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What to Expect From a Mold Inspection

by BrianReeves
prevent mold construction

The first step after discovering mold is to determine whether it is dangerous, and if so, the level of danger. There are over 400,000 different kinds of mold known to man, yet of those, only about a dozen could cause any serious harm to your wellbeing.

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How do you find out exactly what kind of mold you have encountered and whether or not your health is in danger? Is there a reliable way to identify mold based on its color and appearance alone? It is not advised to identify mold by simply looking at it. Depending on various situations, mold color and structure can vary drastically. These conditions, such as the nature of the organic material mold grows on, environment, temperature, and presence of direct light, can all affect the way your mold contamination looks.

Due to the hidden nature of mold, the visible part of mold is just the tip of the iceberg as mold prefers to grow behind the walls and under flooring and carpeting. Only professional mold inspectors can tell where and how much moisture is hidden in your building structure by using thermal imaging equipment. If area moisture levels have been high for a prolonged period of time, there is a good chance of mold presence.

Determining if you Need Professional Mold Remediation Services

When you realize that visible mold is in your home or building, or you are aware of signs that mold might be growing in parts of your property that you cannot see, then it may be time to seek the help of a professional mold remediation inspector. To be sure, not all molds that exist in homes are toxic, but it is always better to hire a professional mold inspector who can help you determine exactly what kind of mold you are dealing with and how to remedy the moisture and/or mold problem.

Moisture and Mold Prevention Steps

There are a number of things that you can do on your own in order to help prevent moisture and mold from becoming a major problem in your home. First, it is important to take steps to prevent humidity and condensation in the home. This would mean ensuring that the home is properly ventilated and insulated. Any time there is a water spill or leak, make sure to act quickly and clean the spill before mold has the chance to grow. Additionally, you can help prevent mold growth by paying attention to the outside of the property, cleaning and repairing roof gutters as needed, and ensuring that the foundation of the home is well maintained.

How to Hire a Professional Mold Inspector

As you contact professional mold inspectors, you will want to be sure to question them about any specific mold inspection courses they have taken, and the kinds of mold inspection certifications they possess. Any professional that you hire for your mold inspection will need to hold a current mold inspection certification that qualifies him or her to be a Certified Mold Inspector (CMI). The CMI designation will ensure that you have a professional mold inspector who has been educated properly in evaluating mold presence, and determining the source of the moisture that has allowed the mold to grow.

It is a good idea to ask any professional mold inspector that you consider hiring for some professional references. A highly experienced and qualified professional mold inspector should have no problem providing you with at least a couple of names of clients or businesses they have assisted that you should be able to contact.

The Mold Inspection Procedure

When your professional mold inspector arrives at your property, in order to begin the inspection, he will use an assortment of methods, including: visual inspection, surface sampling, and air sampling in order to determine the source and the type of mold that is present in the building.

Each time a mold inspector visits a property they will begin the process with a visual inspection. They will check the property and look for any signs of water damage, water intrusion, possible faucet or pipe leaks, and any other signs of moisture. They will also test the temperature and the humidity on the property, and add these calculations to a wide variety of data that they will be obtaining about your home or property.

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When a professional mold inspector begins the surface sampling process, they are actually attempting to determine what kind of mold exists at a particular location within the property. The inspector may use a swab or a piece of tape to obtain the sample. As soon as the sample is properly packaged to avoid contamination, it is sent to a reliable laboratory where it can be analyzed.

The air sampling procedure is perhaps the best process of determining whether or not  airborne mold spores exist within your premises. There are a variety of types of equipment that may be used for this type of sampling, but generally air will be drawn and then impacted over a glass substrate in order to create the sample.

Determining If Mold Remediation is Required

Typically, if mold is present in your home or property, you will need to undertake some kind of mold remediation. Your mold remediation will be unique to your circumstances, and will largely be determined by the results of the sample tests completed by your inspector. The factors that will be important when determining your next steps with remediation will include the toxicity of the tested mold, as well as the size of the affected area.

