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10 Questions To Ask A Mold Testing Company Before You Hire Them

Posted on: July 17th, 2012 by Peter Sierck No Comments

Below is a list of the 10 most important questions to ask a mold testing and inspection company in Southern California before you hire them:

  1. How do they do mold testingFirst off, they shouldn’t just do testing, they need to do a thorough visual inspection too! They should look for water damage, do moisture measurements and look for mold growing. Testing alone is just part of the picture to find out if there is a mold problem or not. They should sample mold they see to make sure it really is mold and to find out which type. They may also take air samples to see if the air inside shows mold spores that are different types than outside or higher numbers of spores than outside.
  2. Does the inspector have any certifications and do they do any continuing education? California doesn’t have any licenses for mold testing, but there are certifications which require classes and continuing education to keep current. Examples are: Certified Microbial Consultant (CMC) and Certified Microbial Inspector (CMI).
  3. How many mold samples will they takeSome companies take one inside air sample and maybe one outside air sample. Based on just those samples tell you everything is horrible or everything is fine. That may not be enough data to make an accurate decision if there is a mold problem or not! How many samples depends on the size of your property and if you want the whole property tested or if you have certain areas you are concerned about.
  4. What are the qualifications of the person analyzing the samples? What quality control program do they participate in? Maybe they don’t do any quality control! An example of a quality control program is EMPAT.
  5. What is the turn around time between the inspection and the report?  You want them to have enough time to write you a good report, but not so long that you keep having to delay repairs being made.  The inspector can give you some information during the inspection.  They can also give you updates when they get the laboratory results. Depending on how big your project is, usually a couple of days to a week is a reasonable time to expect the final written report.
  6. Who actually writes the inspection report? Some companies don’t have the same person write the report as did the inspection!  How can someone write a detailed report about the inspection if the haven’t seen your property?  Makes me wonder how helpful that report would be!
  7. What type of report do they give you?  Some companies just give you the laboratory data and don’t tell you what it means or what to do next?  You need to know if repairs need to be made. You should ask if they write specific repairs for your property or just give you a general template.  Ask if they can send you a sample report or at least explain what you will be getting.
  8. Do they do the repairs? Some think it is a conflict of interest to do both the testing and the repairs. If they don’t do the repairs, ask if they can recommend someone to do the repairs?  If they have been doing mold inspections for years, they know who does a good repair job and who doesn’t. Ask for 2 or 3 referrals so you have a choice.
  9. How long have they been in business? You want to make sure they have experience and will still be around if you need anything from them later on.
  10. Are they a member of the Better Business Bureau, if so what is their rating? You can contact your local Better Business Bureau and find out what the rating is.

The questions I listed above relate to the most frequent problems we have encountered throughout the years.

Environmental Testing and Technology (ET&T) has been doing mold and moisture inspections in the San Diego and Los Angeles areas since 1986.  We often receive calls from unhappy people who have hired a different testing company and ask us what the other company’s report means and do we think they did the job right.

Sometimes we look at the other company’s report and can help them, other times we can’t figure it out either!  Unfortunately, some of these unhappy people end up hiring us to do a good inspection with proper documentation. This costs them more money and time delays which can simply be avoided by hiring a good testing company from the start.

I hope you found these questions helpful & let us know what you thought, we like the feed back!

If you have any questions, please contact us at 760-424-2259 or email us at

Thanks for reading!

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