Warning for people interested in mold testing in Utah
I just got done with a job, and I felt I had to share this with everyone to make sure this information gets out there. I was hired by a local air duct cleaning company who was in a dispute with a customer of theirs. They had originally been hired to decontaminate a home which had mold problems. The customer was disputing how effective their service had been, and the company agreed to hire me to do some mold testing to confirm the mold levels in the home.
The customers were not staying in the home, so I just met two representatives from the air duct cleaners. One was a supervisor, the other a technician. I asked them to give me an overview of what had happened. They explained to me how they did their work: First, they used instant mold tests, where you swab a surface, and then place the swab in a liquid solution. Depending on what color the solution turns, the test is supposed to tell you if there is no mold, a little mold, or a lot of mold. These tests are highly inaccurate and don’t give precise results, just a generalization. The company used these swabs in the customers air ducts and convinced them they needed mold decontamination. They cleaned the air ducts, and then they confided in me how they always get their jobs to pass! They would reach their arm into the air duct to swab it again, but they wouldn’t swab any surfaces, they would just move their arm around as if they were swabbing the air duct. By not collecting anything, the test would always come back negative for mold. I couldn’t believe this was their business model, and since there was no customer present, they felt they could talk freely in front of me.
The best part of the story is that when I got back the test results, which the air duct cleaners were sure they would pass, the test results actually showed indoor air quality concerns, with much higher levels of mold inside the home versus outside the home. This was not what the air duct cleaners wanted to hear at all, but these were actual test results produced by an accredited microbiologist. This just highlights why it is so important to work with reputable, established contractors when it comes to mold. Taking the option that is 75 % cheaper than any other bids you have received should be a red flag. Information is key to preventing something like this from happening to you.