This post was contributed by Carl Bennett, the vice president of Above & Beyond Unlimited Cleaning – a Pennsylvania company specializing in residential and commercial mold inspection, testing & remediation services.

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Gregory Restoration January 7, 2013 - 6:08 pm

Mold damage is a serious problem in your home! It is important to act quickly on the removal of black mold.

Carol January 21, 2013 - 10:48 am

If you call in to 1-866-746-6247 they will send a free mold test kit if you pay shipping.

James February 17, 2013 - 4:39 am

Very nice info thanks for the effort. I really learned a lot from this article and i have a request that you write about the cost of mold in basement removal.

Wesley March 30, 2013 - 3:33 pm

I ran into a problem with my last inspection; I found out after the fact that the team that was performing the inspection was owned by the same company that owned the laboratory where the analysis would come from.
I then got another company to also take samples and had a different lab handle the testing phase.
The second labs (not affiliated with the inspection team) results were proven “not” to be Toxic Black Mold” whereas the first lab confirmed that their results were positive for Toxic Black Mold. Makes you Wonder!

Jane Henderson December 7, 2015 - 4:55 pm

This is very factual. Thank you for this blog it helped us choose a mold inspection company. We used a company Knight Environmental consulting in Los Angeles, CA.
http://www.knightenvironmentalconsulting.com It worked out well and now our mold is gone.

bob December 28, 2015 - 9:57 am

Great info and some real valuable golden nuggets in this article. >Mold Remediation Baltimore

Barb January 28, 2016 - 11:26 am

I see mold in a den that has no faucets it is on an interior wall. Not sure what kind of mold it is but my question is where is it coming from. Is it not important to find out and fix the source also, I would think so. How would I go about finding this out. It is not on an exterior wall. On the other side of the wall I see no mold but not to far from a heat / A/C duct. Could this be the problem in some way. There is no mention of finding out the source only mold being toxic and not and doing remediation for it but not anything about where the mold came which I do not know and need to in order not to get mold again. Only thing I could think of is pipes sweating due to A/C being on more often in the apartment above. Due to medical condition mine is not on to often. NY area.
Would be great for a response.

Sandy Hopes May 6, 2016 - 12:36 am

Found your blog. Its really nice onMold Inspection. I appreciate your article. Its important to get quality all type of Mold Inspection site. So thanks for sharing all that important information.

Andersen June 13, 2016 - 9:35 pm

Hi BrianReeves,

I came over from Barn Hop and enjoyed your blog. As a homeowner, you understand the importance of conducting mold inspections to assure the air quality of your home and therefore the health of your family.
Once formed, mold can only get worse. Without going into a deep biology based explanation, essentially each mold cell holds more moisture than it needs to survive, allowing more spores to cannibalize it to form more mold.

So according to me it’s necessary to hire the services of mold removal company to ensure the clean environment of your home.

Kyle Winters April 20, 2017 - 4:57 pm

It really is nice to get a breakdown of what most people can expect from this kind of procedure. After all, it is not often that people need to get a mold inspection done on their home. However, I really like that you remembered to include information about the air inspection since this is usually the most definitive sign of whether or not there is mold somewhere on the property.

Michael Robinson October 24, 2017 - 12:36 pm

These last couple weeks, it has been very rainy and so we had a little bit of a leak on the inside of our home. Just like you mentioned, mold can be pretty dangerous and we want to avoid this at all costs. Thank you for helping me understand how to fight the mold and how to find someone to come and do an inspection for us. Thanks again!

Ivy Baker March 29, 2018 - 5:56 pm

I am really scared of my home having mold in the attic. It is good to know that most inspectors will use thermal imaging to find where the moisture is coming from. It seems like a good idea to get the source of the moisture to stop before cleaning up the contaminated area.

