Contractor vs. Mold Remediator - What’s The Difference?

Oh, the question that plagues many - “Why would I hire a professional mold remediation company, when I can just have my contractor remove the mold and repair the area?” To be fair, it’s a valid question, and one that deserves a discussion. When it comes to contractors, there’s a long list of skill sets that many of these individuals/ companies possess. From framing to drywall and even painting, the skills cannot be ignored. Some of these individuals have even been part of the home building process.

So, with such an array of skills, why wouldn’t you just hire a contractor to handle any and all mold-related repairs within your home? [*Cracks knuckles] Here we go… For starters, let’s take a look at the track record for your average contractor. While the workmanship may be impeccable, how well did they do with dust control? Was plastic hung in door openings and used to cover furniture? Were workers careful abut tracking dust out of designated work areas? The fact remains that your average contractor knows what they know, and that’s all they know.

Let’s take a look at your average mold remediator now… are they more expensive than a contractor? Heck yeah! What all are you getting for the additional expense? For starters, remediators understand the importance of proper dust control, as not doing so can lead to cross-contamination and potentially thousands of dollars in secondary damages/ clean-up. Furthermore, there should be a great deal of piece of mind knowing that your average mold remediation company carries an additional insurance policy solely for instances in which accidental cross-contamination occurs. Accidents happen, so it’s nice to know that there’s a 1-2 million dollar policy there just in case things don’t go as planned. The policy that we’re talking about is Contractor Pollution Liability, or CPL for short. It’s imperative that you check with any remediation firm that you’re considering for hire, as to ensure that they carry this coverage.

So, what are some other distinguishing factors between mold remediator and contractor? Here’s a brief list of some additional differentiating characteristics.

  • Remediators own an array of equipment specifically for mold removal and cleanup, whereas contractors typically rent this equipment. Remediators are in a better position to work with you on costs associated with additional days of required machinery.

  • Most remediation firms have employees that possess industry specific certifications, whereas the average contractor likely doesn’t know how far to go with material removal, cleaning, etc. Google “IICRC certifications”, if you’re curious what I’m talking about.

  • Mold remediation companies guarantee their work, and a “passing” result following service. A contractor may stand by their work, but most are stumped when results are unfavorable. No one is perfect, but knowing how to handle situations that require additional work is a great trait to have.

Keep in mind the above information the next time you’re faced the decision to hire a licensed mold remediation company or a contractor that claims to know how to handle mold.

Reform is Here For Florida Assignment of Benefits (AOB) Regarding Property Claims

For those of us who are restoration contractors, we had a feeling that this day may come. If you’re not in the mold remediation and water damage repair industry, there are some changes that you need to know about the assignment of benefits - as this will change the insurance claims process that you may have been used to in the past.

Before we get into the AOB Reform Bill that was passed yesterday (04/24/2019), let’s make sure we’re all on the same page - as to what the assignment of benefits actually is. According to the Florida Division of Consumer Services, “An AOB gives the third party authority to file a claim, make repair decisions and collect insurance payments without your involvement“. So, what does this mean in the restoration industry? Well, if you have a pipe leak and proceed to hire a remediation professional by signing an AOB, that company now has the right to file a claim on your behalf and even be paid directly. Sound scary to you? It shouldn’t, but it could have been when greed is the motivational factor behind having you sign such a document.

Before we go any further, you may be wondering where I stand on the use of the assignment of benefits within our industry. Well… my company has utilized an AOB only twice in nearly a decade of operation. Does this mean I’m against it? Absolutely not! Like anything in life, I feel there is value when used properly. An example of this would be when a homeowner is not in a position to afford an emergency service. What I am against is the selection of contractors that have abused the AOB, and required homeowners to sign over their rights to work that was yet to be performed. The leverage that a contractor then possesses is unfair to the homeowner - as they lose the right to hire other contractors for upcoming services that are part of the claim.

Ok, so now that you know that myself and our company is split down the middle with the usage of the Assignment of benefits, here’s what changes you need to be aware of, according to the Restoration Association of Florida…

Changes to Florida’s Assignment of Benefits (AOB) for Property Claims:

  • $3,000 or 1% of coverage A: Cap on emergency repairs

  • Allows for 14 day rescission period of AOB.

  • Allows for policies to be sold that do not allow an assignment, at a lower cost.

  • Provides that you must turn in your AOB within 3 days with a detailed estimate of costs.

  • Lastly, the attorney fee structure has been amended, no longer allowing Restoration contractors the ability to recoup attorney’s fees.

Overall, I don’t think there are very many contractors, consumers or insurance professionals out there that would disagree that the AOB required some level of reform - but this extent of revision will certainly change the way in which the contractor and consumer work together. There will no longer be a simple “sign and move forward” process. More discussions will have to be had relating to proposed services, following water and mold damage. While not necessarily a bad thing, homeowners will need to understand that contractors now have their hands tied the second an estimate reaches the $3,000 mark with emergency services. Financial plans on how to handle the workload beyond this point will be a topic of interest for both the contractor and consumer

Assignment of Benefits (AOB) Sources:

Division of Consumer Services: https://www.myfloridacfo.com/Division/Consumers/AssignmentofBenefits.htm

Restoration Association of Florida: https://raflorida.org

Mold Restoration Companies in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

So, I’m often asked why mold remediation and removal services within the South Florida area, specifically Fort Lauderdale and Miami, are so different than those in other areas. Well, for starters, South Florida has a much different climate - compared to other cities and states within the US. Beyond that, it’s definitely fair to say that this region of the United States is the Wild West - when it comes to restoration services.

So, what do I mean by calling this area the Wild West? It’s simple! This area is heavily saturated with remediation and restoration professionals, and as a result, there are so many varying approaches to removing and treating mold. While there are a number of approaches, one thing remains the same: The ANSI/IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification)’s S520-2015 Standard for Professional Mold Remediation is still the standard in which mold remediation professionals must abide by. While this standard does allow for professionals to deviate at times, it also makes note that these deviations need to be performed in a manner of which is in the best interest of all parties.

For more information pertaining to our standards as mold remediation contractors, as well as locating a certified professional, please head on over to the institutions page: https://www.iicrc.org/page/IICRCGlobalLocator

To learn more about our mold remediation services within the Ft. Lauderdale area, head on over to our local city page: https://www.discreetrestoration.com/fort-lauderdale-mold-removal-water-damage-services/