Mold Inspection & Testing Services
In recent times, people have become much more aware of exposure risks to elevated levels of mold in their homes, schools and work environments. High levels of mold indoors can lead to air quality issues and health concerns. Its presence indoors can also result in property damage and expensive repairs.
Limited Mold Inspection
The limited mold inspection does not include a visual examination of the entire building, but is limited to a specific area of the building identified and described by the inspector. As a result, moisture intrusion, water damage, musty odors, apparent mold growth, or conditions conducive to mold growth in other areas of the building may not be inspected.
Indoor Air Quality Testing
Indoor air sampling should be made under closed-building conditions. Closed-building conditions are necessary for in order to stabilize the air that may contain mold spores or mVOCs, and to increase the reproducibility of the air sampling and measurement.
Contact & Swab Sampling.
A swab comes inside a plastic tube container. The cellulose swab is moistened with a liquid preservative stored in an ampoule at one end of the tube container. Any bacteria collected with the swab are transferred via the swab into a tube. The tube is sent directly to a laboratory for analysis.
Well Water Testing
Different problems can exist in your water, depending upon the type and source of water that is being supplied to the home. water services provide in-home testing to show you the exact condition of your water, within a budget that you can afford
WHAT SHOULD YOUR MOLD INSPECTION INCLUDE?
Not all mold inspections are created equal!
Anybody can claim to be able to do a mold inspection, but that doesn’t mean they’ll do a good job. Some mold remediation companies do a quick inspection that doesn’t really tell them much. They don’t use a lab to test for the species of mold and don’t bother testing the air quality. There are even some unsavory types that take advantage of people by exaggerating the problem and suggesting comprehensive mold removal services that aren’t really needed. So how can you be sure that it that will catch what it needs to? A quality mold remediation company should always start with a comprehensive inspection that will take a little bit of time to complete because of several types of tests they will run.
What does a typical high-quality mold inspection include?
Having certified mold technicians perform the work on your house already gives you a leg up against the microbe. Typically, a mold inspection will consist of a visual inspection, sampling visible mold, air quality tests and a mold lab test.
A visual mold inspection comes first
Quick, what’s the fastest way to check for mold? Just look! Of course, that won’t catch microscopic bits in the air, but it’s the best place to start. But an experienced mold tester sees things differently than other people. They know the telltale signs of mold like spots and stains on the walls and carpets and know what odors are usually associated with mold.
Checking for obvious mold and moisture damage
Clumps of mold obviously need to be removed and the sections cleaned. But large accumulations of mold often suggest a larger problem. Mold loves warm and moist areas, and because of this, water is often the culprit. It could be getting in through roof damage or a leaky pipe. If the mold inspector suspects one of these problems, they may recommend a full house inspection from a reliable home inspector.
Testing the mold levels in the air
The mold in the air can get into your lungs! While many kinds of mold are benign, some produce harmful mycotoxins that can cause health problems in some individuals. Part of the mold tests should include both indoor and outdoor mold levels. This gives a level of comparison and can also give clues to how the mold is getting in.
Molds are types of fungi found throughout the natural environment. Molds reproduce by generating tiny, microscopic spores, just like how plants reproduce by producing seeds.
Mold spores can be found in both indoor and outdoor air, as well as settled on indoor and outdoor surfaces. In the outdoors, molds live in the soil, on plants, and on dead or decaying organic matter. They play an important and natural role in the breakdown of leaves, wood, and other plant debris.
Molds can grow on virtually any substance, as long as moisture and oxygen are present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, foods, and insulation.
Molds need three things to grow:
A wet or damp environment.
A food source such as leaves, wood, paper products, wall board, insulation materials, ceiling tiles, and other organic based materials.
A temperature range similar to the average residential household temperature
Exposure to molds does not always cause health problems. However, some people are sensitive to molds and are at risk for potential negative health effects. Public safety is the most important reason to prevent mold growth and to address any existing indoor mold.
