Proper Mold Inspections

Recently I was called by a new home owner who saw mold in his basement.  He had just moved in three weeks previous and was planning to use a room in the basement for his tools when he discovered the mold both on the walls and under the steps.  I had asked him did he get the home inspected prior to his purchase and he said yes, and also stated that the home inspector did an air test as well.  Therein lies the problem.  There’s two lessons that can be taken from this situation so you don’t make the same mistake.

  1. Not all mold in airborne and an air sample will only pick up spores to which are in the air.  Some molds on surfaces will not be collected into air samples.
  2. Mold Tests should be done by only Mold Inspectors.  Home Inspectors use mold tests as another way to make money, but aren’t properly trained and usually are certified through one day online courses.

A mold inspection is not just setting up your testing equipment and then that’s it.  A proper mold inspection should have samples taken, but also a thorough visual inspection with moisture mapping.  In this situation, with visible mold in two locations, a proper mold inspection would have been able to pick this up visually or through surface sampling.  Unfortunately for this customer, it now becomes an out of pocket cost because the inspector missed it and it can become very difficult to prove when the growth began.