If you suspect that you have mold in your home, then you should consult with certified mold inspector that has no ties to any restoration company. There are many companies that offer both inspections and removal, but it has become a well known conflict of interest that people should avoid.
Main Goals Of Inspection
A mold inspector will meet with you at your home or business and do a complete visual inspection. Being that mold problems come from excess moisture, they should have various moisture detection tools to help locate sources of the problem. After the initial check is complete they will perform mold testing to check the air quality levels of mold at the property. This allows the inspector to get a better idea of how severe the colonization is and through the results they can pin point where the mold is most concentrated. Often where the highest concentration of mold occurs is the source of the mold itself. Moisture detection is often very accurate in determining the source of mold but if there is no visible mold, in-wall tests are necessary to confirm the problem. Your mold inspector will help you create a plan for eliminating mold and making sure it stays gone in the future.
All tests should be sent off to an AIHA accredited lab for analysis and the inspector makes a final determination on what needs to happen after that.
Choosing an Unbiased Inspector
Many people often wonder why they should pay a mold inspector to come evaluate a property when many restoration services are offering to come out and look at it for free. A third party mold inspector is out there to evaluate the property, gather tests and provide recommendations for work only when necessary. Often times they tell consumers everything is normal or not bad enough to require professional remediation and offer simple DIY mold removal tips. If a restoration company comes out, they are assuming you do have a problem and will provide an estimate for how much their services will cost. So essentially you are paying a little bit extra up front to ensure you are not getting unnecessary work or be charged for additional unneeded steps once that work actually takes place.
What the Inspector Looks For
Leaky pipes or plumbing seals are common causes of mold. Even a very small drip can cause mold to colonize over time. Be sure to check underneath sinks regularly so you can spot problems before they cause structural damage and mold.
Lack of adequate ventilation in a structure can cause moisture to accumulate and create big problems later on. Heavy moisture loads may mean that drops of condensation or water are present. Bathrooms are a notorious place for mold colonization to occur.
If the roof of your home is older or has not been inspected recently then you may want to consider this when talking to your mold specialist. Leaks in a roof may not be entirely visible to you. At the same time it is essential to make a note of any brown stains or discoloration anywhere near a source of water. Older pipes can sometime have very small leaks that add up to a lot of damage later on.
Ductwork and central heat and air systems can harbor mold and spores. Some of this can be prevented by regularly changing filters and making sure that ductwork is cleaned professionally on occasion. When it comes to filters, don’t skimp on quality. Even the most expensive air filters for central heat are rarely over $15 and last for up to 90 days. One of the most common problems is actually failing to use the HVAC regularly and creating excess humidity and condensation in a building and ultimately mold growth.
Making A Removal Choice
There are various methods and processes to remove mold. A slight mold issue may just require some deep cleaning while more serious problems could mean you need to leave your home for several days during a professional mold remediation. If mold is found in some of your furnishings you will have to face the decision of figuring out what is worth cleaning and what is better off replaced. After mold removal has occurred you may want to have your home retested soon to make sure the problem is truly gone.