So, this our version of “THE FINE PRINT”
We attach this to our initial reports or proposals that we send to our clients. In an effort to make our fine print have some value, as well as allow us to disclose what is typically found in the fine print, we’ve written the document in conversational English.
It includes many disclaimers…along with detailed explanations as to why!!
If you have the time to read all the way through this, you’ll probably have a good idea of how we operate. That could help you decide if you even want to bother to call us.
Depending on which stage of the process you are in, the document you are reading may not be the formal scope of work to be performed. It should however, be considered a template to be manipulated to achieve the end result that you desire. The formal scope of work is then issued once a decision has been reached. After review by you, simply respond to the email containing the formal proposal stating “Yes, I approve” and we will assign you a schedule date.
Regarding your report and our “A la Carte” style: Please keep in mind that, though the line items are “options”, they often go together as a whole to make your home the best it can be. If that is not a major concern of yours, then we can begin eliminating options to address your immediate needs. We can do as much or as little as you need. This is where our strength is – communicating all of your choices so you can make an educated decision on how to proceed. Although our report is option based, certain items in the report need to be under our control in order to warranty the work. We cannot offer warranties on items performed by other contractors that may affect our efforts or, if a major component is left out of the process
During the remediation process, proper remediation protocols as defined by the IICRC S520 Standard will be utilized. Even though we don’t make a big deal about it, this is the most comprehensive standard set forth for the remediation industry and of course we meet and/or exceed these standards. Any restoration company worth their salt should utilize this protocol and we view it as a “no-brainer”…therefore, it is not front and center in our remediation language.
Sometimes we break up projects into phases. Demo/remediation can be split from the rebuild aspect as we deem necessary. Please don’t fault us for reserving the right to invoice completed portions of the project separately. Insulation install may be billed separately when extended dry times are necessary. We will never bill for an uncompleted task.
Please be aware that large spaces or difficult access issues will affect pricing. Many parts of our process are based off of square footage. When your home is very large, it most certainly takes more time and material.
Our customers must understand that mold is ubiquitous and that complete eradication of mold spores in an environment is unrealistic. MSG cannot provide a completely “mold free” space. Mold spores are all around us at all times. You just don’t want to provide them a space where they can become a concentrated problem.
A below the insulation line approach may compromise the appearance and/or functionality of the insulation. MSG makes every effort to keep the insulation as intact as possible but the reality is, we are pushing up your insulation as we clean underneath using a wet process. Insulation is rather fragile and easily manipulated by touching it and we are doing this for every square inch of your crawlspace. You may notice a difference when we are done.
A vapor barrier should be considered a part of the preventative measures installed in the crawlspace. A “first line of defense” if you will. It shouldnot be considered the end all be all in prevention.
Please note: 100% coverage as it pertains to a vapor barrier install is referring to the crawlspace ground only. It does not include extension of poly sheeting up the foundation walls or sealing of any kind to the walls or the taping of all seams. Only 12” in overlapping of the seams is required by code. If extension up, sealing to the walls and/or taping seams is part of the scope, it will be specifically mentioned as a separate line item. If this is desired, please mention it before the project begins and we will add it to the formal scope of work. Please understand there will be an additional charge for these services.
As a side note, MSG does not recommend sealing of any kind to the foundation wall or installation of sheet foam insulating material to a foundation wall unless certain steps have been taken to address interior foundation perimeter drainage at the footers. Once poly or sheet foam is installed on a foundation wall, you have just blocked visual access to what is going on outside of the home as it pertains to drainage problems. If drainage systems on the outside fail, you may not know about them until it is too late and you have a “water-bed” underneath your home. We are speaking from experience here, we didn’t make this up.
Although we try to be as thorough as possible during an inspection, there is the possibility that an issue may be overlooked. Alas, as much as we try, we are not perfect. If an issue is discovered during the job that was overlooked, we will bring it to your attention immediately! You may choose to address it as you see fit. We do not view this as an “up-sale” opportunity, it’s merely a continuation of sharing information with you regarding your homes condition so you can address potential issues.
MSG utilizes a licensed electrician for the install of all electrical related items. There is an additional fee for the install of necessary electrical components. This fee is subject to fluctuate based upon difficulty of install. Since we are not licensed electricians, we can only guess at the amount of time our electrician will have to invest in your home. This is one of the rare times where a price that we have put forth may require adjustment at the end of the project. This is most certainly to your benefit, you don’t want him to cut corners. We apologize in advance if your install proves to be difficult.
