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How to Choose A Mold Inspector

When Do You Need a Mold Inspector?

If you are concerned about your health and suspect that you may have molds in your home, then it may be time to choose and pick the right mold inspector.

Three Goals When Choosing a Mold Inspector:

When choosing a professional mold inspector, look for one that has these three goals in mind:

Goal # 1

To find readily accessible and major defects in the house.

Goal # 2

To provide you, the client, with the cause and effects of such defects that will help the homeowner develop a clear understanding of what repairs are needed. These defects may be causing the growth of mold and often go unknown to the owner.

Goal # 3
The inspector should point out where the main water, electrical disconnect switch and heating system shut offs are in case of an emergency.

Qualifications Needed from a Mold Inspector:

Do not choose a mold inspector based on price alone. There are many services where you can price shop, but mold investigation and sampling should not be one of them. Expertise should be top priority. Look for the following training, experience, and qualifications when choosing a mold inspector:

Home inspections, building construction, or building forensics
Your mold problem is not in a dish or cage. It is in a building and is the result of building failure. So, mold testing should be done by someone who has knowledge of buildings, vapor barriers, roofing, HVAC systems and other related things.

Psychometrics
Psychometrics is all about humidity, temperature, dew point and air. A profound understanding of the interrelations of such factors is very important.

Biology knowledge

Because mold is a living organism and subject to the principles of biology, it is very beneficial if the mold inspector understands at least some basic biological and ecological science principles about microbiology or mycology, the study of mold.

It is best if the mold inspector you have chosen has a background in biological sciences and also in building sciences.

HVAC Knowledge

Your chosen mold inspector should be familiar with HVAC systems. It is known that 50% of mold problems are related to HVAC system malfunctions, leaks, or contamination.

Lab results interpretation and mold training
Your mold inspector should be properly trained and experienced in investigating and sampling mold, and they should know how to interpret the lab results.

Knowledge about indoor air quality issues

The mold inspector should have training and experience in general indoor air quality issues because what is sometimes perceived initially as a mold problem may not be mold at all.

Odors or illness may be the result of hydrogen sulfide gas, poor ventilation, dust mite allergens, deadly legionella bacteria or any number of other indoor air quality related issues. If such issues are the real problem, you will need someone who has some knowledge of such issues.

In addition, your inspector should have specialized training in mold inspections as well as training in other related, indoor air quality issues other than mold.

Comprehensive inspection report

Your chosen mold inspector should give you a comprehensive inspection report documenting visual findings, environmental monitoring results, interpretation of lab results, inspector’s conclusions and recommendations on how to control the mold problem.

A report from the lab alone will only result in you asking some other mold inspector for interpretation of the results the discount inspector did not understand. Some mold inspectors do not feel they need to provide those when they have charged you such a low price per sample.

Note that some states initially allowed persons to obtain a license as a mold inspector, without requiring that the inspector pass any written exams or prove in other ways that he or she has the knowledge and competence of a professional inspector. Before choosing one, make sure that they have the proper credentials needed.

How Many Inspectors Should You Contact?

Try to contact at least three inspection firms. Speak with the mold inspector. Find out what type of training and experience each inspector has. Inspectors should be willing to provide you with a sample report and prior client references.

Pay close attention to how much time the inspector spends with you over the phone. A willingness to answer your questions on the phone may indicate his or her attitude during the inspection.

All these things are necessary when choosing an inspector to check out the appearance of molds in your home.

Further Recommended Reading :

Joslyn from the MoldBlogger Team

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20 thoughts on “How to Choose A Mold Inspector

  1. Pingback: Dealing With Small-Scale Mold In The Home - The Mold Blog
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  3. Hi Joslyn and Team:

    I’m new to Moldblogger and here because I’ve been told by a certified inspector I have Level V mold in a house I’m selling and need remediation. Thus, my question as I receive quotes from remediators responding to the inspectors “protocol”…

    Is there a minimum standard of required actions for certification of a “clean” house vs. recommended actions that may not need to be done by the rememdiator? (i.e. if the mold count in the air of the house is not elevated, and the mold is confined to the crawlspace, do the ducts still have to be cleaned and the interiour house surfaces still have to be hepa-vacced?) Should the remediator I hire do another inspection vs. just estimating what the certified inspector listed as “protocol”. (These being separate companies, but one recommended the other.)

    Thanks!

  4. Dayne, I have never heard of a “Level V” , but one thing that throws up red flags for me is a Mold Inspection Company that refers you to a remediation company, the other things like hepa-vac ing the unaffected areas sounds suspicious too. good luck.

