Many contractors that advertise services for mold and water damage are not licensed, trained, and or certified to handle moisture problems in your city. In order to check a mold clean up and repair contractor’s license you can visit the cslb.ca.gov. Here you can see if the proposed mold removal specialist has the appropriate state licensing to handle your problem. You should also make sure the firm that is working on your property is an IICRC Certified Firm. You can check and see if the proposed firm is qualified by visiting the IICRC website iicrc.org.
If the proposed contractor for cleaning up your water damage or mold problem is a carpet cleaner or a plumber, have them leave now! You are going to need a real professional. Many plumbers and carpet cleaners try and dry out properties and complete mold removal at your expense and their gain. Not only do these companies occasionally cut corners, they sometimes charge much more than the industry standard.
Many times an insurance provider will threaten or force their customer to go with their “preferred vendor”. This is illegal. Per Section 2695.9 of the California Code,
“…No insurer shall suggest or recommend that the insured have the property repaired by a specific individual or entity…”. Do not be scared into being forced to use the lesser qualified “preferred” vendor from the insurance company. Many times these vendors are not up to date on their licensing, certifications, and training. More importantly these “preferred” vendors are discounting their remediation services to the insurance company. What happens is the vendor is then encouraged to cut corners, costs, and effort while drying out and repairing your property due to the moisture and mold problems. The insurance company loves this because they save money and sold you on paying 100% of your premium and deductible but then are turning around and only providing you with 80% of the quality and work you expected to get in return. This is a scam and do not be scared into using the “preferred” vendor.
ILLEGAL KICKBACKS TO PLUMBERS
Beware of your plumber referred the restoration company after they fixed the leak! The restoration industry is rampant with illegal kickbacks and payouts. It is sad, but the industry standard is for a plumbing technician to received $250 to $500 kick back for referring your mold job to a restoration company! Guess who is really paying for that additional $ 500 charge? You. The restoration contractor typically inflates the bill to cover their kickback. The good news is that there are honest and hard working people here ready to help you.
STUCK WITH A POOR “RESTORATION” COMPANY
It is hard to know what to do in an emergency mold situation. It is not an everyday occurrence, and many customers just call the first phone number they get their hands on. Poor contractors, plumbers acting like a mold removal company, or other wannabe’s can cause further damage, cause your claim to be denied, and delay claims and properties from being put back together for years. It is better to cut the losses early. Seek legal council if you have signed a contract for work.