates based off a certified mold hygienist report given to properly qualified companies usually do not typically differ greatly.
After a contractor is given the job by the customer, several days are usually necessary to build containment and actually treat the mold. Upon completion, the industrial hygienist returns for another nominal fee to inspect the work and write a clearance of the property for being mold free. The industrial hygienist throughout the process, protects the consumer from being taken advantage of.
The job is a real process protected and captured by Xactimate software or similar documentation software when professionals are involved. Technology and testing ensure that safe conditions exist upon completion. Plant based antimicrobials are used to prevent mold from returning.
There are things you can do to make all of this manageable for the best and worst of circumstances. Read your insurance policy, familiarize yourself with the coverage you have and think on what changes you might make. Have your main sewer line inside and out checked at least annually by a licensed and reputable plumber. If you are unfortunate and find that your property is flooded or you suspect mold, speak with your insurance company, learn the mold hygienist process and if you are in need of a remediation company, only seek out companies with IICRC Certification.
Have a great summer.
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