Mold can be one of the most insidious enemies a home owner can be facing. Whether you’re looking at purchasing property or searching for an apartment an inspection for deadly black mold is vital and only qualified mold inspectors should be used. Not all variety of molds are deadly, think of simple bread mold, it’s everywhere! It takes special training to know whether that mold is deadly or not. There is, however, and even more important reason to use only qualified technicians and labs.
In addition to the possibility of missing out on a great opportunity because you’re scared of a little mildew (as opposed to valid caution of black mold), there’s also the possibility a low quality inspection may not reveal a significant problem. Obviously missing a deadly mold infestation is far more important that a false positive and that’s all the more reason you should use only qualified and certified mold inspectors.
Several levels of classifications exist so it’s important to be aware of the particular issues surround the property you’re interested in. Was this property known to have been damaged by water and mold? In that case it’s more of a damage assessment than a mold inspection. These guys are very, very different. Think of an insurance adjuster versus a fire inspector – one is going to be able to tell you how much it will cost to clean up and the other will sniff out any potential problems, even ones you can’t see.
It’s easy to become confused though because there are so many different classifications at the state level, some of which have no real meaning. The terms are also used interchangeably by both kinds of mold inspectors, the damage assessment and threat analysis kind, so that doesn’t help! Just make sure you do a thorough investigation and make sure you’ve got the right man for the job and everything should go just fine. One thing to look for is the state level certification. These come in several basic flavors.
One is the basic inspector class, this is what you’ll be looking for if you have no reason to expect mold or water damage is present. They’ll be able to take air sample, and also swab any suspect patches to test the strains of mold found (if any) and report back to you. This can save you a big headache down the road, especially if you intend to the rent the property as more and more states have strict laws regard mold remediation. The second variety, the damage estimator, is a more specialist version of the mold inspectors you normally see. They’re generally able to sniff out mold but they can also do a lot more.