Sample Mold Assessment Report
This sample Certified Mold Assessment Report is from an actual mold assesment conducted by Aztec Home Inspections inc. We have removed all clinet data and changed the report cover photo, all other comments and pictures are a clear presentation of the mold assessment service we provide. Sample Report
Why We Do What We Do and Why We Do It That Way
In July 2022 DPOR issued “RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY DISCLOSURE STATEMENT REQUIRED NOTICE FOR BUYER TO EXERCISE NECESSARY DUE DILIGENCE” a mold assessment conducted by a business that follows the guidelines provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Therefore, the old way of simply collecting mold samples is out the window. We conduct mold assessments according to mold assessment guidelines established by the EPA and recognized by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulations (DPOR).
Sampling for mold should be conducted by professionals who have specific experience in designing mold sampling protocols, sampling methods, and interpreting results. Sample analysis should follow analytical methods recommended by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), or other professional organizations.
It is our goal to help every client understand mold, to assist them in getting their living environment to a healthy condition, and to keep it healthy. We do this by providing our clients with the information they need, actionable clear, and concise information. We answer the where, why and what questions. Where is mold growth present within the property? Why is there mold growth within the property? What needs to be done to remove and prevent mold growth from returning? In order for this to take place, a full assessment of the property must be conducted. Unlike other mold testers/mold inspectors, we are not there just to get your money. We are here to help solve your mold problem.
Virginia Code Change and Mold Growth
The Virginia Department of Health set a standard for Virginia around 2020 and the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulations (DPOR) followed up on July 1, 2022 and issued Virginia Code 55.1-703. Mold assessments must be conducted prior to mold testing and must be conducted by businesses that follow the EPA guidelines. These guidelines can be found in, A Brief Guide to Mold Moisture and Your Home, Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings, also used for a residential setting, and Should You Have Your Air Ducts in Your Home Cleaned.
No more can the consumer be taken advantage of by mold inspectors and mold testers that come into the property and simply take air samples. Many may even ask the homeowner or property owner where they seen mold growth, so the mold inspector or mold tester could collect a sample from that location. This mold inspection service brings up some very important questions.
- Who is the professional and why are they being paid?
- They were called for their expertise; why are they asking their client where the mold is?
- Should they not look for it, it’s their job.
- After all, it’s why they are being paid.
Mold Testing versus Mold Assessment and Testing
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. Though home inspectors do not have to report mold to potential buyers, if they do choose to do so and do not meet the current Virginia code, they should refer their client to a Certified Professional who does. When you hire Aztec Home Inspections Inc. you also hire a Certified Mold Professional, this saves you time and money.
Mold testing consists of a visit to the property that lasts about 45 minutes. IN that time the mold tester will collect samples typically at the locations recommended by the property owner, a home inspectors reports, or the occupants. Unfortunately, that is not the correct procedure and can provide very inaccurate results. The property seller may end up paying for unnecessary mold remediation or the home buyer may move into a mold problem home.
Testing is only a part of the process and by itself can give inaccurate results that lead to inaccurate advice.
Mold Assessment and Testing
A mold assessment is a complete evaluation of the property to discover not only where visible mold growth is located, but to understand why the mold growth is present. A proper mold assessment will take 1.5-2 hours to complete, includes a full mold assessment report, a certified lab report and mold remediation/sanitization protocols. Sample collection locations are based on the assessment findings thus establishing testing protocols that are directed by a possible biased party and does not overlook other mold contaminated areas in the home. Removing mold growth without stopping the cause, only treats the symptom, if the cause of mold growth is not removed the mold growth will return in a very short time, in as little as 24-48 hours. A mold assessment provides direction on stopping the cause of the mold growth, direction in mold remediation/sanitization and does not just address the symptom of the underlying problem. Fixed the cause, remove the mold, maintain a low relative humidity environment and never pay again.
What Is a Mold Assessment?
A mold assessment provides the client, home buyer, home seller, and a landlord with actionable information. Important information about mold, such as where water intrusion is occurring or if the potential for water intrusion exists, where plumbing leaks are located, condensation leaks or roof leaks are located, where the mold growth exists, and what you should do next. The simple process of collecting mold samples only provides you with the lab report, and without the mold assessment there is no actionable information. So, mold testing lab reports alone should not be used to make a decision regarding the mold condition of any property.
