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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

SCAM ALERT: Making Sure Your Mold-Removal Company is Reputable

HUBER HEIGHTS -- It's been a rainy start to summer, but even after things dry out, there may be something growing inside your home.

Unfortunately, with black mold, the challenge is not just getting rid of it, but making sure you don't get scammed out of thousands of dollars along the way.

Behind the doors of a picture-perfect home, Melissa Crain is facing a dilemma many homeowners here in the Miami Valley are dealing with: she found mold growing in a few damp areas of her house.

"I see it on my windows and on my blinds.  We had our air ducts cleaned a couple years ago and after a heavy rain, I smelled something that was very musty," Melissa says. 

The company who cleaned her air ducts also found mold in the ducts, and agreed to treat it with a price tag of nearly $3,000. At that estimate, Melissa put the project on hold and contacted us.

We went to the experts at ERATech Environmental. We spoke with the company's president, Doug Kohnen.

"There are a lot of people who are doing home inspections for mold that really shouldn't be doing them," Kohnen said.

Kohnen has been in the mold business for more than a decade.  He doesn't treat mold, but instead works on the side of homeowners, testing the mold counts before and after treatments to make sure the problem is fixed.

He says the company Melissa hired could have been after her money. 

"There's definitely a conflict of interest when someone does their own testing and would also do their own repairs. It appears, whether they are doing it or not, they could be misleading the consumer," states Kohnen.

But the scams don't end there. Some inspectors will show tests of serious mold problems that are not from your home. Some contractors may also take short cuts, missing dangerous black mold hidden in your house, which could lead to serious health problems.

"They don't sample an entire home when they screen it for mold,"   Kohnen said. "They may do an air sample in the area and say that the area is fine, but miss something at the other end of the house."

"Another thing you want to watch out for is something called 'House Cooking.' That's when contractors shut the windows and turn on the fan or humidifier to elevate mold spores," Kohnen explains. 

Kohnen ran a few mold tests in Melissa's home. He found low levels of mold spores right above the floor vent in her bedroom. He says most of that mold growing on her windows can be treated with a mix of bleach and water, or peroxide.

Melissa says she'll do a little more homework the next time she lets a contractor inside her home.

 
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