What To Expect From a Unbias Mold Inspection and Testing
A certified mold inspector will be able to do the following:
Confirm if a mold problem exists
Determine the severity of the mold problem
Identify what caused the mold in the first place
Prescribe a safe and effect mold removal plan
Recommend preventative tactics to avoid recurrence
Ideal scenario, a mold inspector reports that you do not have a mold problem, and you and your family now have a peace of mind. Even if the inspection determines that a mold problem does not exist, it can reveal vulnerabilities that you can address to prevent potential moisture problems and mold development in the future.
Mold Inspection Expectations – What Should a Mold Inspection Include?
If this is the first time you have ever suspected mold development in your home or business, you are likely unfamiliar with the mold inspection process and what to expect from a reputable mold inspector. It is important to do your research, ask lots of questions and familiarize yourself with some standard mold inspection expectations. Lets take a closer look at some mold inspection expectations and what a mold inspection should include:
A thorough visual inspection is the starting point for every professional residential or commercial mold assessment. Your mold inspector will be looking for conditions that could contribute to mold development.
Where there is mold, there must be an underlying moisture source that is causing it. Identifying the moisture source should be one your mold inspector’s key priorities. Moisture mapping means using tools to isolate all building materials that are damp or wet enough to support mold growth. Understanding moisture patterns helps to determine where the moisture starts and stops, and it also helps in identifying if any leaks are activity leaking at the time of inspection.
Thermal Imaging Cameras:
Thermal imaging cameras (or infrared cameras) allow mold inspectors
to detect temperature differences in (and often behind) building
materials. Damp or wet building materials are almost always cooler
than dry materials. This information helps in understanding how many
areas have been affected by moisture, and, in turn, supporting mold
growth. It’s an invaluable tool in the detection of moisture sources
that cause mold growth.
Moisture meters are used to measure the moisture content of building materials. Moisture can buildup in porous building materials over time and can easily be overlooked. Even if the materials are dry to the touch, there could still be significant moisture locked within its pores that could support mold growth.
Air and/or Surface Testing
With the information gathering during the visual assessment and the moisture mapping steps of a mold inspection, your mold inspector will be able to determine if testing will be necessary for additional lab analysis. Mold testing can determine mold levels present as well as mold species present.
Airborne mold spores are not visible to the naked eye. In cases where there is a concern for hidden mold growth, air samples can be collected for additional analysis. Air samples will provide information about indoor mold spore levels and will help the mold inspector determine if indoor spore counts in the air are with normal ranges or not.
In some situations, it may be difficult to visually differentiate between mold and some other substance. Is it just water staining, or is it mold? Surface testing with mold swabs or bio tape lifts will answer those questions. In many cases, surface testing isn’t necessary if mold growth is visibly obvious.
Inner Wall Void Sampling: When mold is suspected behind a wall or above a ceiling, those areas should be tested. Today’s mold testing technologies and techniques allow mold inspectors to take air and surface samples from wall or ceiling voids without causing unnecessary damage to the property.
Certified Lab Report
Any samples taken during the mold inspection should be analyzed by a certified lab. Depending on the lab’s turnaround time, you should expect to receive a lab report within 2-5 business days. Most likely, you will be unable to decipher the lab report on your own. Once the lab report has been released, your mold inspector should verbally decipher the lab report you, go over what all the numbers mean and thoroughly discuss the next steps.
Mold Inspection Report
In addition to a full lab report, each mold inspection should include a detailed mold inspection report that carefully outlines what was completed on-site during the inspection and what the lab report means in terms of mold development. If professional mold remediation is recommended, your mold inspection should provide a recommended scope of work for remediation as well.
Scope of Work
A scope of work for mold remediation should include detailed cleanup suggestions as well as preventative measures that are necessary to keep mold from returning.
Indoor mold growth can be a serious problem that requires professional attention. Not only does mold spread quickly, potentially damaging the structure of your home, it can also cause serious health problems to you or your family members. If you know, or even suspect, you have mold, it’s crucial that you take care of it right away.
Musty odors, suspicious discoloration or signs of staining can all be indicators of mold and an underlying moisture problem. Or perhaps, your property has recently suffered from moisture problems (i.e: leaks, flooding, humidity, etc.), and you suspect that moisture left behind is contributing to mold development. The only way to know for certain is by contacting a certified mold inspector to have your home or business properly inspected for mold. When it comes to mold, timing is vital. With an adequate moisture source, it only takes 24-48 hours for mold to develop and spread. Early detection can save you and your family from a serious and costly mold remediation.
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Experienced. Knowledgeable. Professional, Unbiased
California Mold Inspector
My name is Jason Ramirez and I am a mold inspector with Mold Inspection Service. I have been a mold inspector for over 6 years however I have worked in construction for over 25yrs. This has given me the knowledge to efficiently find leaks/ the source of moisture that creates mold growth. I live in Sacramento and have been here for 30 years. I love Sacramento due its diversity geologically and racially. I love to meet new people and learn about their cultures. I like that I am able to explore the many beautiful swimming holes here along with being close enough to drive to the surrounding beaches, lakes, hiking trails and camping areas. I also lived and still have family in the bay area so I don’t mind driving for inspections in this area.
Being a mold inspector is very rewarding to me. I like helping people and I pay attention to detail. I am able to notice things others don’t. I like the challenge it brings me to find the source of water intrusion or moisture. It's also nice to be able to meet new people every day.
One of the many inspections I am particularly proud of was a family that had a newborn baby and an elderly parent living with them. The baby was having breathing and skin issues and the parent was also having health issues. After doing the inspection I was able to inform them that they did in fact have a mold issue. This mold in particular could possibly cause hemorrhaging in newborns lungs and other health issue in general. After informing the family they were able to have the remediation done and remove all the mold. I later received a call from them thanking me cause the baby and the elderly parent were getting better since they were no longer breathing in all the mold.
As your mold inspector I do my best not to miss a possible issue. I personally had a daughter that had leukemia and mold was a big issue for her so I try to be as thorough as possible. I move boxes, small furniture, carpets etc.…. things that could possibly hide a possible mold issue. I use a moisture meter, an infrared camera if a leak is suspected, smoker to test ventilation/ exhaust fans. I also have a tool to test humidity in your home.