About Mold Services ~ ( See our Services below )
"Mold Testing" is a topic with many varying "options". It is also a very "misunderstood" service. We regularly get questions about this topic and because we see so many people getting false information, conflicting information, and/or not getting what they pay for, we decided to get training & certification for both, Mold Testing & Mold Assessment. We are *trained & certified to do either; A "Mold Assessment" at the property, A "Limited Mold Test", or a "Full Mold Testing / Assessment" (which includes interior & exterior air sampling / testing). See details of these service below. Note: Not all inspectors may be "mold certified".
"What Is Mold and is it Dangerous"?
Molds are part of the natural environment. Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are damp or wet. There are thousands of types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture.
Molds do however have the potential to cause health problems. The first and most common types of molds are "allergenic". These molds produce "allergens" (substances that can cause allergic reactions), Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores can cause runny nose, red eyes, skin rash, etc. Next are the "pathogenic" types of molds. These molds may cause more serious issues and problems with infections, pneumonia, etc. These are issues that generally need a doctors care. Lastly there are the "Toxigenic" types of mold. These molds produce "mycotoxins". This is a much more dangerous type of mold, and can lead to fungus in the lungs, cancer, and even death.
Important note: Any contact with mold may lead to immediate or delayed responses, and different people will react differently to mold exposure. This information is general and provides only a brief overview; it does not describe all potential health effects related to mold exposure. People with allergies or a reduced immune system can be greatly affected. For full and more detailed information, you should consult a health professional.
So why is "Mold Testing" such a confusing "Service / Topic"?
1) Well first of all, There is no "standardized service" for what is called "mold testing". Different companies use different terms and information. What is called "Mold Testing" in the industry, can mean a great variety of services. (See our services below). Furthermore, there are currently no EPA, state or federal "mold limits" that have been set for mold or mold spores, so sampling result opinions can vary. Keep in mind however, elevated mold indoors can be a serious problem.
2) There are "mold cleaning companies" out there that will offer to do inexpensive, or even free, so called "mold testing or assessment". We find that almost always these types of, "mold tests" are just a complete "dis-service and very misleading" to a homeowner / buyer. In fact what many of these company's are doing is just looking for "mold cleaning work". You should always have a 3rd party check for mold issues. Do not hire a mold cleaning company that may be just "looking for business". What services "you may want or need" may vary greatly from what other people want or need. In a real estate transaction for example, the term "mold test" can mean many things; a "full mold assessment" (commonly done), just "testing of a suspect mold area" observed (also commonly done), or it could mean a "full mold test & assessment" of the home. (rarely done, or not usually needed).
4) Test results and analysis, can vary greatly between; people, labs, and even test methods. Note that in most cases it is not important to "identify" the type of mold present, (its usually just not needed). No mold is good for you, so getting rid of it, and the moisture issues that caused it is "key". Of course, people with "mold related health issues" may need to more fully identify mold, per a doctors request, or just for their own reasons.
What "Mold Testing" services do we offer?
"Mold Assessment": (About $70.) This is a commonly requested service in a real estate transaction and usually done in conjunction with a standard "home inspection". This type of "mold assessment" will include a full visual check of the home in all accessible locations. This includes attics, general living spaces, basements, crawl areas, etc. It will also include reporting of "favorable conditions" relevant to possibly mold growth, and recommendations of actions to take. This service does not include; "mold samples, air or surface samples, or any other "mold analysis". These types of "mold testing" services (lab analysis), are availably however, should suspect mold be present. See information abount "limited mold testing" below.
"Limited Mold Testing": (Price varies based on number of tests done). Limited mold testing can be done when there is "visible suspect mold" present to determine; 1) If it in fact there is mold present, and 2) What type of mold it may be. These "limited mold tests" can be added to a "Mold Assessment" or with any "general home inspection" when suspect mold is present. If done in conjuction with a Mold Assessmnet" a full report & and separate mold lab analysis, will be done. If done as part of a general "Home inspection", there will be a "lab provided mold report" only."
"Air / Surface Mold Tests": ($175 & up). This more detailed type of mold test is done to determine mold related "air quality of the home". Air mold sampling is done both inside & out to determine problems and/or issues that may be present. Surface mold sampling may also be done depending on why the test is being done or what conditions are present. This is a common type of test, especially if there will be occupants of the home that are sensitive to mold related issues. It may also be done "after mold cleaning" has been done to verify that cleaning was done properly, successfully.
"Full Mold Testing". This is a full "Assessment and Mold Testing" of the home and includes a full assessment, including indoor and outdoors mold test samples, and may also include other surface sampling. (carpet samples, furnace sample, duct samples, etc.) This includes a "Full Mold Analysis and Full Mold Testing Report". This service is in the $300. plus range, depending on the size of the home, number of levels, and testing needed / requested.