Inspections Packed With Value
All of our home inspectors are certified to test for mold. We include a Visual Mold Assessment at no additional charge with every full home inspection. This great value will alert you to conditions that are conducive to mold growth. Keep in mind that some dormant mold may be present in a house that cannot be discovered without testing or destructive investigation such as opening walls.
If needed, and at your request, the inspector can take air, tape or swab samples to be analyzed. There is a flat fee per sample which will save you hundreds of dollars compared to hiring a separate mold inspector. Our inspectors are already there performing a thorough evaluation and testing for moisture. Any samples must be collected at the time of the inspection or additional trip charges will apply to return to the property.
Our inspectors have always been obsessed with finding moisture in the houses we inspect. That’s why our home inspectors are equipped with expensive Infrared Thermal Imaging cameras and electronic moisture meters. Finding moisture can be an indication of other problems. The most common moisture problems come from excessive irrigation, plumbing leaks, and roof leaks. But we have found significant moisture problems from ponds against the house, poorly finished showers, and lack of fresh air exchange.
Mold requires three things; moisture, a proper surface, and air. We have little control over the air and surfaces in a house, but we can control moisture. Mold is naturally occurring in the environment and there are mold spores all around us. Mold is one of nature’s most effective recycling tools. It breaks down organic material like dead trees, food waste, etc. That is why it can be so destructive in your house. In addition, some people are very allergic to various types of mold. You can learn a lot about mold from the U.S. EPA website.
The Black Mold/Toxic Mold Hype
There are many types of mold that all have varying effects on your house and on people’s health. There really is no such thing as “toxic ” or “black” mold. Those terms are used generically and are often used to scare people into expensive remediation. The truth is that different molds can have different effects on different people. But one thing holds true – it can physically damage a house by weakening the wood.
When Should a Mold Test be Performed?
- Suspect Staining/Apparent mold growth – When you can actually see mold-like growth or staining.
- Odors – When you smell odors that cannot be explained.
- Moisture intrusion/water damage – Any leaks from plumbing or exterior can cause mold growth.
- Buying a new house – Someone who will be living in the house has allergies or other health problems.
If physical mold-like material is observable, testing is only recommended to determine the type of mold. However if present, the mold-damaged material needs to be remediated – either cleaned or replaced depending on the material in question.
Air samples are used when odors are present or simply to determine the concentration of mold spores or allergens in the air. If a family member has health issues, the results of a mold test can be sent to a doctor to see if the samples contain allergens for the individual patient. Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants and, in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins). Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis). Allergic reactions to mold are common. They can be immediate or delayed. Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold. In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people. Symptoms other than the allergic and irritant types are not commonly reported as a result of inhaling mold. Research on mold and health effects is ongoing.
Thorough Mold Inspection Services
We provide two types of mold testing for our clients, complete and limited. We perform mold sampling according to the Standards of Practice of the International Association of Certified Indoor Air Consultants (IAC2).
Complete Mold Testing
A complete mold test involves far more than simply taking samples. An experienced professional needs to inspect the entire house and find any areas that may be contributing to a potential mold issue. Our home inspectors are all certified to perform these inspections. They are also equipped better than most “mold inspectors” who simply perform a brief visual inspection. Our inspectors have seen it all and know where to look for moisture. The physical evaluation is a critical step in determining if a house has a mold problem. This is the service you need if you want us to search the entire house for mold, or for your peace of mind knowing what levels of mold exist in a house.
Limited Mold Testing
A limited mold test is limited to one or more areas that are suspected to have potential mold growth without inspecting the entire house. This is the service you want if there are specific areas of concern. You may see evidence of mold growth or smell an odor in one part of the house. In this case, we can take a bulk sample (tape or swab) in areas where you see something on the surface, or air samples if you smell a musty odor without visible signs of mold.
Why is There Such a Difference in Mold Test Pricing From One Company to Another?
While we can’t speak for other companies we can simply say that the varying pricing is simply a matter of marketing. Some companies do not charge for a visual inspection but charge a much greater price for each sample. Others charge a big inspection fee and slightly smaller per-sample charge. Our pricing is simply based on the additional time it takes to perform a visual assessment over and above the home inspection. We only recommend the minimum number of samples we think are required to get the results you need, as dictated by the Standards of Practice.
There is no charge for the standard Visual Mold Assessment when performed at a home inspection. We only charge for sampling at the client’s authorization. This typically requires a second visit to the house to provide adequate time to collect and/or physical samples. the mold inspection.
Mold testing (in conjunction with a home inspection): $550
Includes 4 samples
Mold testing (without a home inspection): $650
Includes 4 samples
This includes standard turn-around time of 3-5 days. Rush results are available for an additional fee.
Charges for samples will be billed at time of the inspection with client’s prior approval of the number of samples. The client will be consulted and will have the final say as to how many additional samples will be taken. Please see our pricing.