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 is all about humidity, temperature, dew point and air. A profound understanding of the interrelations of such factors is very important.
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.
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.
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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.)
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.
Hi MoldBlogger! Thanks for sharing this article. I also found this article useful because it includes questions to ask your mold inspector.
Do you think these are useful questions?
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.
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
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 serioúsly 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.
Can iaq testing tell if there is mold in walls or where a wood and drywall wall meet a concrete wall?
I live in New Jersey and want to find a good mold person to treat my home after the recent hurricane.
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.
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
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
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.
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 ?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I’ve been wanting to get some mold testing done, and I think that being able to know what to look for would be good. I’m glad you talked about wanting someone who has biology knowledge, which I think would be good. I’m going to have to look for some good options for mold testing and see what we can find!
You made a good point about checking the mold inspector’s expertise in checking the building, roofing, and equipment first prior to the price of his service. If big establishments are being looked at, it’s important that the expert in the field has a keen eye for detecting infestations and addressing it immediately before further damages arise. If I were a business owner, I will definitely invest in mold inspector who can check the quality of the place that I own while ensuring its safety and sanitation from molds.
I agree! I’ve had my own home checked by a mold inspector! Finding a trustworthy mold expert is invaluable to check for the health and safety of a building.
Another thing to keep in mind as you talk to the mold inspector is: Do you feel comfortable working with this person? If you feel uneasy, that could be a sign to avoid working with that particular mold inspector. Robert Armstrong is great to work with, if you’re in San Diego or Riverside County. Here’s his website:
Have a great day!
It was helpful when you suggested to consider talking to three inspectors before you choose which one you want to hire to inspect your home for mold. We are worried about the possibility of mold within our walls because our neighbor had that issue, so we are wanting to find an inspector to help us figure it out. When we look for one, I will be sure to talk to three before choosing which one to hire.
Mold inspectors, we’ve had four thus far!! May I simply get to the point? Only ONE mold inspector, out of four KNEW and FOLLOWED the law precisely and completely. Mold inspectors are uneducated, ignorant, unlawful, uncaring crooks who take advantage of those who call on them during their most vulnerable times. I could write a novel on the fallacies of each inspector, however it may begin to sound like a comedian’s script!
Inspectors and remediation companies are usually paying each other under the table. Yes, it’s true. There are those who will look straight in your face and lie, as they see you barely able to get out of bed, while another family member seems to be showing early signs of dementia. An inspector’s report is a binding legal document, that must be followed entirely, word for word by the remediation company of your choice. In essence, the remediation company’s work product, the time , money and manpower needed to complete this job has been set forth by the inspector. I find this intriguing at this stage of our saga. If the inspector’s report is simplified, omitting needless, insignificant problems, the remediation time is shortened as well. Once the last drop of paint is dry, the manager will be waiting with hand extended. Paying a remediation company after their job is completed is against the law! What? They finished the job, I can pay them correct? Nope; not yet!!
In my state, the inspector is required by law to return to the property and complete an inspection, tests and all, of the remediator’s work! (“No way, I’ve never heard of that!!”). Sad, but true. It is the job of the Inspector to “sign off” on the job. That never happened to other families I know personally who had their homes inspected, with remediation following.
It’s the perfect “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” scenario. Or rather, “you don’t tell and I won’t tell!” Except, we are growing worse everyday. Weeks and months pass while I lie in bed in pain, crying like I’m on fire, begging for something to change!!
It did from the best inspector in the country. The analytical data, videos, and pictures gathered, along with expert testimony has never, EVER been disputed in court! At our inspection, he was testifying in sixty cases, revealing he had never lost a case!
Ask a prospective inspector if mold has ever devastated his family. If the answer is “no,” continue your search. If the answer is. “yes,” ask the individual to tell you his family’s experience. You’ve just found the best inspector. When an inspector has to save his family, hire that company!