The most common add on service that our clients get on top of their home inspection is definitely mold testing, and for good reason. Indoor air quality problems from indoor mold growth can cause serious damage to building materials, personal belongings and even one’s health. Having a mold test performed can determine exactly what species of mold is present and the quantity. Ultimately we will know whether or not a property has a problem that requires professional repair or if everything is normal. Read on to learn more about this service.
Mold spores are all around us and we breathe in low levels of the fungus on a regular basis without any complications. Homes are no different as outside air comes inside, that means that you will usually see low amounts of certain species when you take an air test and that is perfectly normal. However, when an indoor environment has excess moisture via water damage and/or humidity problems, it can cause some serious damage.
You might be asking yourself how do you find out if a property is within normal ranges or has a problem. In order to determine this we use air sampling pumps and spore traps. We take a sample of the outside air and compare it to at least 1 inside air sample. The inside sample should have relatively the same or slightly lower amounts than the outside sample. Elevated levels of common species of mold or the presence of any Toxic Black Mold indicates there is a problem that require professional mold remediation.
It is important to understand that there is a difference between a mold removal performed by a Restoration Company vs. a simple remodel done by a handyman. People not experienced in this field will likely only address the aesthetic portion of the job replacing drywall and cleaning visible growth. They often lack the knowledge or ability to get the indoor air quality back to normal levels, leaving lingering issues or even worse the problem comes back in full force later on. Being able to treat both the visual and non-visual aspects of these types of problems is what makes a professional remediation so expensive.
With the services to remove these problems being as highly priced as they are, it is important to make sure that you do not unexpectedly get involved with a home that has a mold problem. Some home inspectors simply refer to the possibility of an issue as ,”potential mold growth – seek expert opinion.” This means you have to make another appointment with a specialist. We find this unacceptable as our inspectors are experts and can perform the tests themselves. This saves clients from an extra appointment and while we do charge for the add-on service, it is still about half the price of what hiring someone else would be.
Since many people are familiar with mold test kits, we feel that we must address this product as well. Unfortunately these kits are pretty much useless. They sit for a period of time and start to grow mold prompting you to send it in to the lab to have it analyzed. Since every home has mold just about all of these kits will start to grow something and unlike our air samples they do not give a quantity of each species so it really does not tell you much at all.
If you have any other questions on this subject please feel free to send us an email or just give us a call at (855) 357-5782.