Mold Inspection 101: How Much It Costs and When to Get One
What is mold?
Mold is a fungus, and like all fungi, it thrives in moist places. Mold spreads by emitting spores, microscopic particles often as small as a single cell. Spores float around in the air until they land on a surface. Mold spores are everywhere, outdoors as well as inside your house. It would be practically impossible to remove all mold spores from a house without installing some kind of massive industrial clean room filtration system.
When to inspect for mold
One good thing about mold- if you can see it, you have mold in your house. Seeing mold in the cracks and corners of your walls definitely means it is growing and spreading more spores. Keep in mind that mold may also grow in places you cannot see, such as in your ducts or between your walls. It may also form colonies so tiny they escape the eye. A few situations should make you look for any mold problems in your house.
Mold inspection vs. mold testing
If you are researching mold, you might come across different services and costs that list both mold inspection and mold testing. Mold inspection simply identifies the presence of mold and generally defines the size of the problem, usually in square footage.
What happens during a mold inspection?
Mold inspection is, for the most part, a visual inspection of a house. There’s no special equipment involved aside from a good flashlight and tools that are sometimes needed to access restricted areas (like removing grates to inspect HVAC ducts). Some mold inspectors may use cameras. A moisture meter might also be useful in determining if a particular area is wet, especially after remediation.
What affects the cost of a mold inspection?
There are two main factors that affect the cost of a mold inspection: the size of the house being inspected and whether or not the inspector has to remove or destroy parts of the property, such as drywall or paneling, to complete the inspection.
How Do I Find a Qualified Mold Inspector or Mold Inspection Company?
Important Tips To Find A Mold Inspector
Finding a good mold inspector is somewhat akin to finding a good doctor or mechanic. Some time and effort is required and even with that effort, sometimes mistakes and poor choices still happen. However, you can still put the odds in your favor. We would recommend calling at least two (preferably more) mold inspection companies and ask for a price quote. Within the price quote, we recommend you ask the following questions.
What is Professional Mold Remediation
Why is Mold a big deal? According to the EPA, molds are part of the natural environment, and can be found everywhere, indoors and outdoors (including dry climates). Mold is not usually a problem, unless it begins growing indoors. Molds have the potential to cause health problems. Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions) and irritants. Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash. These reactions are common.
Indoor Mold Growth = A Water Problem. If you have mold growing indoors, it means you have a water problem. In order to eliminate mold and prevent grow-back your remediation company must identify and repair the water source. This could be as simple as fixing a leaking pipe or more complex such as adding air circulation and venting to attics or crawl spaces, the lack of which is a very common cause of mold growth.
Don’t Skip Air Quality Tests. Passing an air quality test following mold remediation is an essential step to make sure your mold issue has been properly addressed. Some remediation companies will not include air quality tests in their services (this is a red flag). Make sure that a post-mitigation, professional air quality test from a third party company is included in your mold remediation bid. Without it you cannot know with certainty that the health risks of mold are gone and that it was mitigated properly. If mold remediation is a condition of a home purchase, make sure you ask for a copy of the mold clearance test from the home seller.
How Should Your Mold Remediation Company Handle Your Mold? There is a lot of mis-information about mold and how to best get rid of it. Part of that comes from companies who do not follow industry standards or who are misrepresenting the use of certain mold remediation techniques. This industry is pretty lucrative and many companies add-on mold remediation services without certification or proper training (we recommend using only Certified Mold Remediation companies).
Why is it so Expensive? Professional remediation companies will follow industry standards to insure that the job is done right. Those standards not only dictate the processes that must be followed but also the number and type of machines necessary (eg. air scrubbers, air movers and dehumidifiers) and how long they run to achieve necessary air quality (IICRC S-520). OSHA also regulates the types of protective equipment that must be used during mold remediation (e.g. respirators, suits, supplies).
MOLD INSPECTION & MOLD INSPECTOR BASICS – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW & WHY
DO I NEED A MOLD INSPECTION?
There are a few schools of thought related to the necessity of a mold inspection. Some “mold experts” claim that if there is visible mold, you simply need to remove it and that there is no need for an inspection. Others feel that even if there is visible mold, there are compelling reasons to move forward with an inspection. Almost all mold experts agree that if you suspect mold but do not have a visual confirmation, a mold inspection is always warranted.
HOW DO YOU FIND A MOLD INSPECTOR?
Finding a reputable mold inspector can be a bit daunting. You could check the internet for local mold inspectors. You can look at Yelp or Angie’s list. You can ask your friends and family if they know of someone. You can even check on your local neighborhood NextDoor app. If you have a trusted plumber, they may know of someone. Referrals are usually better than a blind hire.
Do you consider mold to be a health hazard?
If the inspector answers “no” or is on the fence about it, do not hire this person. A mold inspector should understand the health conditions associated with toxic mold exposure and not downplay their severity.
Do you take pictures as you make the inspection?
A quality mold inspector will document his or her journey through your home making it a point to take photos of any areas with visible mold, water damage, or areas that look suspect.
Find out about the lab the inspector uses.
You should inquire about what types of testing the lab does, how long they have been in business, what their qualifications are and how many locations they have.
Mold Inspection Expert Reveals All You Need To Know Prior To Hire
What Is A Mold Inspection?
A mold inspection focuses on determining if there is water damage present within the home that is causing a mold problem. Because some sort of mold content is present in just about everyhome, a determination is made during the mold assessment if it was caused by water damage.
How Is A Mold Inspection Done?
A mold inspection consists of a visual inspection for mold growth, moisture mapping for hidden leaks, air sampling, surface sampling, and checking the air conditioning for mold. Every inspection can be different as some could be limited in nature.
How Much Does A Mold Inspection Cost?
The price of the mold inspection could vary depending upon the size of the home, how many samples are taken, and what kind of report needs to be reports. You can expect to spend on average $500 for a mold inspection on a 2000-2500 sq foot home.
How Long Does A Mold Inspection Take?
The time required in the home can be up towards two hours depending on the size of the home. Once samples are collected, they are overnighted or dropped off at a third party laboratory for analyzation. Results from the lab are typically available within 48 hours and a report is generated by the inspector based on the visual findings and lab results.
What Is A Home Mold Inspection
A home mold inspection is an inspection that focuses on the presence of water damage and mold growth on building materials and personal contents throughout a home. Air samples and surface samples are generally taken to determine how mold is affecting the indoor building environment.