While I truly believe in reputable mold remediation companies and qualified mold removal specialists. I can’t deny that there are many fraudulent and shady so-called mold-removers out there. They use a number of tactics. Here is a recent one that was just warned about by the Better Business Bureau in Northern California.

They start by using direct mail to advertise duct cleaning services at outrageously low costs, usually between $45 and $80. This is too cheap for any kind of duct cleaning; but don’t worry, they will ask for more.

When they arrive, they will test for deadly toxic mold by using a pen-sized testing device. The device instantly detects for “deadly toxic mold.”

This is impossible for a few reasons. First of all, while a device can sample mold, the sample must be taken to a lab to determine what kind of mold it is. It can’t be determined instantly on the spot. Secondly, a single test cannot prove for certain whether you have dangerous levels of toxic mold. It is not that easy to get an accurate reading of the average amount of mold in the air. Air samplers (reputable ones at least) will take multiple samples in multiple places of your home at multiple conditions. And finally, there is no standardized way to determine how much mold is “deadly.”

The device is, of course, totally fake. The device is actually designed to measure residual protein on commercial food processing machines. They discovered this by simply peeling back the label where it reads ‘3M Clean-Trace Surface Protein Plus.’

But that doesn’t stop the discount duct cleaners from claiming the device says you have “deadly toxic mold” in your air ducts. Now they need you to pay $300 to $600 to go through and clean everything. That $60 advertised price? That was just for duct cleaning; mold removal costs a lot more.

These deceptive businesses rely on scare tactics to sell their scam. It’s true, mold can be scary. I learn about how dangerous mold can be every day. But don’t let others take advantage of that fear.

After 30 complaints to the Better Business Bureau, they conducted a year-long investigation into the air conditioning duct cleaning industry.

They discovered that the cleaning was superficial at best. Most companies used aggressive tactics to sell additional services and expensive equipment, referencing the health risks associated with their poor air quality.

Mold removal should be done only by reputable and certified mold removal contractors.