Mark Williams August 14, 2018 - 8:57 am

Just had a client accidentally rip off a towel rack in the bathroom, come to find out there is moisture behind the wall and we are still looking for the root cause of this! Going to be a huge mold remediation job. Always make sure to get inspected by a professional…if they hadn’t they probably would’ve covered that right back up and never addressed the issue.

Daphne Gilpin April 1, 2019 - 11:40 am

Thanks for explaining that mold inspections will start will a visual search for water damage and other signs of moisture. My husband and I have noticed our home has been quite humid lately, and I’m worried the humidity might have allowed mold to breed somewhere. Thanks for giving me an idea of what to expect from a professional mold inspection.

thewife April 14, 2019 - 4:56 pm

Hi Daphne,

We’re so pleased that you’ve found this information useful. Mold can take root and develop rather quickly, so if you’re already feeling a bit of humidity, you might want to check out our article on How to Maintain Healthy Moisture Levels in Your Home. If you begin to feel some of the symptoms of mold sickness, or you’re just worried in general, you may want to look into adjusting your diet and taking activated charcoal until you’re able to pinpoint the problem. Consider using a home mold test kit, also.

I hope you discover that your fears have been unwarranted!

– Amanda (MB Staff Writer)

Ellie Davis October 3, 2019 - 12:36 pm

I liked that you mentioned cleaning your gutters regularly will help you to prevent mold and moisture problems. My brother noticed that his house foundation has mold, and we are looking for advice. I will let him know about the benefits of hiring mold remediation services to help him.

Megan Adler October 22, 2019 - 6:59 am

I didn’t know that the mold inspector had to take a sample and then send it to a lab for testing. I’ ve started to notice mold in my living room and I was going to call a mold inspector to come and see if it is toxic. I thought they could test it at that moment but if they have to send it to a lab, it’s going to take longer than I expected. I’m going to call the inspector right away so I can get this sorted as sons a possible.

Conrad O'Connor March 18, 2020 - 11:36 am

It’s good that you point out that hiring a mold inspector can help protect you from the health hazards that mold creates in your home. I suspect my home may have mold in it, so I’m considering buying a mold assessment. I’m going to look for a good provider of mold assessment services in my area to use.

Michelle Catapang April 29, 2020 - 4:42 pm

Thanks for sharing this content and knowledge. Nice blog!

Fred Gibbons June 25, 2020 - 7:05 am

It’s interesting that you point out that you can hire a professional to help you make sure you don’t have toxic mold in your house. My basement recently flooded, so I’m thinking about hiring a mold inspection service to look at the damage. I’m going to look for a reputable provider of mold inspection services in my area to hire.

Verify Air Quality Testing July 9, 2020 - 1:50 am

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Bob Newton July 21, 2020 - 11:47 am

It’s valuable that you point out that having a professional mold inspection done can help protect you and your family from potential health dangers. My basement flooded last weekend, so I’m considering hiring a professional to inspect my home for toxic mold. I’m going to search in my area for a reputable mold inspection service to hire.

Megan Alder July 28, 2020 - 10:30 am

I like how you mentioned mold can be prevented if the house is properly insulated and ventilated at all times. My husband and I have been thinking about calling a mold inspector so that we can get rid of all the mold that is accumulated in our house. I will definitely consider what you recommend to prevent it from happening again once a mold inspector takes care of it.

Kurt Claymore September 7, 2020 - 6:31 am

A typical mold inspection involves the inspector talking to the property owner about any areas where they have seen mold, or where there have been moisture problems or water damage in the past. The inspector will go over the house thoroughly, looking in places known to be prone to mold growth.

Jonathan Hansen September 30, 2020 - 11:45 am

It’s valuable that you elaborate on how getting a professional mold inspection can help make sure that the air on your property is safe to breathe. I want to purchase a local convenience store in the near future, so I’ll want to make sure that I get it inspected for mold. I’m going to look for a reputable mold inspection company in my area to use.

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