Some of our competitors don’t charge for a mold inspection, so we’re sometimes asked why our mold investigations aren’t free of charge. It’s a very good question, so we want to give you a good look at why Branch customers pay for our service.

Our Inspection Process

The primary reason that we charge for our mold inspections is the time and resources that go into each one. Some of our competitors offer “free” inspections, which basically means that the inspector shows up and hands over a price to fix a symptom without truly knowing the nature of the problem.

Our process is far different. In addition to the questions we ask over the phone, once we arrive we ask many more. We treat every inspection like an investigation, and we’re on the case. Did you paint recently? How is your health? Any new furniture? Have you had any remodeling done? These answers get us closer to solving the problem at hand, and help us to know where to look.

We’ll then crawl under the house, poke around, and take moisture and relative humidity readings in affected areas, unaffected areas, and outdoors for the best possible points of reference.

Sometimes the mold problem can be easily diagnosed and repaired, like a pipe leaking under the house, but other times we don’t see mold at all. Because the root of the problem is beyond the obvious, we need to think outside the box. You can be sure that no company that offers a free mold inspection will be going to any great lengths to determine the true causes of your problem.

A Mold Investigation Story that Says it All

We were recently called out to an Athens residence because the tenants reported a musty/moldy smell in the home. Although we found some mold and a slight musty odor after crawling down into the dirt cellar, the tenants said that was not what they were smelling. We also noticed that the sun was breaking down an old window lining in the basement, creating an odorous gas, but that wasn’t the source either.

The tenants then began to describe the odor as more chemical than mold, almost like paint thinner. They said the smell only bothered them at random times, usually near the front of the house, and when they first entered the home. We started thinking more broadly about what the problem could be. Maybe the source of the odor was outside the home. We eventually looked up the street to see a burger joint, and realized that the oil processing behind the restaurant smelled like paint thinner.

We brought our customers up the street to make sure that we were smelling what they were smelling, and that was it! When the breeze moved downhill, the smell got trapped under the front porch, and it came into the house when the front door opened and caused the airflow to move inside.

In this case, the problem wasn’t mold at all, and was instead caused by a broader environmental factor. The owner was glad that we didn’t write her an estimate for mold remediation that would have required a bunch of unnecessary work. We’re not that kind of company, but companies that do more cursory inspections are likely to make that kind of costly misdiagnosis.

In other words, by paying us for an investigation instead of relying on a free estimate, the client actually saved a ton of money.

The Branch Difference

If you think you’ve got a real problem, you’re far better off with a thorough inspection like ours. We analyze the symptom to determine the root cause of the problem, and we see each mold inspection as an in-depth investigation, not just an opportunity to hand over a guess-based estimate of work. Not only that, if you end up hiring us to perform a mold remediation, we’ll credit you back the cost of the inspection!

In this story, a “free” inspection would have cost the client big. Our investigation was a much smaller investment and actually identified the cause of the problem. If you think you may need a mold inspection, get in touch with us and we’ll get down to the source.

For more info about mold, check out our other mold posts, including the great mold resource on what to expect from a mold remediation!