Frequently Asked Questions About Mold Inspections
Do I need a professional mold inspection?
It depends. If you have visible mold, then it is a good idea to have a professional inspector evaluate the true extent of the damage. Though it is not mandatory, you should consider hiring a professional mold remediation company to clean up the mold and then you should hire a professional mold inspector to verify the work was done right and to professional standards.
Can I hire a mold inspector to remediate the project?
Yes, if they are trained or certified for that work, but you should hire a different mold inspector to verify the work was done correctly and to professional standards.
Is it essential to test the air before a remediation project is done?
At Baystate Mold Advisors, LLC., we believe it is essential to test the air before and after to verify microbial reduction is attained. An outdoor air sample is a good idea as a control sample. Your indoor mold spore count should usually be lower than the outdoor sample and should always be lower than 2000 total spores of combined varieties of mold, except Stachybotrys, Chaetomium or Fusarium. There should be none of this species.
Should I have a mold inspection if my family always seem to have a cold or allergy symptoms?
Mold exposure most often leads to a cold or allergy type of symptoms, but not always. It depends on an individual’s sensitivities. The only way to know if your mold exposure is elevated without being able to see colonized mold is to obtain an air sample to see what is floating in the air. Most mold inspectors are trained for indoor air quality testing.
Can I clean up the mold myself?
It depends. If it is surface mold only, then yes, you can clean it with an approved mold cleaner. You can also make your own or buy it over the counter. As mold spores are microscopic, you should use a HEPA rated air cleaner or purifier. Even surface mold spreads large quantities of spores in the air which you can’t see, but they are there and could be contributing to health concerns. If the surface mold is well colonized, you might want to ask your physician to do a mycotoxin panel to see if you have an elevated level of these off-gases from mold. Don’t be alarmed if you have some mycotoxins. Trace amounts are common in most people.
How do I know if a contractor is qualified?
Ask them to prove they have been properly trained or certified. Verify any professional associations they claim to be members of. We at Baystate Mold Advisors, LLC., are a Charter Member with N.O.R.M.I., the National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors, and have training and certifications in mold inspection, mold remediation, and mold assessment. This is verifiable on the NORMI web site (www.normi.org). Also, check to see if the contractor is registered with the state and town or city their business is located in. Note if their work vehicle is lettered and has contact info because they are required to put their contractor number on their work vehicle in MA.
What are some tools a professional mold inspector should use?
A suitable mold inspector will have on him a moisture meter, camera (and probably an endoscope camera), a thermal camera, an air sampler, tape lift sampler, and a swab sampler. After that perhaps a laser measuring device to determine square footage.
How much does a mold inspection cost?
It really depends on the level of inspection required. A simple inspection may cost about $500. One that includes a test for mycotoxins or VOCs (volatile organic compounds) will run about $700 in MA. Then the credentials of the inspector also factor in. Depending on their training and experience the inspection can easily be $1000 or more. If all the company does is inspections, then they don’t make money on the remediation. We offer before and post-remediation inspections. Our post remediation inspections cost more because we need to take more samples to verify the remediation was done right.