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Is a Mold Inspection Service the Same as a Mold Testing Service?

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Mold growth can be an unsightly and costly problem that no homeowner should ever have to face. Not only does it put your property at risk of health hazards, but it can also lead to structural problems and cost thousands of dollars in repair costs. With the right knowledge and steps, you could save yourself a great deal of trouble. One such step is getting a mold inspection service or testing service. However, do they amount to the same thing? This article breaks down exactly what each kind of service involves so that you can make sure your home is safe from mold damage.

Mold Inspection

Having a mold inspection done in your home can be a daunting task, but by taking the necessary precautions, you can have peace of mind that your house is free of any hazardous materials. Mold inspections are important because they detect and identify possible sources of harmful levels of moisture that can damage a home’s foundation and put its occupants at risk especially if they are immunocompromised.

There is a 5 part process in a mold inspection:

  • Intake interview– This is an interview where the inspector gains background history of the property including water intrusion, flooding, leaks or humidity problems that will be used in the assessment. This also includes inquiring whether there have been a rise in allergies, sign and/or symptoms of health issues that could be a result of amplified mold contamination.
  • Site Inspection– This is a comprehensive visual inspection of the home including the crawlspaces, attics, HVAC system and interior spaces. An outside inspection evaluating the exterior of the home- gutters, downspouts, exterior cladding and the roof, landscaping, foundation and other areas of interest that could be problematic.

Water Damage causes mold, mold testing helps find it

  • Detailed Visual Inspection – this is the detailed interior inspection where the inspector takes atmospheric measurements, they look at each room in detail to gather data that will later be used in developing the sampling plan. They look for subtle signs and potential problems but more specifically determine whether the indoor environments are or could be conducive to mold growth.
  • Sampling Plan – The sampling plan is developed based off the data collected in the previous steps. This is where it is important to remember that mold spores and airborne contamination are not visible by the naked eye. In this step the problematic areas that were uncovered in the previous steps are included in the sampling or testing areas, as well as, areas where there may be air borne contamination. The samples are collected and sent to an American Industrial Hygiene Association accreditedNVLAP lab.
  • Reporting – We review and explain what the results mean, verbally and provide a comprehensive report detailing our findings, assign the mold contamination condition, what needs to be corrected and develop a remediation protocol for the mold remediation process.

Investing in a professional mold inspection yields peace of mind that your living space is safe for all who inhabit it.

Mold Testing

Mold testing is conducted using specialized strategic methods to gain further insight into potential elevated mold contamination in an indoor environment. It is important to understand that while visible mold can be detected through a visual inspection and verified by direct mold sampling, airborne contamination can only be identified through air sampling protocols. Testing is typically conducted by collecting samples with either tape, swabs or air samples and then analyzing them in an AIHA accredited lab. This is done to determine if there is active mold growth and depending on the type of mold and the mycotoxins that are produced. Once the results of the analyses are available, they reveal whether an indoor environment needs to be treated for mold or not. Professional testers can obtain precise results and provide thorough advice on whether additional action should be taken or not.

Is a Mold Inspection Service the Same as a Mold Testing Service?

Knowing whether to use a mold inspection service or a mold testing service can be overwhelmingly confusing for those dealing with potential mold problems in the home. A mold inspection service is a more thorough approach that typically involves experts looking around and providing an assessment based on what they see, and then systematically collecting samples to verify it; while a mold testing service involves samples being taken and then analyzed in a laboratory. Though these two terms sound related, they involve very different approaches, both of which can be necessary for diagnosing and dealing with large-scale mold issues. Ultimately, having both inspection and testing could ensure that any problem is accurately identified so that it can be solved more effectively.

Reasons to Combine Mold Inspection and Mold Testing

Combining mold inspection and testing is a great way to gain a thorough understanding of the extent of mold growth in an environment. Certified professionals have the experience, training and equipment to inspect and test for mold accurately and can provide reliable insight into where it is growing, how much is present, what type of mold it is, and what steps should be taken to remedy the situation. A comprehensive assessment ensures that all testing needs are met while also providing suggestions on potential health concerns caused by the presence of mold.

Through careful exploration of this complex issue, we can conclude that a mold inspection service differs from a mold testing service in both purpose and cost. A mold inspection is a more comprehensive approach to finding and detailing the mold condition whereas, testing is a limited approach. A visual inspection is always a great first step and an excellent option for those on limited budgets. It is essential when considering either type of service to research the company you select, as there are variables in mold detection, testing, reporting and remediation, which can affect overall results. While mold is an unpleasant yet unavoidable part of life, being aware of it and having reliable professionals available to work on your behalf makes handling it easier. Use this article as your guide when deciding which course of action is best suited to satisfy your needs. No matter the outcome, remember that a proper combination of prevention and remediation can maintain a healthy home or office space for years to come.

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