What is Mold?
Mold is a fungal growth that forms and spreads on various kinds of damp or decaying organic matter. There are many different mold species that come in many different colors. Molds are sometimes referred to as mildew. They are found both indoors and outdoors in all climates, during all seasons of the year.
When do I need a Mold Inspection?
When visible mold is not present, but the smell of mold is. Here a mold inspection and mold test can reveal whether there is indeed elevated mold, and where it is located.
There have been plumbing leaks or water issues and there is a suspicion that elevated mold may exist in the air and/or behind walls.
Post Mold Removal Clearance Testing to ensure that the previous mold issue has been resolved and mold counts have returned to levels found in normal environments of the same type.
Health Concerns: In some cases, a doctor or the patient has a health issue that they cannot pinpoint the cause but seems to be related to mold symptoms (coughing, sneezing, headaches, etc). Here, a mold inspection and test may help to confirm whether the doctor’s or patient’s suspicions that a mold problem exists.
For real estate transactions for the protection of Buyers and Sellers.
Landlord/Tenant disputes as to whether there is a mold problem.
Someone thinks they see or smell mold but are not sure.
Someone is interested in a general Indoor Air Quality test of their environment.
How can I prevent mold growth?
Repair leaks promptly. Whether it is a leak in your roof or a rusted out water pipe, fix leaks and keep moisture out of your house.
Clean and dry things promptly. If your basement floods or condensation from your air-conditioner drips onto a carpet, dry everything out within 24 to 48 hours. Mold needs moisture to grow, so prompt drying is vital.
Control humidity. Extremely humid air can provide enough moisture for mold to form on some surfaces. Use a dehumidifier in your basement and run air-conditioning when possible during the summer. Install vents in your kitchen and bathroom. This will keep humidity down and keep moisture under control.
Mold inspection is, for the most part, a visual inspection of a house. There’s no special equipment involved aside from a good flashlight and tools that are sometimes needed to access restricted areas (like removing grates to inspect HVAC ducts). Our mold inspector may use an endoscopic camera. A moisture meter might also be useful in determining if a particular area is wet, especially after remediation.
If there is mold or, conditions conducive to mold growth, the inspector may conduct testing by sampling a small portion of it for lab analysis, or collect air samples for analysis by the lab. This can determine if the suspected mold growth is actually mold, or uncover it’s presence if it can’t be located.
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. If there is a chance mold is growing in an inaccessible space, the inspector may have to damage a section of drywall or remove paneling to get a better look. If mold is detected, the inspector will try to find the source of the moisture that is causing the mold and talk to the homeowner to develop a remediation plan.
Both the EPA and experts suggest that a mold inspection is unnecessary if you can see mold. You can move right to the remediation step. You do not need to pay a professional inspector to tell you what you already know. However, the remediation process will generally involve the contractor determining the extent of the problem, which is effectively a mold inspection.
To schedule a Mold Inspection in Maryland, Washington D.C., Northern Virginia, or a surrounding area, contact us today at 410-925-1055.