What to know when you need to hire an environmental consultant:
What to look for when choosing an environmental consultant: Have you found yourself in one of these scenarios?
-To your surprise, you have an underground storage tank on your property that a home inspector tags in a home inspection report and advises you to have removed.
-You have an HVAC contractor in your home to update your system, and s/he informs you that work must stop; based on what they see, they may come in contact with asbestos-containing material when installing equipment in your home. You need to have an inspection and maybe some testing to determine the area’s safety.
-The local news reports unsafe drinking water in your area; you are concerned about your family and want the water you use in your home tested.
-You are in the process of buying a home, you have a home inspection, and the inspector finds mold in the attic. You want to know where the moisture is coming from and the type of mold growing; is it dangerous, and how can it be cleaned up safely?
If so, you need to have an environmental consultant. The consultant will work with you to identify concerns, problem-solve the safest and most effective move forward, test when necessary and clean up (abate) when required. Googling for consultants in your area is the first thing you may do; I do it too, and I typically find many possibilities. However, knowing what to look for and what to communicate about your project will significantly benefit everyone involved.
- While you are online, read the reviews. Are the reviews positive, specific, and timely? Reviews can be a substitute for references. However, if you know someone who has employed a consultant, ask about their experience.
- Go to the website for information about the background and experience of the consultant(s) you are considering hiring. Are they qualified to provide sound advice? Do they have state licenses and certifications required to do the work? What experience do they have in environmental consulting?
- Call the office and speak with someone, ask questions, and get a feel for the service you will receive if you work with them.
- While you are on the phone with office staff or completing an online request for a quote form, it is necessary for you to provide details about the work you need to have done:
– the property’s address
-the area in the home where there is a concern
-a description of the concern
– the square footage of the area of concern
Also, be prepared to share your contact information and any photos or reports related to your concern. Home inspection reports and pictures can usually be submitted through a website request for quote form or sent via email. Why do you need to share all of this information? The more information you provide, the more accurate the proposal; it’s that simple.
- Review the proposal. Do you understand what you have received? If you need help, call the office to clarify. If you agree to the proposed cost, schedule the work. When choosing a consultant, be wise; the lowest bidder doesn’t always equal the best consultant. More important than cost is the quality of the work. That is why numbers 1, 2, and 3 are essential to determine at the start of your search.
- Communication is your friend in this process. If you need to reschedule an appointment, inform the consultant as soon as possible to avoid cancellation fees.
- Communicate your expectations; what do you need from this work? After your project, you will receive a report, survey, test results, etc., depending on the project, from the consultant. Do you need this documentation by a specific date? Be clear, and be on the same time frame as the consultant(s) from the beginning; surprises are no fun during a project; for anyone.
- Once you have the documentation, the work you hired the consultant to do is complete. Review the documentation, and call the office again if needed. Relax; now there is one less thing on your to-do list!
Leave a review of your services. The short time it takes to leave a review may help others like yourself save a lot of time finding a trustworthy consultant. You will be doing others a favor for a long time to come. If you want to talk with one of our staff members to determine if we are the best match to tackle and solve your environmental needs, call our office at 317-833-9000; we will be happy to help. We are safe space experts.