A mold assessment is an evaluation of the exterior of the property to locate and identify potential or existing points of water intrusion. Inadequate grading around the property, clogged and overflowing gutters, missing gutters, no downspout leaders, roof leaks, openings in the siding, and cracks in the exterior sealant are all potential or existing water intrusion points.
The interior of the property is evaluated for plumbing, roofing, and condensation leaks, along with verifiable points of water intrusion. During the interior mold assessment walls, ceilings, cabinets, and furniture are investigated for a substance that is fuzzy and standing off the surface. However, this does not mean that the substance is mold. Relative humidity readings should be taken at various areas and levels of the property. The HVAC system is evaluated by removing floor registers to view down the branch ducting as far as possible, evaluating the air register for the presence of fuzzy growth, evaluating the cleanliness of the air filter, and removing the air handler access cover to evaluate the inside of the air handler for the presence of mold growth.
The crawlspace, unfinished basement, cellars, and attics are evaluated for water intrusion, humidity buildup due to lack of ventilation, water intrusion or plumbing leaks, and the presence of mold growth.
Once the mold assessment is complete the mold inspector/tester can begin to understand the property as it relates to water intrusion, humidity buildup, and the visible presence of mold growth. This information is then used to determine where to collect mold samples and determine if and why the property has a mold problem.
As the mold samples are being collected they should be immediately labeled by location and photographic documentation. The mold samples should be shipped as soon as possible to a mold lab certified by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) or the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH).
When the mold test lab report is received the mold assessment report and mold remediation and/or mold sanitization protocols are produced. The mold assessment, mold remediation, and/or sanitization protocols along with the certified mold test lab report are delivered to the client.
Why Mold Testing Alone Should Never Be Accepted
Mold spores are present in every indoor environment in varying concentrations and they are present in the outside air in varying concentrations. Indoor relative humidity will impact mold growth and when the relative humidity is less than 60% mold growth goes dormant and stops growing. The amount of vegetation around a home can increase outdoor air concentrations while snow covered ground can reduce the outdoor air concentrations.
If the roof leak or water intrusion that caused the mold growth to form has not leaked in a while, the mold will stop growing and this reduces the air concentration. Mold testing by itself cannot determine if there is mold growth in the attic, in the basement, in the HVAC system or how much is there. Therefore, the testing result can be misleading and provide a false negative or a false positive.
Because now covered ground can result in a low outside air concentration and present a finding of elevated indoor air concentrations and lead to a conclusion the home has a mold problem when actually there is very little visible mold growth.
Mold must have 60% relative humidity to grow. So, if relative humidity inside the home is less than 60% or the mold growth is a result of intermittent water intrusion, an intermittent plumbing leak, or a roof leak it will go dormant and stop sporulating (growing and putting off mold spore) when the water source stops. This action reduces the mold concentration in the indoor air, thus showing low mold spore concentrations in the indoor air resulting in a determination from the lab that the property does not have a mold problem. On the other hand, there may have been high winds or current or recent rain that lowered the outside air concentration resulting in a determination from the lab that the property has a mold problem, but had no visible mold growth. This is why a mold assessment is so important. Sampling is a part of the criteria used to determine if a property does or does not have a mold problem; the assessment is the other piece of the puzzle. Without the mold assessment, the lab report is just paper with words and numbers.
Simple mold testing without understanding the inside and outside environment that is being tested will provide misleading and inaccurate results. The EPA, CDC, AIHA all conclude that a mold assessment must be conducted before testing. In July 2022 the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulations concurred when the y enacted VA Code 55.1-703
Relative Humidity is Your Enemy
Because mold spores are naturally in the air both inside and outside, the only way to prevent indoor mold growth is to control the relative humidity and keep it below 60%. One cannot prevent mold growth if the relative humidity is not kept in check, if water intrusion sources and other water leaks are not corrected. Mold remediation and/or mold sanitization is a waste of money if you do not address the water/moisture sources to prevent future water intrusion and future mold growth.
