For most homeowners, the first they know about mold infesting their home is when they either see it or smell its distinctive musty odor. Up until that point, they’ve probably never even heard of mold inspectors or mold abatement procedures.
However, in many cases the mold may have already been around for a while by the time it becomes noticeable and may even have spread to areas of the house that can’t easily be seen. If you’re concerned about potential mold problems in your home, the easiest way to put your mind at rest is to arrange to have the property inspected by a certified expert.
DIY testing kits are available and can save you huge amounts of money compared to the cost of a certified inspector, but while they can help identify the exact type of mold and how best to get rid of it, home testing kits can still fail to identify the full extent of the problem.
If there are elderly, infirm or other vulnerable people in your home, or if any members of your family have been suffering from unexplained illnesses and seem unable to get better, a proper inspection can either confirm or eliminate mold as a factor in their health.
Although the services of certified mold inspectors don’t come cheap, it may pay off in the long run. You will either catch mold at an early stage and therefore save on clean-up costs or be given a clean bill of health and begin taking precautions to ensure you never have a mold problem. In fact, good mold inspectors will be able to highlight potential problem areas and give advice on how to keep your home fungus free.
You may be tempted to engage the services of an inspector who offers to check your home for free but, sadly, a few unscrupulous operators in the industry have made this a bad idea. Inspections are free but only if the same company is hired to do the clean-up. This means the inspector has a significant financial incentive to find mold in your home rather than remain objective.
By hiring an independent inspector who receives the same fee regardless of whether or not any mold is actually found, you can rest assured that you are getting a truly neutral viewpoint. The fee they charge should also include a return visit so that they can ensure the remediation company you choose has done its job properly.
Good mold inspectors can be hard to find and if you succeed in doing so, you can chalk it up as much to luck as you can to your fine good judgment. Although many training and certification courses exist there are no universal standards so it’s best to take the time to completely vet your candidates. If possible, seek the advice of friends or family who have had their own homes inspected. You should also ask any company for testimonials of satisfied customers to get their perspective.
In addition, try to obtain quotes from several competing mold inspectors and let them know that you are shopping around in an effort to get the best possible value.
An inspector will begin by making a visual survey of the home, looking for signs of mold, and follow this up by testing humidity, moisture levels in walls, floors and other materials, taking air samples to see if spores are present and finally taking samples of any visible mold.
A few days later you will receive a report of the mold inspection. This should detail all the areas of the house that were examined, explain whether or not any mold was found and give an estimate of how much it will cost to fix. This report can then be given to a mold remediation company and it can act as their guide while they are carrying out the work.