Mold Remediation Is Not Remediation, Without Testing
If you have not been testing mold remediation projects, then you’ve been getting ripped off!
As a property manager decreasing vacancy, great communication, keeping residents happy, and spending less than budgeted are some key components to ensuring an asset managers happiness. Also, by managing a property you want to make sure that the services and contractors you provide satisfy both the owner’s needs, as well as ensuring the resident’s feel safe and secure in their homes. Mold remediation is not remediation without being able to provide proof that the air quality and surfaces have returned to a “normal condition”. This proof is essential to justify that the issue has been “cured”, serves as a release of liability, and provides unbiased testing results that your remediation contractor was successful. This proof and data is called Post Remediation Testing.
POST REMEDIATION TESTING
Also coined Post Remediation Verification (PRV) by experts, is an industry standard to provide objective data that a mold remediation project has been successfully completed. PRV, a standard in the restoration industry is an established guideline by the IICRC to provide a standard of care. Usually property managers call us when a visible issue is observed, mold removal is the process of removing what is visible, whereas remediation is the process of cleaning using specialized equipment return the non-visible air and surface to a “normal condition”. The presence of mold can be linked to a host of health problems, including respiratory illnesses, nasal congestion, wheezing and coughing and irritation of the skin and eyes. The liability is in what makes a resident sick, and what he or she is breathing in is what causes symptoms or health hazards. PRV is also known as clearance testing, and it includes air quality testing and sampling, a visual observation and stringent moisture assessment. The tests and assessments are used to determine if there is still an “abnormal” spore count and non-visible issue. If there is an elevated spore count, the remediation contractor would need to repeat the cleaning procedures until the tests are clear (assuming no visible growth remains).
WHY DO I NEED THIS?
There are several reasons why property managers should require post remediation verification. Mold can pose risks to human health, especially in people who have underlying conditions like asthma or an autoimmune disease. At the end of the day even experienced mold remediation companies may not adequately clean or have non-visible areas not in the original scope of work that affect the area being remediated. Testing that is analyzed by a lab is a means of ensuring the project is done thoroughly and properly to offer the following benefits:
RELEASE OF LIABILITY
We live in a litigious time, and if you rent out a property, you have a duty to ensure that the setting is safe for tenants. PRV is an inexpensive release of liability. If you have unbiased proof that mold has been successfully removed by a reputable remediation company, this eliminates liability linked to issues that could stem from the presence of mold and health related issues. Once the property has been remediated, and then tested, this should indicate that the property doesn’t pose any risks related to mold. If there are any issues, for example, a tenant makes a complaint, you can use the PRV report to verify that you followed the most prudent guidelines and procedures and that due diligence was exercised.
VERIFICATION THAT YOUR CONTRACTOR IS COMPLETE
If you hire a company to do a job, you expect it to be completed in line with your initial requests or scope. As a property owner or manager, there are certain guidelines with which you need to comply, and you want to make sure that the contractors or firms that you work with do the job properly. Post remediation testing is beneficial because it confirms that the contractor has done the job you hired them to do. The aim of the results is to check that mold has been successfully removed, and to ensure that a non-visible air quality issue still exists. If there are problems highlighted during mold testing processes, without verification, you could have been dealing with a property that wasn’t safe or “normal”. Alternatively, with post remediation verification, the issues that are highlighted will then be addressed swiftly and you can rest assured that the remediated area is safe. Mold can be difficult to detect, and sometimes, this means that post remediation verification flags up areas that haven’t been treated previously. With further testing, you can be sure that your contractor has done a thorough job.
**NOTE OF CAUTION: NEVER LET THE REMEDIATION CONTRACTOR PERFORM THEIR OWN PRV, IT IS A CONFLICT OF INTEREST AND ILLEGAL IN SOME STATES.**
PEACE OF MIND FOR YOUR RESIDENTS
Your property is not only a reflection of the amenities, but also the professionalism and expertise of the staff and contractors working onsite. When you rent a property, you want to feel safe and comfortable. PRV provides residents with clarity that the issue has been addressed or “cured”, and that there is no need to be concerned about the presence of mold. This enables tenants to relax and to feel at ease in their home. Air quality is important, especially if you’re susceptible to breathing problems. Knowing that your home is free from a potentially dangerous mold condition is likely to provide reassurance. As a property manager, providing evidence, like PRV, will also encourage tenants to trust you moving forward in your professional relationship.
As a property manager, post remediation verification offers numerous benefits, including an inexpensive way to eliminate liability, ensure that a proper job has been done by the contractor, and provide residents with peace of mind that their home is safe. Not getting Post Remediation Verification means: you cannot guarantee that the mold remediation company completed their job, that you have not eliminated the owner’s liability exposure, and that you are potentially leaving the resident or other occupants at risk of getting sick. Paying mold remediation contractors thousands of dollars is for the expertise and release of liability. Mold remediation contractors who are not testing, especially in urban areas where assessors are readily available, are not following the IICRC’s standard and doing any property manager, asset manager, owner, and residents a disservice.