With recent studies about mold toxicity becoming more common, it is understandable that you have may have concerns. There are so many scare tactics used by mold remediation companies it can hard to decipher fact from fiction. Here at Fresh Start, we really have tried to do our best to bring information to you as the customer. Without bringing a fear-based approach. This is not always easy to do. The number of recent studies on mold toxicity is staggering. Even those of us in the industry are amazed and perplexed by the study results we are seeing!
In addition, we have seen an exponential increase with doctors. Becoming aware of the connections of significant health problems and mold exposure. This is something that 10 years ago that was almost unheard of. Even severe illnesses like cancer and Alzheimer’s are being potentially linked to long-term mold exposure. We have seen many people, members of our own family and friends deal with devastating health issues for years. To only find out later it was a result of mold toxicity. We don’t want to add to the noise. However, we feel like it is our duty to bring information to you, to help you make informed decisions.
We see lots of negative health effects on people who either remove mold improperly or ignore it. Unfortunately, this is a far too common problem that could be avoided with the right education. We see improper mold removal most commonly in flipped properties, where quick turnaround and high profits are the only goals. Also, it is very common among general contractors to rip out mold. Without following any form of recommended EPA protocols. We are in a similar time with mold, like we were with asbestos and led 50 years ago. People use to think it was no big deal. Now we have the knowledge and understanding that it is a big deal! There will always be people who minimize it, but we have seen first hand the damage that can be done.
We even have friends that are contractors and we see them do this all the time. It doesn’t matter what we say, it only falls on deaf ears. They are still going to do it no matter what we or anyone else says. We see and know the risks they are taking. It is hard not to get angry. Because we know that it will be the family that lives in that property that will pay. The biggest price of all, their health. All you can say to these contractors is, “I hope you have really good insurance. Also, a good attorney because your liability is substantial!”
A customer of who is a realtor, saw first hand the damaging effects of toxic mold. She had a daughter who was going to college. So they purchased a small, inexpensive property in the town where she was going to college. The daughter moved in and everything seemed okay. A few months later we get a phone call that her daughter is sick with lots of respiratory problems. She has been in a hospital and they’re wondering if there’s a mold problem. And so we offered to help them out, provide inspections and remediation.
The property wasn’t located here in the Kansas City metro area. However, we were still willing to help out a customer and go to the property location several hours away. For some reason, the customer decided to leave things alone and not address the mold. Now, 2 years later, she called and told us that her daughter’s health problems only continued to deteriorate. And she was officially diagnosed with CIRS (chronic inflammatory response syndrome). Due to the mold exposure, she has incurred.
When we started our company in 2008, we had no idea that mold would be a part of our future. We started primarily providing carpet and floor cleaning. Soon after, we started providing water damage services. Due to an emergency flooding season. After that crisis was over. We began to dive into the restoration industry seriously with certifications, training, and networking with more experienced companies. As we got involved with the restoration industry, we saw many things that really concerned us.
We saw that in the industry and most remediators we’re not following normal protocols. Putting the occupants at risk for health problems. We saw this mainly in large franchises and commercial chains. The ones that are common names that you would call during a water damage situation. We saw so many companies willing to risk the customer’s health while cashing their checks at the same time. I talked to my wife about it. And we decided to dive into the mold industry ourselves. For the sole purpose of educating ourselves and protecting the health of our customers.
What we didn’t expect was the demand from our customers to provide mold services. We didn’t even do marketing for mold services. Our customers just heard we were certified and started calling. The comments were all the same. They all were desperate to find an honest mold contractor. That was not going to use fear tactics, be honest, and provide quality services that were safe. Within just a few years the demand for our mold services was greater than all of the others. So, in 2015 we restructured our company to make mold removal our full-time focus.
We understand spending money on mold removal is no fun! Also, we have a number of real estate investors we have serviced since the inception of our company. We have seen the long-term effects of ignoring mold or removing mold improperly. Most landlords don’t want to spend any more money than they absolutely have to. Because they want to maximize profit on that property. We understand the business enough to understand that that is an admirable goal. However, after years of providing services to the same customers, this methodology has proven to be more expensive!
We have seen landlords just lose their shirt over legal battles. Because they did not want to handle a mold problem correctly or they ignored it. No one likes the red tape, no one likes to follow protocols. But in the long run, what ends up happening is you really protect yourself. You protect your property, and you protect yourself legally. So I appeal to landlords. If you have a propensity to not follow protocols and turn a blind eye. Don’t with mold. Don’t paint over it or do any of these other methods. I really challenge you to reevaluate what you’re doing. Not only for a liability perspective. Also, from a moral perspective of what you are providing your tenants.