Mold Testing verses Mold Assessment
Most Virginia home buyers are not aware that Virginia does not require home inspectors to tell potential home buyers about mold even if they find it during the home inspection. In fact, Virginia abolished the mold licensing requirement in 2012. Now any person can claim they are a mold inspector because there are no requirements for education or experience. This leaves the home buyer in a very unfortunate position. If the home inspector mentions mold in your home inspection report and does not refer you to a professional mold inspector, you could receive inaccurate information about mold in the home you are about to purchase. Sometimes this inaccurate information is due to inexperience and lack of knowledge. Other times, inaccurate information regarding mold in your home is intentional, so the deal does not fall through. Mold can make you sick, mold also destroys what it is growing on. If the mold is growing on structural support members, well that is a problem too! Aztec Home Inspections Inc mold inspector received his first mold inspection certification in 2004 and has achieved other mold inspection certifications since that time. Remember it’s your money and it’s your health! Don’t leave mold to the layperson! Request documentation of education and training, request a mold inspector certification.
Many know about mold testing, but only a few have heard of a mold assessment. There is a huge difference, and it could cost you thousands if you make the wrong choice.
Mold can hide in the most unbelievable places and unless you look for it, and know-how to look for it, you will not find it. Mold can grow at an alarming rate and a small area can quickly become a large area. Mold will make you, your family, and your visitors sick. Mold testing alone can return negative results and leave you unaware of the large area of growth in the attic, crawlspace, and HVAC system. Mold testing by its self is not recommended by the EPA, AIHA or the CDC. Its a waste of your money!
The sample report below, is of an actual Mold Assessment conducted by Aztec Home Inspections Inc. The lab results for this evaluation show that problem mold was present. If the person evaluating your home for mold does not conduct a thorough visual evaluation a lot of mold growth can go undetected. This can leave you and your doctor scratching your heads.
Mold sampling by its self takes about 45 minutes, enough time to simply collect air samples. You then get a lab report and that’s it.
Aztec Home Inspections Inc believes you deserve better.
Our Mold Assessments typically take 2-3 hours. You get a full report with full-color digital photographs, videos when necessary, and we scan the property with a FLIR thermal camera. The Mold Remediation or Sanitization Protocols provide instructions on how to combat the discovered mold and water problems. This information along with the lab results will give you the information necessary to turn your sick home into a healthy home. Your home will feel better, but more importantly, you will feel better and breathe easier. A Certified Visual Mold Evaluation is included with all of our home inspections.
Mold Evaluation and Testing
A certified visual mold evaluation is included with every home inspection. Mold Testing, if necessary will be determined at the end of the home inspection after we have documented proof to justify the testing fee. Mike Donitzen, the owner of Aztec Home Inspections Inc, is a certified mold inspector, tester, and remediator. Mike also holds certifications for moisture intrusion. With certifications from MICRO, the International Association of Indoor Air Consultants, (IAQ2), and NORMI, you can rest assured you are getting the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding mold, mold inspection, testing, and remediation. The Certified Visual Mold Evaluation provides you insight and guidance to assist you in determining if mold testing should be conducted. This saves you both time and money. Instead of referring you to another company that may charge up to $450.00 to just collect samples. Aztec Home Inspections Inc also offers a Mold Assessment evaluation which is much like a home inspection but the focus is on moisture intrusion and mold growth. Just like all homes have some level of radon, all homes have mold spores, but should never have actual mold growth. Mold growth is visible, but mold spores cannot be seen without the use of a microscope.
Harrisonburg Mold “Black” Mold Testing
An abundance of mold spores in your home can have a negative affect on your health, even dead mold spores! Occupants with allergies, asthma and other health issues are more susceptible, but mold spores active, dormant or dead can affect anyone. Some molds can cause serious health issues and should only be removed by professionals. If you have mold growth or think you have a mold problem, Call Aztec Home Inspections Inc and get your home inspected and tested! Protect your health and and your home!
Mold Spores Are Every Where
Mold spores are everywhere and their purpose is to aid in the breakdown and decay of organic matter. Before cleanup, Aztec Home Inspections Inc can conduct a mold assessment on your home or business and provide guidance in moisture control, identifying the level of mold spores and the species of the mold growth. Provide mold remediation or sanitization protocols for the mold remediator.
The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) states that areas smaller than 3 feet by 3 feet can be cleaned by the average homeowner. But recommends larger areas be professionally removed and any item that cannot be cleaned, like drywall and insulation, is to be removed and replaced. The EPA also recommends testing, contrary to what you may have heard. In fact when dealing with an HVAC system the EPA states to turn it off, collect samples and do not turn it back on until the mold ahs been irradiated. During your mold assessment, Aztec Home Inspections Inc’s goal is to discover the point of origin (moisture). Moisture is the number one ingredient mold needs to grow so it stands to reason that if we control the moisture we control the mold. As a certified mold inspector, it is also my goal to teach you about mold spores and how high moisture and moisture intrusion relates to mold growth. Every home has mold spores, but contrary to a myth I hear quite often, every home does not have mold. The total indoor air mold spore count when compared to outside air mold spore count should be lower, if not then there is considerable evidence that an indoor mold problem exists. However, mold testing alone should never be the only criteria used to determine if a property does or does not have a mold problem. The presence of an odor or lack of odor is not an indicator that should be used to determine if a mold problem does or does not exist.
EPA’s Advice On Mold Growth
According to the EPA, there is no practical way to eliminate mold spores (not mold growth) from any indoor environment; moisture and humidity control will work to control the growth of mold, but all visible growth must be removed. If you have growth, the first step is to fix the source of the moisture, plumbing leaks and roof leaks, improper site drainage and clogged gutters are the most common causes of moisture intrusion in residential housing. The recommended indoor humidity level is between 30 and 50%, which will decrease the potential for mold growth. Once the moisture intrusion has been remediated, remove all mold growth and dispose of all contaminated material, including furniture.
FOOGING TO REMOVE MOLD! BEWARE!
The fogging method is not accepted across the industry and is known as the “spray and pray method”. It does not kill 100% of the mold and therefore only eliminates live mold spore for a short period of time. Per Chapter 1 Lesson 7 of the EPA Mold Course even dead spore may cause an allergic reactions and other health issues in some individuals. Killing the mold is not enough all mold growth must be removed. The fogging method does not remove any of the mold growth and that is why it is not an industry accepted practice.
Take Action To Prevent Mold Growth
Check all bathroom vents, dryers, or any other moisture-producing sources. Ensure they are venting to the exterior of the home. Air conditioning systems are a great way to add humidity to the air and de-humidifiers will remove humidity from the air. Increased ventilation can assist in reducing humidity levels especially in attics of older homes and crawlspaces. When a water leak or water intrusion occurs, clean up the water and furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth. Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, or white vinegar and force dry immediately and completely. Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles, insulation, and drywall that are moldy, may need to be replaced. Don’t install carpeting on concrete floors when there is frequent moisture intrusion or condensation build-up.
Symptoms of indoor mold allergies can include, but are not limited to: sneezing, conjunctivitis (pink eye), chronic cough, runny nose, nasal congestion, itchy watery and red eyes, skin rashes and hives, sinus headache, rhinitis (inflammation of the sinuses), bronchitis, asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, difficulty breathing. You may have one or more of these symptoms but it does not mean you have an indoor mold problem. Other conditions must be present and a through property inspection should be conducted to determine if mold growth in present, the type (species) of growth and if moisture intrusion points exits.