How NJ Homeowners Can Avoid Costly Mold Scams
When Jeff Rossen, an investigative journalist for NBC News, wanted to highlight the challenges for homeowners trying to find honest mold contractors in 2012, he brought his “Rossen Reports” film crew to New Jersey. As is still the case five years later, there are no regulations in the state preventing a contractor from performing both mold inspections and resulting mediation.
The show set up hidden cameras in the basement of a home that had been tested by two reputable inspectors who found no mold. Experts then used black eye shadow to create a few suspicious areas around the room that resembled mold and then brought in several contractors and filmed their encounters.
While a few of the experts determined that the black spots were not mold, a number of other contractors told the producer – posing as a mom worried about black spots in her kids’ playroom – that she had a serious mold situation on her hands requiring up to $10,000 in remediation. It’s worth watching the clip just to see the “experts” squirm when called out by Rossen under the bright TV lights.
Following Superstorm Sandy, a number of states passed legislation making it illegal for companies to perform both mold inspections and mediation to protect homeowners from costly scams. New York revised its mold laws in 2016 to eliminate these one-stop-shopping operations, and also requiring contractors to be licensed for inspections and proper handling of mold during remediation.
New Jersey has yet to pass similar legislation regulating industry standards and remains a type of Wild West of mold, leaving homeowners vulnerable to scammers.
Of course, there are honest contractors who wouldn’t set off a mold alarm to try to squeeze thousands of dollars out of homeowners. And then again, there are plenty of unethical professionals who would be more than happy to scare you and tell you that the health of your family is at risk and take your money.
If you suspect you might have mold in your home, your first call should be to a professional who specializes in mold inspections and not remediating the situation. We have over 20 years of experience in residential mold testing and are New York State licensed assessors. Call Stock Environmental Consulting today at (732) 383-5190 to schedule your appointment.
Don’t get fooled by someone who tells you that black eye shadow is toxic black mold and wants $10,000 to remove it because no television cameras will be around to catch them in their scam.