  5. A&A Mold And Allergy Investigations in San Diego CA and the Inland Empire is a company dedicated to providing quality residential & commercial mold/allergy inspections & pool or spa inspections in Southern California.

  6. we have mold in our bathroom and we need to take serious action into this material but we also think that its under our house (we have no basement) can someone tell me how we can eliminate this odor/mold

  7. hi hope u can help? We have recently moved into a penwith housing association hme in liskeard end of oct.we did a mutual exchange n found several areas of mold both upstairs n down.the windows are a wash every morning wth condensation! and the mold has now spread into most of the rooms n got that bad that my son has complains about his chest.keeping him awake coughing all nte…he is already an asthma sufferer n need this sorting b4 hes serio├║sly ill, our kitchen has slugs crawling under sink kickboards too.when i lookd in2 loft the roof is dripping wet thru! my son is now havin 2 sleep downstairs until smebody sorts this out.

  8. Have never had to approach a mold inspector but I am asking on behalf of my mother who is illiterate. She has an acute
    smell in her home and is in need of investigation as to where it is exactly coming from. She needs to know the cost of investigating (3 bedroom chalet Bungalow), and roughly costs for treatment if need be.

  9. My family is renting a home in Arizona. Recently it has had the AC leak & they were to incompetent to fix it, it took 3 or 4 trys over the course of 2 weeks or so. Each time it leaked thru the second story to the ceiling of the first floor. After the last time , they finally stopped the leak and two days layer a guy came over and poked a hole in my ceiling and what seamed like gallons of water poured & poured out. They say its Arizona & no reason to be concerned of mold. They just want to patch ceiling instead of replace drywall or check for mold. I am concerned for the well being of my family. There is no pungent odor or anything but a kind of pee colored water stain is on ceiling. Are we ok ? Do u think we have mold ? We rent from a realtor. PPG property management in Phoenix AZ. Please help with any information or guidance. Thank you

  10. I have black moald in my bedroom witch is getting out off control I have wiped it off but keeps coming back we have even put the special paint there but still comes back

  11. Am renting a one bedroom apartment for 5 years within those years I began having to be waken by no being able to breath. that lasted for a while then I begin been stuffy. I notice that every time I arrive at home am stuffy no matter where I am in the apartment until I leave my apartment am no longer stuffy. How tell the land lord that his apartment has mold.

  12. LISTEN , I JUST MOVED INTO THIS HOME ON JULY 19 2014; AND I NOTICE THIS HOUSE STAYS VERY MOIST AND THE FLOOR ALSO STAYS MOST. WHO SHOULD I CALL FOR INSPECTION ON THIS ISSUE WITH HOPES OF GETTING THE HELP I NEED ?

  13. I had someone move in two years ago, and some time last year I found mold like spots on the wall, tile, and now I believe it’s due to condensation or the humidity that has caused mold in the restroom. Is there any way in saving money to get rid of this mold on one side of the wall as the spots are tiny but spreading? I am very unsettled about this. With great dislike, I would hope not to think Mold is caused by a person.

  14. Hello. We are having a home built in Southern Louisiana. During framing the framework encountered a great deal of rain which caused mold growth on majority of the framing. A mold remediator was hired and used Fiberlock shockwave. Majority if the mold seems to not be active (no pink fuzzy growth). Some boards still have the pink fuzzy growth. All areas still have visable staining or mold.My question is what should we do? The mold remediator has said he would do a mold test once the drywall is up. The roof has been up for for about a month and there is one door that will not be installed until we near the end of construction. I am worried that with the humidity here we will have ongoing issues. At this point the contractors are wanting to install insulation in a couple days. Please help with any advice.
    Thank you

  15. I have been smelling a musky smell when entering my home after being away for several hours. Then I found a suitcase that is completely covered with mold in my master closet I need to know who I need to call to inspect this problem and intelligently give me correct information.

  16. I moved into an housing apartment for senior in wareham ma. I have been there 5 months and every day o smell this order. I have C O P D and asthma. I told the manager about it and two workers came over and said they didn’t smell it. Well after asking the manager who never came over for weeks I called in a air in specter they did a mold test and found high levels of mold. Called manager crying and she finally came over. “Oh yes there is a pungent smell. Went back to husbands house. Now what do I do now. What is the housing authority responsible for? Don’t want to stay at x husbands. Need help what do I need to do? Please help Anita.

  17. I agree, expertise should definitely be the priority when looking for a mold inspector. After all, there are various kinds of mold out there, so the inspector you choose needs to know them all. That way they can do a much better job of identifying which mold you have and offer good advice on how to fix it.

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