If You Don’t Check Your Remediator’s Paperwork In Virginia, You Could Lose Everything
Out-Of-State, Unlicensed, And Uninsured Contractors Don’t Care If They Put You At Risk
As we’ve noted in recent case studies, a bad remediator can destroy your Virginia or DC area home and turn your life upside down. Once that happens, your only recourse is to sue, but if their paperwork and coverage are lacking, you’re in for a long and expensive battle.
The only way to avoid such a drawn-out nightmare is to verify that the remediation company you want to hire is legally able to work in your state and has adequate coverage for liability claims and worker’s comp. And if they don’t, do not let them onto your property.
Virginia Is A Prime Target For Bad Mold Companies
Since Virginia doesn’t have a licensing system for mold remediation companies, many outstate companies think they don’t need any licensing to operate in our fair state – but they are wrong.
In Virginia, you must hold an in-state general contracting license to perform any home service priced above $1,000. By that number alone, all mold remediation requires a licensed contractor.
Unfortunately, that reality doesn’t stop unscrupulous contractors from coming to our state to do business every day. But the problems don’t stop there.
Many of these companies operate thinking their liability insurance will get them out of a jam if they mess up in a Virginia home. Once again, they’re dead wrong.
Insurers tend to balk at covering illegal actions and make no mistake – operating without the necessary license is far from legal.
So, if they make a mistake in your home, their insurance company is just going to laugh all the way to the bank, and you’ll be stuck with the bill for fixing any problems stemming from their remediation work.
And because bad remediation often causes mold to spread throughout your home, those bills can quickly climb into the six-figure neighborhood.
Zero Worker Coverage - Outstate
In general, if a contractor’s employee gets injured while working in your home, workers comp will take care of their lost wages.
But if they are from an outstate company without a local contractor’s license, worker comp won’t help them. Again, illegal activity is never covered by any type of insurance.
So, where do you think that employee will look for financial relief?
That’s right – they’ll be looking right at you and your insurance. They most likely won’t win, but either way, it will take lots of your precious time and money to make it all go away.
Zero Worker Coverage - In-State
There’s another little money-saving dodge companies use that can make your life miserable, even with a properly licensed mold remediation company.
Mold companies must carry a specific rider on their worker’s comp package that exists only for the mold industry. Without that rider, mold workers aren’t covered.
But that rider isn’t cheap, so many companies will declare that they’re just a janitorial service to get around that expense.
So, again, if a worker gets hurt while doing remediation work, it’s all on you.
Always Get It In Writing
Let’s say you’ve found a remediation company that is licensed properly, has the proper insurance, and paid for the mold rider in their worker’s comp package.
But you still need to do one thing to ensure you won’t get tossed into the fire.
Be certain to have them write all they will do into a detailed contract. This contract should list what they plan to do, where they plan to do it, all the steps they plan to take, the expected outcome, and how they’ll prove their success.
You’ll need to use a third-party tester to check their work (remediators should never verify their own work), but you should still have the desired range of readings written out in the contract.
Once you have a strong, detailed contract, they will need your signed permission (via change order requests) to do any work not lined out in the agreement.
Some less reputable companies will try to give you a vague set of plans instead of a proper contract. That way, if they see something else (or just hold it back to keep their initial bid low), they can add the charges to your final bill without needing your input.
And please understand that if the company is from out of state and aren’t licensed contractors in Virginia, that contract has no legal weight. Again, any illegal activities will render a service contract moot.
In the eyes of the State, it’s your job to ensure the people you hire are legally able to do the work.
When a mold remediation company is willing to take dangerous shortcuts on their paperwork, what do you think they’ll do while they’re working?
Exactly – they’ll cut every corner they can find.
Mold remediation involves a careful process that doesn’t tolerate mistakes, much less shortcuts. More often than not, those shortcuts are safety-related. They’ll get lazy about the containment system they set up, or they’ll scrimp on safety equipment for their employees.
This isn’t necessarily a problem of not caring so much as it is one of limited understanding. Companies that skip important steps while becoming a business usually don’t spend much time on professional training. Without that training, owners often think that the safety protocols for mold are extreme.
They simply lack the knowledge needed to see why such actions are necessary, so they just go through the motions, using the cheapest available materials instead of the more expensive sheeting, tape, and personal protection devices recommended by the professional mold industry.
With something like mold and how it can ruin your health if not handled carefully, you just don’t want someone guessing their way through the process.
What You Want From Your Next Mold Contractor
While Valor Mold Removal is, by far, the most distinguished mold remediation company operating in Virginia, we can’t pretend there aren’t other decent companies that you can choose.
We’re the best because we truly care about our clients, so here are the items you need to verify when deciding which company to use:
Valor Mold Removal is a certified and experienced mold testing and remediation company. We are fully insured and fully licensed. We also provide crawl space encapsulation, soda blasting, humidity control, and air quality cleaning.