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How to Find the Right Mold Inspector

 

 

A Accredited Mold Inspection Service, Inc. provides mold tests and consultation on homes and commercial buildings large and small throughout Palm Beach, Miami - Dade, and Broward Counties. 
For information on our services visit: floridamoldinspectors.us or for info on our quilifications visit:  http://floridamoldinspectors.us/mold-and-iaq-inspectors-certification-education.htm

 

If the cause, location, and extent of a mold problem in your home or office is known, then finding a mold inspector to diagnose and document the problem may not be needed.

If the cause, or location, or extent of the mold problem is a mystery, then you have to take great care in finding a qualified mold inspector who can utilize the proper inspection skills and mold detection equipment to help put the pieces of the puzzle together.

All too often homeowners, maintenance men, contractors, roofers, plumbers, AC contractors, and even mold inspectors and mold remediators fail to discover the root cause of the problem.

As a result the mold problem returns after repeated and costly failed attempts to remove it.

If you need a certified mold inspector who can locate, detecte, and diagnose mysterious moisture leaks, complex humidity issues, and hidden mold, or mold odor problems, then look for someone who is:

 

 

A Certified Industrial Hygienist.

A Certified Indoor Environmentalist.

A Certified Indoor Environmental Consultant.

Where applicable, a State Licensed Mold Inspector
or State Licensed Mold Assessor should be hired.

 

 In addition that person should have at least most of the following skill sets:

 

1) Building Forensics.
Your mold problem is not in a test tube but in a home or commercial building. Thus mold inspections and testing should be conducted by an inspector who has an understanding of construction and how to perform a detailed inspection of your home or office building and not only the mold in it. Testing of the mold in your air alone without an understanding of how your home's construction and possible defects may have contributed to such growths is of very limited value. Air sampling alone may tell you the scientific name of mold spores in your air, and the levels of spores in your air, but testing will not tell the root cause and origin of your house's mold problem. Your inspector should be knowledgeable of  building components such as roofing, plumbing, vapor barriers, wall waterproofing  and structure, as well as building pressurization to properly understand sometimes unusual building failures that have resulted in mold and moisture problems. Your inspector should be willing and ready to enter your crawl space and attic if needed, and should also be ready to inspect inside your air conditioner, then put it back together when finished. Without a detailed diagnosis of the cause and origin of a structure's mold problem, you will not be able to properly address the problem in such a way that it prevents the future return of the same mold problem.

 

 
2) Air Conditioner System Knowledge.
A mold test consultant should also be familiar with air conditioner systems. Many mold problems are caused by HVAC system defects, such as condensation leaks, or the failure of an AC to remove adequate amounts of humidity. Dusty air conditioner plenums, contaminated fans, and moldy evaporator coils are common hiding places for foul-smelling Cladosporium mold. A well-maintained AC can help prevent fungal growth, dust mites, condensation, and humidity issues.

 
 

3) Biological Sciences.
Mold is the most common cause of indoor air problems produced by unwanted biological vectors. However, many other invaders into our homes and places of work can create air quality problems. Roaches, rats, mice, dust mites, and dogs and cats can also cause problems. In this inspector's experience with years of home inspections, mold inspections, and also certified allergen inspections, even pet rodents such as guinea pig and hamsters in a cage next to the bed of a child predisposed to allergic reactions can cause problems similar to those caused by common indoor fungal growth. Your mold inspector should understand at least some basic biological and ecological science principles pertaining to microbiology or mycology (the study of mold). Though an understanding of the biological sciences is very helpful, an understanding of and experience with pest control investigations can be just as important if not more important than an intellectual knowledge of biology.

 
 

4) Psychometrics.
Not to be confused with psychometrically valid exams and tests, the term psychometrics in the Indoor Air Quality industry pertains to the scientific study of humidity, temperature, dew point and air and how they all influence each other. A deep understanding of the interrelations of these factors might not be important in California, or Arizona, but in Louisiana, the Carolinas, and Florida with unique hot humid climates, it is very important for building investigators to have a deep intuitive feel and factual knowledge of how and why humidity sometimes becomes problematic in indoor environments.

 
 

5) Mold Inspection Report Writing. 
Many mold testing companies will simply email you unintelligible laboratory results. This is unacceptable and in many cases useless because while lab results are a part of the picture intended to be used by the inspector, lab results alone will not tell you why the mold occurred. Lab results often give false negatives because they may not pick up spores from a serious health threatening mold problem in the walls or AC unit. A trained inspector must be able to find such issues via a detailed inspection. Mold lab reports do not instruct you on how to remediate the mold problem. "Remediate" means to professionally remove the mold problem in such a manner that the spores do not contaminate other parts of the home or cause illness in the workers trying to remove the mold.  You should get a detailed legally defensible mold inspection report that your allergy specialist, public adjuster, or mold attorney will find helpful. All reports differ; many contain digital photos, a summary, information on visual findings, environmental monitoring results such as humidity readings and moisture readings, interpretation of lab results, and inspector’s conclusions.

 


6) Mold Sampling Procedures.
Most people think that a mold inspection is all about testing the air for invisible fungal spores, but this is only one small part of the investigation. Sometimes it is a very important part of the investigation; at other times it is not as important.  Your mold tester must be properly trained and experienced in investigating and sampling mold spores and knowing when and where to sample. If needed, he or she must be able to test for or visually inspect for the likely presence of other bio-allergens.  In addition to sampling for spores, inspection firm personnel must have training in interpreting lab results.