Is mold testing a valuable service? The quick answer is yes. The long answer is, yes, but under optimum conditions and when it is performed by trained personnel. The conditions and methodology are critical to a successful outcome for the client, so much so, that testing can be a waste of money in some circumstances or when it is applied to the wrong project. A key variable in deciding when testing is appropriate is to understand what type of information the testing will yield.
A question I always ask my clients is what type of information do you want to get out of the mold inspection and testing protocol. Many times the answer to that question be something like ” I want to know if there is a mold problem in my house”. In a circumstance like this testing can be efficient and appropriate when used in the context of a good visual and moisture inspection. Collecting air and surface mold data during an inspection is not as useful when interpreted in the context of the condition of the building. For example, if there are know water leaks that have persisted for months and years and there are materials present that are known to grow mold when wet (i.e. drywall) then the risk for mold growth is higher for this area of the building. When you combine that data with mold spore air testing or surface sample data you can now clearly see that a high reading in the sample is confirming other evidence that there is a mold problem in the building that may require mold remediation.
Steve Ramos Certified Home Inspector
Steve Ramos is a Certified Home Inspector, Mold Inspector and Building Science Thermographer. He has over 10 years of home inspection field experience. Steve has a very diverse and well rounded background. His reports are detailed, accurate, and timely. Steve has been featured on over 104 episodes of HGTV’s House Detective. He offers his services in all nine Bay Area counties including: Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Novato, San Rafael, Napa, Sausalito, San Francisco, Walnut Creek, San Ramon, Rohnert Park, Cotati, Bodega Bay, and Cloverdale.
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