Mold Inspection- A Breakdown of What to Expect During a Mold Inspection
When should you get one and what to expect when one is performed
A few simple rules of thumb is, all homes have mold and if you see it, than you have it. It doesn't require a professional mold inspector to tell you that you have mold if its something you can visually see. Its what you cant see that can cause the most problems, mold spores.
When are mold inspections performed?
Typically, there are four instances when a mold inspection is performed or should be performed.
Pre-purchase of a new home or building (home/building inspection)- Purchaser wants to ensure that mold is not present or if it is present, at to what extent. Does it require remediation?
Noticing physical systems of mold exposure- Feeling sickness or allergy type symptoms and want to identify if its mold, the extent of the mold, what species of mold and what locations. Is remediation needed? If it is needed the inspector should determine the protocols of mold remediation.
Remediation- Mold has already been discovered and remediation is necessary to remove the mold. Pre-remediation air-sampling and post clearance air-sampling are necessary and should be performed by a third-party entity. Pre-remediation testing will give you the spore counts prior to removal and post clearance testing lets you know the work was done properly.
Visually seeing mold and want to know the extent- A mold inspection is performed when you can visually see the mold but suspect its much larger than you can see.
These are the primary reason to have a professional mold inspection and testing.
What is the cost of a mold inspection?
A professional mold inspection can be fairly inexpensive, usually costing anywhere between $600.00-$1,000.00 depending on the size of the property, crawlspace, attic space, and age of the home.
To justify that cost, most mold inspections consist of a extensive report that includes; Mold spore counts (air-sampling lab report), mold location, exterior moisture intrusion, grading, leak control, recommendations and or remediation protocol, its so much more than just visually inspecting a property for mold.
What can I expect during the mold inspection?
Mold inspection can be fairly simple or very complex depending on the building that is being inspected. Below is what a standard mold inspection consist and as you can see the older or larger a building is the more time consuming and complex it can become.
Time- on average 1 1/2- 2 hours to complete a mold inspection.
Exterior inspection- gutter/downspouts, yard grading, landscaping, and wall covering.
Interior inspection- sinks, tubs, showers, HVAC, windows/doors, interior walls and ceiling.
Highly suspect locations- Crawlspaces, attics, HVAC closets, registers, laundry rooms and exterior wall penetrations. Its a dirty job but someone has to do it.
Moisture meter testing- An inspector will use a moisture meter in suspect areas throughout the house to check moisture levels.
Thermal imaging- An inspector uses this to check for moisture in the ceiling and walls, with surface temperature changes. When a blue spot or colder temperature is noticed they will use their moisture meter to identify if its water or air intrusion.
Relative humidity measurement- An inspector does take relative humidity measurement reading throughout the house.
Air sampling (spore count)- air sampling should consist of 4-6 samples taken throughout the house or building, with one of those samples taken outdoors as a control sample for the lab.
How should the final report look?
Although, most companies layout their report formatting differently they almost always include the same information. They should consist of the cover page, summary page, inspection/instrument page, lab sampling page, photographs, recommendation page and or remediation protocol page.
The report can be a little lengthy, but should be broken down for easy reading and understanding of what was discovered during the inspection.
Cover page- customer and inspection company information
Summary page- A summarized report of the inspection
Lab report- Labs findings of the air sampling
Photographs- photos of discovered issues
Instruments used for testing- brief description of the instruments used for testing
Recommendations- inspection companies recommendations of what was discovered
Remediation protocols- Inspector remediation recommendations for a remediation company to follow.
Home inspection companies always offer a final consultation to the building owner. This is where they can go over the discoveries and recommendation with you.