Black Mold Inspection & Testing: Benefits, Timing & Methods

Here is how to detect black mold.

Finding your dream home is great, but don’t be in a hurry to move in just yet. You need to be sure of the condition of the new home you are purchasing so you don’t have to be bothered with removing mold later on.

How To Test For Black Mold In House

One of the most common issues with old homes is the presence of black mold in the basement and other damp or previously flooded rooms.

For this reason, it is important to carry out professional black mold inspection testing first.

In this article, we’ll be discussing everything you need to know about these residential inspections and tests.

Looking for how to check for black mold? Stay with us.

Black Mold Evaluation & Household Detection

In case you don’t already know, black mold is one of many mold species that can be found in moist areas of a home, especially indoors.

They spread by emitting microscopic spores that can cause allergic reactions and deteriorate pre-existing respiratory health issues.

The spores float around until they can find a surface to land on, which is why they are practically everywhere, even though they can’t be seen. However, the spores can’t grow into the mold itself if the environment isn’t moist enough.

This is why they are mostly found indoors in areas that are damp and can retain moisture.

Why You Need Professional Black Mold Testing

There are 3 main reasons you will need a professional mold test before you move into a new home.

They are as follows –

  1. They Damage Your Surfaces

First of all, blackish-green black mold growing on any surface reduces the aesthetic appeal of any structure.

They are an eyesore and would make living uncomfortable.

  1. They Have A Bad Smell

Another reason the inspection is necessary is the awful musty odor that black mold produces. This gets worse if the mold population is high.

You wouldn’t want to live in a home where you can’t breathe clean air, do you?

  1. They Are Hazardous To Health

The third and most important reason you need your home inspected for black mold is the fact that they are dangerous to health.

They can cause allergic reactions and can aggravate asthma problems.

When You Should Inspect For Mold

Knowing when to inspect for mold isn’t so hard. The good thing about mold is that you can actually see it growing on the surfaces.

If you find even a little patch, be rest assured that they have begun spreading their spores, and might be growing in other corners of the house you can’t even see. These include the cracks and ducts in-between your walls.

So if you find a tiny growth (which your eyes can see), then you should inspect the other parts of the home for black mold growing in other hidden areas.

Other situations would require that you carry out a professional black mold inspection test.

  1. When There Is Water Damage

When there is water damage in your home, then there is a possibility of black mold growth. Water damage includes leaking pipes and flooding.

If an area has been wet and left undried for more than 48 hours, then mold has probably begun growing there.

  1. When You Are Buying A New Home

When buying a new house, especially one that has been uninhabited for many years, then there’s a chance the foundation has soaked up enough groundwater.

When this happens, the interiors will be damp and humid, and that is perfect for black mold growth.

In such a case, it would be wise to have a professional take a look at the home to determine the extent of black mold infestation.

  1. After Mold Remediation

If you have dealt with mold in the past, then having a professional household mold detection test would be wise.

You can do this just after the previous mold treatment, just to be sure you have completely gotten rid of them.

Residential Mold Inspection And Testing

Mold inspection involves the identification of the presence of mold and determining the extent of the infestation, usually per square footage.

How does mold testing work?

As for mold testing, this attempts to identify the particular type of mold that has infested your home. A mold air test is also conducted to identify the number of mold spores in the air.

So how do you test for black mold?

Mold Testing Methods

There are various methods of mold inspection and testing. These are done on different levels, which include –

  • Non-intrusive visual inspection
  • Swabs
  • Bulk sampling
  • Tapes
  • Air sampling
  • Intrusive

Whether you’re doing a mold inspection or mold test, there are some things you will need to keep in mind.

Firstly, the carefully controlled environment required to carry out a successful test is very hard to achieve in a home. This means results will vary according to the specific conditions.

  • Mold Air Test

Another thing you should keep in mind is that most indoor spaces have mold spores coming in from outside. This would also mean many species will be found in the air test, even the ones not growing in your home.

Lastly, the EPA doesn’t have any set guidelines for an acceptable number of mold or mold spores in a building.

What You Should Expect When Testing For Black Mold

Black mold inspection is usually a visual process. This means the contractor would have to go around the spaces and physically identify black mold growth.

This does not require any complicated equipment, all that is needed is the knowledge of what black mold looks like, good eyesight, and a flashlight for visibility in dark areas.

Some professionals use cameras to record their findings, while some use moisture meters to determine if an area is wet.

You should also expect the mold inspector to ask you about the areas of your home where you have seen mold in the past. They will also ask about areas that have had or currently have moisture problems or water damage.

The inspector will then go to the areas you have pointed out and have a careful look to see if there is any mold growing there. They will also visit other areas to see if they are prone to black mold infestation.

If the mold inspector suspects that black mold is growing in an inaccessible area, they may have to damage a section of your drywall or take out some paneling to have a better view.

Once the mold is found, the inspector will begin to find the source of the moisture that is attracting mold growth, then discuss remediation plans with you.

Some municipalities require that inspectors possess a certification or license before they can work professionally.

Most experts believe that mold evaluation is unnecessary if you can physically see the mold. They advise you should proceed with remediation since their presence has already been confirmed by plain sight.

Surely you can agree with this, as it is unwise to pay an inspector to tell you what you already know.

What Determines Mold Assessment Charges?

Two major factors will determine how much you would have to pay for a professional inspection and testing.

First is the size of your home, while the second is whether the inspector will have to remove or damage any parts of the structure to find the mold.

Simply put, the larger the area being inspected and the amount of manual labor involved will determine the cost of inspection and testing.

Cost Of Environmental Testing For Mold

As we just mentioned, the size of your home and the manual labor involved are two key factors that will determine how much you need to pay for the inspection.

On average, you can expect to part with $300 to $400 for a mold inspection of a small or medium-sized home (smaller than 4,000 square feet). For homes larger than this, you could pay between $700 to $900.

Keep in mind, these estimates cover only the inspection and not the testing. Although some contractors can offer free mold inspection if you are hiring them for the mold remediation job.

How To Find The Right Mold Inspector

The key to hiring the right mold inspector is to look for one with the relevant licenses and certificates. You should also inquire about their experience level and how many homes they have treated for mold.

Talk to as many inspectors as you can and compare prices and levels of expertise before you make your final choice. Doing this can potentially save you hundreds of dollars down the line.

Be sure to check your state health department to be sure of mold inspectors are required to have a license. If your state requires it, and an unlicensed inspector works in your home, then he/she has done so illegally.

Conclusion

Black mold inspection and mold inspection, in general, are necessary when moving into a new home, or just after you have treated a mold infestation.

If you can physically see the mold, then the inspection may not be necessary since you’re already sure of its presence. Simply proceed with remediation.

We trust this article on professional black mold inspection testing has been helpful.

Take care.

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