Commercial grade dehumidifiers are highly recommended. As a matter of fact, we can’t recommend them enough! They are designed for the crawlspace environment and perform better under the conditions. Once installed, the homeowner assumes all responsibility and maintenance thereof. (We can’t be there all the time!)
Condensate lines on the exterior of the foundation wall will only extend to where gravity takes over and moves water away. Additional distances may incur a fee. In certain cases, MSG may utilize a sump and basin for the collection of condensate when available. Some crawlspaces are configured to where we need to use a condensate pump. This will incur additional fees.
Some crawlspaces pose real problems when trying to dehumidify. Crawlspaces that have separate rooms are difficult to control and sometimes adjustments to the process have to be made to achieve that perfect balance. MSG reserves the right to make these adjustments as needed with the customers assistance in providing us necessary information. This should not be viewed as a concern…it’s just part of the process.
Clarification on the “sealing” process within the context of a dehumidifier install:
Any “sealing” that takes place is focused on reducing the communication of air outside the crawlspace with the air inside of the crawlspace. Unless you have an active leak, most crawlspace problems occur during the warmer months of the year and believe it or not, most houses are built with a code approved flaw that allows this to happen…the foundation vents. If you think about it, the air outside is hot and humid. The air inside the crawlspace will always be cooler than the outside air in the summer just by its pure nature. The foundation vents are designed to let outside air into the crawlspace for ventilation purposes. When the warm outside air enters the crawlspace and collides with the cool air underneath, BAM!, you get elevated moisture levels in the form of condensation. This condensation will occur on all systems in the crawlspace without discrimination. HVAC components, insulation, plumbing pipes and the wood itself will all be raining with moisture under the right conditions. THIS is why dehumidification is warranted and encouraged.
We the foundation vents with rigid sheet foam that is cut to fit inside the foundation vent cavity on the interior side of the crawlspace. The perimeter of the sheet foam is then sealed further with expanding foam to enhance the reduction of outside air intrusion into the crawlspace. You will never notice it on the outside unless you are up close, specifically looking for it.
The access door to the crawlspace has weather stripping applied where the door meets the frame (similar to the door on your house) to enhance the reduction of outside air intrusion into the crawlspace. Sometimes the access door requires modifications to accommodate the weather stripping. This will be an additional charge.
Penetrations through the foundation walls such as pvc pipes, wires, HVAC line-sets, occasionally have gaps around them where air transfer is possible. These areas are sealed with expanding foam to enhance the reduction of outside air intrusion into the crawlspace (if applicable).
Please be aware that by code, if a crawlspace is sealed, a “mechanical means of control” must be in place. Whether it’s through a fan, the HVAC system or dehumidification.
We prefer dehumidification because you are actively removing the moisture in the air and substrates…and only when necessary as the dehumidifier can be set to a certain humidity limit. When the humidity gets above that limit, it turns on to bring it back down and then shuts off. (FYI: we set them at 55%RH)
Conditioning (using the HVAC) is just regulating the temperature and crossing your fingers. By code, you cannot introduce crawlspace air into an HVAC system, where the removal of moisture takes place.
Fans simply don’t work and that’s all we have to say about that.
- Warranties: Some crawlspaces with a commercial dehumidifier are warrantable. This offers protection in the event re-growth of fungi occurs in the treated areas within a pre-determined time frame of the initial treatment, and it is confirmed by a certified mold testing company. If applicable, MSG warrants that it will retreat the area free of charge, provided the customer has kept the treated area free of moisture and insured that humidity levels are properly maintained (55%). We offer no warranty against fungal return in a crawlspace with no dehumidifier or other mechanical means of control. It should be noted that a minimal scope of work may not address all of the issues. Please be aware that cleaning/treating alone will NOT remedy the conditions that created the problem in the first place. MSG cannot be held responsible for the return of microbial growth in any area treated if steps were not taken to correct the cause of the problem. In order to be considered for a warranty, a thorough scope must be chosen as outlined and installed by The Mold Solutions Group and a commercial dehumidifier (depending on the size of the space, more may be required) must be installed and operated at all times and the unit(s) must be installed by The Mold Solutions Group. It should be noted that dehumidifiers have a humidistat built-in to the unit itself. This allows the dehumidifier to function ONLY when conditions are such that dehumidification is necessary. The phrase “operated at all times” does not refer to the dehumidifiers operating on a continuous basis. Rather, the dehumidifiers should be installed and operational as intended by the manufacturer. Dehumidifiers are mechanical therefore, things occur that will affect the operation of the unit such as parts failure, failure from water damage and/or electrical surges. When addressed in a timely fashion, the(our) warranty will still be valid. Addressing a dehumidifier failure may require the replacement of the dehumidifier with new. The cost of a new dehumidifier replacement and/or any parts required to service the units (i.e: filters) will be the sole responsibility of the homeowner and the new unit must be installed by The Mold Solutions Group.