EPA Mold Testing
We have heard countless time “the EPA says mold testing is not necessary’ yet, the EPA does not say that at all. Most cases (most being the keyword) is not all cases. So, what determines when mold testing is necessary? Well clearly, when buying a home that you have spent very little time in, and the property has more than ten SqFt of a mold-like substance or a mold-like growth in the HVAC system, testing would be necessary. In fact, it is just wise to test. Until you have spent a few days to weeks in the property, you do not know how the mold growth will impact your health. Did you know that the EPA recommends shutting down HVAC systems until the substance is identified? That’s because HVAC systems will spread mold spores throughout the entire property. The cost of mold remediation/sanitization can be high; it’s better to know what that cost may be before you buy and before you get sick.
We have heard this on serval occasions “How do you know it’s mold if you didn’t do any testing?” On one hand, the selling side has a point looking at a questionable substance and calling it mold, or saying it’s not mold is ludicrous. Mold can only be identified under direct microscopic examination. As a seller, I would not want to face the cost of mold remediation/sanitization unless it has been proven by a certified lab that the substance is mold. On the other hand, saying the EPA says mold testing is not necessary can be due to a lack of knowledge of the subject matter or intentional. Remember, you will be the one living there.
It’s also clear that an assessment of the property must be conducted before samples are collected and a sampling plan is formulated. The purpose is to determine if a mold colony is sporulating and how far the mold spores are traveling. There can be a mold colony in the basement that is growing and through air currents, the mold spores can reach the top-floor bedrooms. Without the assessment and proper testing, this knowledge would not be obtained. It’s very important to know there is a high air concentration of mold spore in a bedroom that has no visible mold growth. It’s important to understand where the mold spores are coming from and why the mold growth is present. Without that information, you cannot adequately clean the property and reduce the mold spore air concentration.
Harrisonburg Mold “Black” Mold Testing
An abundance of mold spores in your home can have a negative effect 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 and schedule your Mold Assessment and Testing today! Protect your health and your home! Spores Are Every Where
There is and has been a lot of media hype over “BLACK MOLD”. The issue is mold can be a multitude of colors and just because its black does not mean it’s the BLACK MOLD. The black mold that the media is referring to is Stachybotrys chartarum and is actual a dark, dark green color, not black. Stachy for short has been linked to many health-related issues, from respiratory, immunological, neurological to etiological. With mold being a multitude of colors they only way to know the species is to test. But other common indoor molds like Penicillium/Aspergillus and chaetomium can impact an individual’s health too. Testing is the only way to know the mold species and air concentration.
All though mold spores are everywhere and their purpose is to aid in the breakdown and decay of organic matter. You do not want it growing in your home and you do not want high indoor air concentrations.
Get a true mold assessment and testing, get real guidance on mold remediation and the cause of mold growth!
EPA’s Advice On Mold Growth
The EPA, CDC, WHO and the AIHA all make it very clear.
“Spaying to kill the mold is not enough, even dead mold spore can cause an allergic reaction.”
“ALL MOLD GROWTH MUST BE REMOVED”.
There is no gray area here, if the mold growth is not completely removed you will have an immediate mold recontamination and live mold growth can also remain after spraying and fogging.
We have been called to many homes after spraying and fogging has taken place, collected sample and sent then to the lab to culture. Out of all the times, 100% of the time the lab grew mold from the samples. The client spent money to have the mold problem taken care of only to find that the issue remained.
The mold growth must be removed, if the material the mold growth is growing on cannot be cleaned it must be removed and replaced with new material.
Fogging Does Not Remove Mold Growth! 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 spores and does not fully penetrate the mold growth. Therefore, it only kills (does not remove) some of live mold spores floating in the air and only does so for a short period of time. Per Chapter 1 Lesson 7 of the EPA Mold Course, even dead spores may cause an allergic reaction 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.
If you have had mold fogging and want to know the mold condition of your home give Aztec Home Inspections Inc a call and set up an appointment to have you home evalauted.
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.
Mold Exposure Symptoms
Symptoms of exposure to mold 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 thorough Certified Mold Assessment inspection should be conducted to determine if mold growth is present, the type (species) of growth and if water/moisture intrusion points and water leaks exist.