Professional Mold Inspection and Testing
Unless mold is visible to the naked eye, many people have no idea that it is in their home. A majority of people do this with DIY mold testing kits. However, a more thorough and effective method is to hire a professional mold testing and inspection company.
Black Mold Inspection Checklist
Not every home needs professional mold testing and inspection and sometimes knowing when to make this decision can be as difficult as finding the mold. Below is a checklist that can be used to determine if this is the right decision.
Are there people in the home that are at a higher risk of being ill?
Infants, the elderly, asthmatics, or people who have comprised immune systems are at the greatest risk. Therefore, if any of these people are living in the home, a professional is a must.
Are people living in the home sick?
If there are people in the home that are constantly sick and there seems to be no plausible explanation, or if a doctor has suggested that mold might be the culprit, then hiring a professional is a good idea.
Has there been a situation in which there has been a lot of water damage?
Floods, leaking pipes or roofs, sewer backups, or ventilation problems can all lead to significant water damage. This water damage can result in the growth of mold. If this has happened, it is highly recommended to hire a professional.
Do you know you have mold but don’t know the extent?
If there is documented mold growth in the home, there is no way to determine the extent of the problem without hiring a professional.
Hire a Mold Professional
Once the decision has been made to hire a professional, the next step is to actually hire one. Some tips to keep in mind when choosing a mold specialist are:
Ask friends and family for referrals to companies they have used.
Make sure that a written evaluation is provided that specifically states the areas of the house that were inspected, the cause of the mold, the extent of the mold growth, how the problem can be fixed, and an approximate or better yet absolute cost.
Make sure that the laboratories that are being used to analyze the mold samples are accredited by either the American Industrial Hygiene Association or by the EPA.
Check with the Better Business Bureau to learn the status of the company and to learn if any complaints and/or lawsuits have been filed against them.
As with any service, it is Buyer Beware, but if you do your homework and you know exactly what type of company you are contracting with, the process should go smoothly.
Professional Black Mold Tests
Professional mold testers basically perform two different types of tests: air sampling tests and surface sampling tests. An air sampling consists of taking samples of the air in the home at various times and locations. This type of test will determine if there are mold spores floating around in the home.
A surface sampling test on the other hand consists of taking samples from affected surfaces. Unfortunately, this test doesn’t provide the exact concentration of spores in the air but it works great to determine the exact type of mold in the house. Surface sampling is done in one of two ways — by using a q-tip like device to swab the mold or by using sticky tape obtain a sample. Either method chosen is then sealed and shipped to a lab for analysis.
Black Mold Inspection Cost
Depending on the size of the house, the extent of the mold growth, the types of testing done, and the equipment used the price can generally range from $250 to $900. It is also important to realize that if any additional paperwork needs to be completed, such as to file an insurance claim, it could involve additional costs.