Rossen Reports: Are Mold Contractors Charging For Unneeded Work?

Toxic mold in your home can be dangerous. But when you call mold contractors for help, are they competent and honest? TODAY National Investigative Correspondent went undercover to find out. In the end, five out of eight mold contractors, more than half, wanted to charge us for work that experts said we did not need.

Healthy Way’s own Brian Culley was one of the three honest inspectors that indicated that the home did not have a mold problem.

By Jeff Rossen and Robert Powell

updated 5/4/2012 7:55:49 AM ET

What They Don’t Tell You, But Should Have.
By Robert Lanfrank, President & Owner
Healthy Way Waterproofing & Mold Remediation

Our inspector, Brian Culley, appears at 3:27 in the video stating that “it looks like a scuff or something”. Also, Healthy Way uses San Air Technologies to analyze all of our test samples. San Air was one of the 2 labs used by the experts that the TODAY show brought in to confirm that the home did not have a mold problem.

Most of this report was a debacle because many of the statements made were inaccurate, including statements from Jeff Rossen of the TODAY show. For example, at the end of the report he states, “…a contractor may not need to do testing”. Would he make the same statement about radon or lead? The human eye, no matter how well-trained or experienced, can never be 100% sure that it is looking at mold. Therefore, testing should always be performed to protect the consumer and to verify that there is a mold problem. Wasn’t the theme of this report to save the consumer from spending unnecessary money from these unscrupulous mold contractors? Also, he praised a company that told the woman, “I would just bleach, bleach, bleach…” In an article titled “Using Bleach to Kill Mold Can Backfire” it states, “Bleach is commonly believed to be an effective fungicide (mold-killer). In one situation, it may be effective: on hard, non-porous surfaces such as a countertop or shower stall. On porous surfaces such as walls, floors, ceilings, and cabinets, however, it is not effective — in fact, it can actually feed the mold and make the problem worse”. The surfaces that this inspector was looking at were all porous. Therefore, his advice was flawed too. If he didn’t think it was mold he wouldn’t have told her to apply bleach. How could the TODAY show allow that to happen and not bring it to our attention??? It’s obvious that they were more concerned about their ratings than reporting the facts!

In my professional opinion all of these inspectors made some inaccurate or misleading statements; some worse than others. This report validates the need for the mold industry to become regulated. I’ve been in this industry for more than 19 years. It amazes me that something as potentially serious as mold does not have a regulatory agency that serves as a watchdog and certifies all of the companies and their employees. This would help to get rid of all of these uneducated, unscrupulous contractors. On the other hand, I don’t think it would stop these news shows from airing these so-called “Buyer Beware” reports without first corroborating ALL of their statements.

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