Mold is an invasive fungus that can grow in dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery. It can grow undetected for long periods of time, especially in seldom-used areas.
If you manage or own an office complex, read on. We will discuss how to find a reputable mold inspector for your property.
How to Find the Right Mold Inspector
Finding a qualified and trustworthy certified mold inspector can be difficult. If you have not hired a mold professional in the past, it will require a bit of research.
But when you are dealing with your entire office complex, you need to make sure you get the right professionals.
There are various factors to consider. Here are the top things to look for when scouting out mold inspectors in your area.
One of the most important considerations when hiring a certified mold inspector is their experience.
You don’t need a general contractor. You need someone with specific expertise in mold inspections and remediation.
When calling around for quotes, you can ask inspectors how many mold inspections or remediations they’ve done in the past 6 months. This may help you target those who are true experts in their field.
Proper Training and Licenses
The qualifications to be a mold inspector varies from state to state. Some states require mold inspectors to have a license or certification. Others do not require it.
In fact, in the past, some states permitted people to get licenses without passing an exam or equivalent. These inspectors are most likely grandfathered in and working even though the rules have changed.
Check with your state health department on current laws. If a license is required, be sure to only hire a mold professional who is appropriately certified.
If your state doesn’t require licensing, you still want a trained professional to do the inspection for your building complex.
It is okay to ask the inspectors for their qualifications and certifications. You want to hear that they’ve taken courses in mold inspection, water damage restoration, and infrared technology.
Mold Inspection Procedures
Yet qualifications and experience aren’t always enough. You need to know what each company’s inspection procedure is.
In general, mold will not grow indoors without water, dampness, or excessive moisture. An inspector should be familiar with the major factors that contribute to indoor environmental conditions that favor mold growth.
The single most valuable investigative tool in a mold assessment is the determination of the presence of visible mold and/or excessive unplanned moisture (past and present). Specific indicators to note during a mold assessment include suspect growth, musty odor, water damage, dampness, temperature, relative humidity, and dew point. Any occupant complaints should be noted. If a maintenance person is available, the assessment should include physical examination of the heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system to determine if there are leaks or locations where drain pans or other water collection points are allowing the buildup of stagnant water.
Tools and Equipment Used
Mold inspectors generally use a variety of tools in their line of work.
Moisture meters are available in a variety of types. When properly used, they are valuable tools in locating building materials with elevated moisture levels. Hygrometers measure temperature, relative humidity and dew point, which can help to determine the likelihood of condensation problems and resultant surficial mold growth. Thermal imaging with an infrared camera is useful in the identification of temperature gradients which can help to locate areas of elevated moisture.
When Is Sampling Necessary In A Building Evaluation?
Air, surface, or bulk sampling may not be necessary, depending on the goal of the investigation. If visible mold is present, then it should be remediated, regardless of what species are present or whether or not samples have been collected. In specific instances, such as cases where health concerns are an issue, litigation is involved, or the source(s) of contamination is unclear, sampling may be considered as part of a building evaluation. If mold is suspected but not visibly detectable after a thorough inspection, then microbial air sampling may reveal evidence of mold growth indoors that may be present in “hidden” areas, behind walls and other building structures.
If your space has an attic or a crawlspace that is also in need of inspection, keep in mind these areas aren’t typically included in a standard inspection. You can always request this service, but typically for an added fee.
Comprehensive Inspection Report
Before you hire a mold inspector, ask about the inspection report. Your inspector should give you a comprehensive document after an inspection that explains their specific findings.
This report should include visual imaging and the data from lab results. It will also have the inspector’s expert opinion as well as recommendations on how to control the issue.
Be sure that an inspector does not just give you lab results. These will be hard to read. A mold professional will be able to explain the results to you much easier and what each measurement means for you.
Reputation and Reviews
This is a crucial step in finding the right mold inspector for your commercial property. They may have a great website; they may even answer all your questions perfectly. But it’s best to hear it from past clients.
First, look online on review sites such as Yelp, Yellow Pages, and even Facebook and Google. Take a look at their star rating.
Be sure to read reviews as well. Don’t ignore the negative reviews. See what people had an issue with and if the contractor commented on the negative review.
Of course, you need to take negative reviews with a grain of salt. There’s no pleasing some people. If you read an outraged comment and an attempt at fixing it, that’s a good sign.
Choosing a Licensed Mold Inspector
There you have it! Now you have a good understanding of what to look for from a mold inspector.At AirQuest, we’ve been providing customers with innovative solutions to meet their environmental health needs for 18 years. If you are interested in contracting us out for a mold inspection, contact us today to discuss how we can help.