When it comes to mold inspection and testing, there’s some great news for many people. It’s a little bit of a “secret” for most mold companies, but we’re happy to tell you so that you can save time and money when wondering about the ins and outs of inspections and testing. That secret is this:
You don’t need professional mold testing, air sampling, or mold inspectors invading your home IF you have mold growing in your home and it is visible.
That’s right. If you can do your own visual inspection and come up positive for the presence of mold growth that you can see, then you don’t need us or any other company coming in and charging you just to say, “yes, that’s mold and now you need someone to clean it for you”.
However, sometimes you can’t see the mold and you don’t know if mold is present in your walls, ceiling, bathroom, etc. So this month we’re going to talk about when you should get a mold inspection for your potential mold problems and what that even means.
What is Testing vs. Inspection?
Some people, like Sunsation Restoration, will list mold inspection and mold testing as “mold assessment,” and other companies may list them as a separate service. But what exactly is mold inspection and testing? Are they the same or are they different?
Mold testing involves finding out what type of mold is invading your space and how prevalent it is. This is to give you the “flavor” of your mold invasion, and there are times when this service is especially useful. For instance, black mold is a rare problem in Florida homes, but you may want to pay for a mold test if your mold professional thinks that you may have a nasty colony of black mold growing where you live. However, most mold tests or either unreliable or unnecessary – it’s much better to invest in a mold inspection instead!
Mold inspection is the most important type of assessment that your remediation professional will conduct at your property. Mold inspections determine the actual area that the mold has impacted and the source. This process can be simple or more complicated depending on the type of equipment your mold inspector tends to use. Some jobs require only a tool belt and a flashlight to get the job done, but others may employ a camera, moisture meter, and other fancier pieces of equipment to locate the mold in your home. It depends on your situation and the company that you use.
The inspection will involve looking in areas that tend to encourage mold growth. Sometimes, determining the extent of the mold growth will require going into hard-to-access areas like grates, vents, or even behind drywall. When there is mold growing, the second phase of the inspection is to figure out why the mold is growing. Then, we fix it with mold remediation.
When Should I Get a Mold Inspection?
This is not as tricky a question as many companies would have you think. There are just a few definite times when you should talk to a professional mold inspector like Sunsation Restoration.
Signs Without Visible Mold
First, you should get a mold inspection if you see symptoms of mold without seeing the mold. This could include all the symptoms we’ve discussed before, like a musty smell or discoloration on walls and ceilings. If there are any people in your home or business who start having allergy or asthma reactions or cold symptoms without cause, the culprit may be mold hiding in the background.
An Unoccupied Building
Second, you should get mold inspection and testing if you’re buying a new home or building. When a home closes up for any period of time (especially in Brevard county), you’re likely to have mold growth. Without any form of climate control or air conditioning inside the building, humidity and heat create a great environment for mold growth. A test of the indoor air quality brings great insight into any hidden water damage or rampant mold growth that happened while the home was unoccupied.
Buying a New Home
The same thing goes for purchasing a new home! You can never tell what kind of damage lurks in the corners from old roof damage, broken pipes, flooding, storms, and other types of water damage. If the previous owners didn’t know about an issue or were negligent, there could be mold in the walls, ceilings, basement, or attic that you won’t know about without a test. Get an inspection before any real estate transactions.
After Remediation Work
Once you’ve invested tons of money into the necessary services to fully remove the nasty mold colony creeping through your ceiling, you want to get a mold inspection to make sure that all the mold is actually gone. If there is still mold left, you need to call the company and let them know that they need to come back to finish the job. While this may seem tedious and difficult, clearance testing is a very important step to make sure the mold removing process is successful and it doesn’t come back. TIP: don’t use the same company for both inspection and remediation in order to avoid a conflict of interest.
Can I Just Test By Myself?
So, if mold inspections and tests are so expensive and difficult to organize, why can’t I just buy one of the home mold tests from the store and do it myself?
While this may seem to save time or money, they’re actually borderline useless. Every home has mold, which is all the test is going to tell you. Mold spores exists everywhere, in the air and flowing through your car, home, business, work, etc.
When you test the air in your home, you will have issues both with the sampling and the interpretation. For these things to work in a mold test, you need a certified professional to do the sampling and the visual inspection. Even the government agrees! The only way to truly get accurate levels of mold or surface sampling is to have someone like Sunsation Restoration complete your home inspection.
Where to Get Started
Find a licensed and certified company in your area to complete your mold assessment work. It’s very important to find a professional and not try to complete your testing by yourself. There are plenty of companies all over Florida that have the expertise to help you, and you should begin as soon as possible if you think that you may have a mold problem.
And remember, don’t order an expensive assessment if you can see the massive mold growth! Go ahead and call a remediation company and contact a representative to see what can be covered by insurance. You’ll thank us later when you prevent future damage to your home!