Mold Remediation Blog

I Used To Be Central VA & Washington DC’s Worst Mold Remediator… Hands Down

How I Went From Absolutely Terrible
To The Area’s Most Trusted Remediator.


There was no doubt about it: I used to be the worst mold remediator in Central VA, Washington DC… and probably the continental United States.

It’s not that I lacked talent. Or that I didn’t have the drive. 

It’s simply because I didn’t have the first clue on how to do things right.

I’ll back up a bit so I can explain.

It Was 2006…

At that point, I’d worked at the cable company for 11 years. I set aside 10% of every check so I’d eventually be able to start my own business. What that business was, I didn’t actually know.

One day, my best friend (who also had entrepreneurial dreams) came to me with a business idea: air duct cleaning

He explained the logistics to me, and it sounded like a good idea. After all… even though I had experience at a cable company, it’s not like I had enough capital to start a conglomerate to rival Comcast.

So we cleared all the legal hurdles of starting a business. We bought the necessary equipment. And since funds were tight, we even rented a van from Enterprise for every job.

But business was slow and margins were thin. Air duct cleaning wasn’t exactly the most lucrative profession.

Then My Friend Had Another Business Idea: Mold Remediation

It was much more profitable than cleaning air ducts. Plus, my friend previously did mold projects when he worked for a well-known mold company, so he knew some things about mold removal.

Wanting to actually make a decent living wage, I was all in. So we shifted our services from air duct cleaning to mold remediation.

But there was a problem. A BIG one. 

While my friend had experience in mold remediation, I didn’t realize everything he knew about mold removal was utterly WRONG.

The All-Time Worst Mold Removal Project

Our first mold remediation job was for a client in a townhouse in Woodbridge, VA in 2006. She had mold on her ceiling and saw our ad in a little community magazine. 

She contacted us and agreed to our $2,000. 

So we performed the work…  and screwed up in every imaginable way. Times 10. 

We did literally everything wrong. 

  • We didn’t cover the client’s belongings with plastic. 
  • We used a regular shop vacuum instead of a true HEPA vacuum. 
  • Our “respirators” were the cheap $5 dust masks you can get at Wal-Mart. 


I could go on and on (and on and on and…).

Why were we so awful?

Like I mentioned, my friend had experience working for a mold removal company. Unfortunately, this company was notorious for corner-cutting and sloppy work. And the company taught my friend their half-baked methods. 

The other issue was that my friend KNEW he didn’t know proper mold remediation. He just didn’t care.

Me? I had no clue what was right, wrong, up, down, left, or right. I didn’t know any better, so I went along with whatever my friend told me. He had the experience, after all!

Plus, we made $2K for the job—most of it profit. I was ecstatic for that reason alone.

But you can turn a great profit in any industry if you don’t invest in the proper equipment, people, training, or education. 

That’s exactly what we were doing. And I eventually realized that our approach wasn’t sustainable—or the right thing to do. 

(A Lot Of) Practice Makes Perfect

Even though we messed up that first job six ways from Wednesday, I’d gotten the “bug” for mold remediation after that first job. 

I was really bad at it, sure. But there was something about it that spoke to me. It unlocked a burning passion in me that I didn’t know was there. 

Yes, that passion was, of all things, removing mold. But you can’t choose the ones you love.

So over that next year, I crammed, crammed, and crammed some more. I read every book about mold I could get my hands on. I honed my skills. And I started learning how to do things the RIGHT way.

I saved up for a class taught by Joe Hughes, the president of the IAQ Training Institute and industry legend. Over those three days of training, Joe brought in six industry experts, ranging from a HEPA filter manufacturer to a doctor who owned a mold testing lab.

This training was an eye-opening experience. It’s where I learned chemicals aren’t needed for mold remediation—a revelation that blew my mind. (It’s also where I discovered that practically zero mold companies do things the right way… but I’ll save that for a future article.)

Honing my craft further fueled my desire to do things the right way. Unfortunately, not everyone at the company felt the same.

While I was constantly looking to improve the company’s processes, my friend/business partner wanted to keep doing things the way we’d always done. We were making decent money without having to sink funds back into the company for proper equipment, training, and talent. 

Eventually, I had enough. I had to get out.

Our conflicting visions for the company led my friend and me our own separate ways in 2008. He moved on to start another business, and I kept the company we’d started. 

It was a difficult time. We’d been friends since we were six years old. But the silver lining was that I was now free to run the company my way.

The right way.

Fast-Forward To Today…

The right way is how Valor Mold Removal has been doing things ever since. You can find out what that entails on our Why Us page. You can see all the certifications we’ve collected over the years. And you can read all the positive reviews we get—not just from homeowners, but also independent mold testers.

The bottom line? 

The Valor of today is the polar opposite of that low-quality company it started as… and the low-quality companies that still plague the industry. 

I know I talk a lot about how mold remediators do things wrong. This isn’t because I think I’m “holier than thou.” It’s because I’ve made every single possible mistake myself!

And then some!

But I’m a firm believer that your mistakes have the power to turn you into something better than you were before. You simply have to be willing to learn from them.

If you don’t believe me, consider this…

I was once the worst mold remediator in Central VA and Washington DC. Now Valor Mold Removal has by far the highest success rate (96%) for mold removal in the industry.

And all it took was doing EVERYTHING wrong first to get here.

Why Choose Us

We remove mold the right way… and it would be an honor to hear from you.

96% Success Rate

96% Success Rate

Your home is in the best hands—our chemical-free remediation has the highest success rate in the industry.

Instant Mold Testing

Instant Mold Testing

You get the answers you need—our special mold testing provides 99% accurate results on the spot.

300+ Happy Clients

300+ Happy Clients

You can trust our process—we’ve performed over 300 successful projects since we opened in 2006.

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