Mechanical components fall under their original manufacturer’s warranty and are not the responsibility of The Mold Solutions Group.
Interior drainage systems carry a 25yr warranty against workmanship. This is void if any modifications or damage has been incurred as a result of the homeowner and in no way connected to the initial install.
Mechanical components such as dehumidifiers and sump pumps carry a manufacturer’s warranty only.
Modifications to ANY components that MSG has installed will void any warranties offered (Manufacturer or otherwise). Repair of components will then be chargeable.
With interior projects, prices are based on “visible” issues. Once areas are opened up, there may be unforeseen problems beyond the initial visual inspection. If this is the case, the homeowner will be notified immediately. All pricing is approximate. All reasonable attempts will be made to keep within the projected cost.
We try to go above and beyond to protect you and your family and our safety standards meet or exceed all suggested guidelines for our industry. We use only the best products / processes available to provide a superior removal and prevention rate during the remediation and our protocols are the gold standard.
Whatever you do, DO NOT USE BLEACH! You could create a very hazardous environment.
After a remediation, staining may remain. This does not point to a non-successful remediation. Sometimes the growth has been there long enough to actually discolor whatever it is growing on.
Please be aware that some cities/towns in our service area require certain aspects of the work to be permitted. Please ask us what your options are regarding this process, it’s rather complicated to include here. The decisions related to permits, and the associated costs, revisions to scope and timelines, are left to the homeowner.
A contractor friend of ours once asked why we do not have this in our proposals: “A service charge of 5% will be added to and thereafter accrue upon the unpaid balance of all invoices that are 5 days past due. Customer agrees to pay all cost of collection, including a 15% attorney’s fee, should the services of an attorney be utilized in collection.” Our response was that we like to believe in the good of mankind and that, so far, it had never been an issue. After we thought about it for a bit, we thought it might be worth a mention in case we ever run across that one person …so there, we’ve mentioned it.
Believe it or not, some people actually try to do this to us. For the record, we don’t like it, but just in case your motives are not true…read this:
MSG’s findings, reports, suggestions can, in no way, be used in a lawsuit against an opposing party. If you are contacting us in hopes of using our findings in a litigious manner…may we suggest contacting another company or an Industrial Hygienist (they have more letters behind their name) J
A crawlspace can be a hazardous environment!
There are many areas where our technicians can be harmed. Loose hanging wires, open junction boxes, nicked wires, broken glass, metal shards, animal waste, broken nails/screws and grey/black water are all very real dangers that we face every day…not to mention several different strains of microbial growth. We realize that a customer typically has not gone through their crawlspace as well as we do and there are many things that go on down there that our customer probably isn’t aware of. Please don’t take this as being mean but… we have no idea who installed (licensed, competent, etc.), how it was installed (permitted?), age (how old is this thing that just broke when we touched it?) or the condition of many of the systems in your crawlspace. Sometimes, through no fault of our own, things short out, break or just plain stop working while we are in the crawlspace. MSG cannot be held liable for any malfunction in a crawlspace due to owner negligence. Rest assured this is not our first rodeo and we know how to navigate a crawlspace. Please don’t try to hold us accountable for your very old (insert item here) in your crawlspace. We will return the favor by not holding you accountable when a hazard in your crawlspace hurts one of us.
We at The Mold Solutions Group greatly appreciate the opportunity you have given us. We pride ourselves on being reliable information providers and doing what we say we are going to do. We sometimes find it interesting that clients think this is a refreshing way to go about it…we think it’s the right way. We are fully aware of less than credible options in the service field. That gives us all the more energy in striving to gain your confidence.
We truly believe we are the best in our industry, and we try to prove it every day. We provide you with all of the information you will need to make an educated decision on how YOU would like to approach your unique situation. Understanding that cost is a large issue, we want to make sure you get what you pay for. We will work with you to help you make the most of your money and please don’t forget that there are terms available. We may even be able to offer discounts for payment by check at the end of the project. Let us help you find a payment plan that meets your budget and allows us to pay our bills on time as well.
There will always be another company out there that will do the work for less. Please check around before committing to a cheaper price. We won’t “nickel and dime” you and often address things that weren’t even discovered until after we started the project…without expecting to get paid for it (within reason of course). We actually do treat every job as if we were doing our own home. Just ask anyone we have worked with in the past. We will happily provide references for you to check.