Should I test for mold?
Molds are organisms that are found indoors and outdoors. They are part of the natural environment and play an important role in our ecological system by breaking down and digesting organic material. Molds are neither plants nor animals, but “fungi”. Fungi belong to a classification of their own.
Yeast, mold, mildew and mushrooms are common forms of fungi. Mold is essentially a description of fungi that grows on surfaces, such as the black substance on a moldy shower wall. Mold and mildew often refer to the same type of fungi. All mold is fungi, but not all fungi is mold. Molds grow in many colors, including white. “Black mold” is not a species or specific kind of mold, and neither is “toxic mold.”
Sometimes, the news media use the terms “toxic mold” and “black mold” to refer to molds that are a health hazard.Well water is often affected by chemicals or fertilizer bi-products leaching into the ground or streams that feed the aquifers that supply the well. Sometimes the source of the contamination is a chemical or mineral deposit deep in the ground that the aquifer runs through. It is also possible for well casings or heads to become damaged and allow chemicals or animal bi-products to pollute a well from the surface.
Where is Mold?
Mold spores are everywhere; they are found both indoors and outdoors. Mold spores cannot be eliminated from indoor environments because some of them will be floating through the air and could be on settled dust.
Should I be concerned?
Mold is not usually a problem indoors unless the spores land on a wet or damp surface and begin growing. As molds grow, they digest whatever they are growing on. Unchecked, mold growth can damage buildings and furnishings; molds can damage wood, damage drywall, and in extreme cases cause structural damage to buildings. The potential human health effects of mold are also a concern. It is important, therefore, to prevent mold from growing indoors.
Fungi in the indoor environment raises three major concerns:
- The potential health effects of exposure to fungi and their byproducts;
- The effects of fungal contamination on the structural integrity of a building; and,
- The negative aesthetic effects fungi can produce both visually and on the human nose (smell)
Common Causes of Attic Mold
Bathroom mold, kitchen mold, basement mold, these areas tend to get all the hype, but there is another area that property owners need to be aware of, too, the attic. Mold found in attic areas can be challenging at times when trying to pinpoint the exact cause and source of mold growth. However, there are some common conditions that we routinely find during our mold investigations that are leading contributors to mold growth in attics.
Yes, you guessed it, at the top of our list is roof leaks. Several issues can occur around the flashing or the area where the roof plane meets a vertical surface like a vent or a chimney. Missing, deteriorated, or improperly install flashing among other penetration points and inadequate roof repairs are the most common causes of roof leaks. Water seepage also occurs when the roof is beyond the end of its life span. An annual inspection of your roof by a roofing specialist and routine maintenance can prevent leaks in a roof system, effectively reducing the likelihood of mold growth in your attic.
Inadequate Roof Ventilation
Without adequate ventilation, moisture-laden air can remain in attic areas. Often, this will cause elevated moisture conditions around the roof framing and roof sheathing. During cold winter months, for example, condensation can occur on the cold roof sheathing creating this damp environment. You may think otherwise, but it is important to keep your attic cool during colder months.
Another common cause of inadequate ventilation is when your soffit vents are blocked by debris. This could be debris from trees, roofing materials, birds’ nest, or insulation – when it is blown into the attic. If proper care is not taken during this time, the insulation can end up blocking the soffit vents. Soffit vents are critical in a passive ventilation system to circulate air from the lower portion of the attic (intake vents) to the upper roof vents (exhaust vents).
Bath or Kitchen Exhaust Fans Vented into the Attic
Exhaust fans should be vented directly to the exterior of the home, and surprisingly we often find this is not the case. When an exhaust fan is missing its exhaust duct, or if the duct has become separated, the exhaust is then vented directly into the attic space, similar to the situation above meaning the warm damp air is trapped creating the ideal atmosphere for microbial growth. In this case, it’s important to correct the issue an re-route the vents to the outside.