Did you know that almost every indoor environment has mold at low levels? It’s true! But when there is visible mold in a home or the number of airborne mold spores is higher than normal, a mold problem exists.
When should a mold inspection and mold testing be considered?
- When visible mold is not present, but the smell of mold is present. Here a mold inspection and mold test can reveal whether there is indeed elevated mold, and where it is located.
- There have been plumbing leaks or water issues and there is a suspicion that elevated mold may exist in the air and/or behind walls.
- Post Mold Removal Clearance Testing to ensure that the previous mold issues has been resolved and mold counts have returned to levels found in normal environments of the same type.
- Health Concerns: In some cases a doctor or the patient has a health issue that they cannot pinpoint the cause but seems to be related to mold symptoms (coughing, sneezing, headaches, etc). Here, a mold inspection and test may help to confirm whether the doctor’s or patient’s suspicions that a mold problem exists.
- For real estate transactions for the protection of Buyers and Sellers.
- Landlord/Tenant disputes as to whether there is a mold problem.
- Someone thinks they see or smell mold but are not sure.
- Someone is interested in a general Indoor Air Quality test of their environment.
I am going to tell you something right away about mold inspections and mold testing that other company’s don’t want you to know. If you already see visible mold, you usually do NOT need a mold inspection or mold testing. If you already see visible mold, you simply need to remove it following industry standard guidelines.
If you already see visible mold? Don’t you need to know, for example, what kind of mold it is so you can determine whether its toxic? In fact, in most cases, the surprising answer here is “no.” For starters, so called “Black Mold” is a term that is badly misused and misunderstood. Once you already see visible mold, knowing what type it is, for example, is usually irrelevant because at this point, you or a Mold Professional simply need to get rid of the mold following proper Mold Remediation and Mold Removal Principles.
If a mold inspection and mold testing is necessary, there are three basic steps Tri-State Home Inspections LLC takes with every mold inspection.
Step 1: Conduct a inspection of property
- Environmental Assessment
- Visual Inspection
- Thermal imaging of home
- Air Quality Analysis or Direct Sample Test
Mold inspections involve carefully inspecting your home for signs of water intrusion and mold growth. This process usually take about 1 hour to perform. Tri-State Home Inspections LLC will also perform an air quality and/or direct sample test to help identify the magnitude of the problem.
Step 2: The samples are sent to a laboratory
That test will be shipped to an accredited 3rd party lab for analysis. Tri-State Home Inspections LLC will contact you within a couple of days and provide a copy of the 3rd party lab results and a written report. This written report will explain the lab results and our findings in plain, easy-to-understand English. It will also include a plan for mold remediation and fixing the mold problem if one is identified from the mold inspection results.
Step 3: Follow Up
If a mold problem is located Tri-State Home Inspections LLC will be avaialable to perform follow up testing to confirm the mold has been removed and the problem repaired.
- The sample fee is $75 per air sample or direct sample
Why Over-The-Counter Home Mold Tests Kits Are A Ripoff:
- Mold samples are often misleading or simply wrong (i.e. due to error). You need a professional to interpret the results.
- Home Mold Test Kits don’t include a visual inspection conducted by a mold professional … very important! A professional mold inspection includes not only sampling but also a comprehensive visual inspection to detect issues and problems related to mold that are not apparent to most people without training in building sciences and mold inspections.
- Mold is everywhere. Yes, all homes have small amounts of mold. Therefore, when a petri dish from a home mold test tells you that you have mold, it is not telling you anything useful since every home has mold!
- If you suspect a mold problem but do not actually see it or smell it, these test kits do not help you locate the problem or tell you how serious it is.
- Don’t take my word for it. Here is what the U.S. Government EPA says, verbatim: “Sampling for mold should be conducted by professionals who have specific experience in designing mold sampling protocols, sampling methods, and interpreting results. Sample analysis should follow analytical methods recommended by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), or other professional organizations.”
Remember this simple rule: If you can already see mold, you need to remove it. Testing is usually unnecessary at this point.