Just because you had a water leak in your home doesn’t mean mold will begin to grow. A lot depends on the amount of water, the length of time the leak has been on going, and the steps you have taken to have the affected areas properly dried.
Mold can be hard to spot. It may be growing inside wall cavities, under cabinets and vanities, or under floor coverings. Many times, you will become aware of a musty odor, which may be your first indication that there is a problem.
So you call in a mold inspector, whose ad made big promises and had a discount coupon attached, to come to your rescue:
But Should You Trust Every Mold Inspector?
1. Do Your Research. Check referrals, references and credentials. Most certifications are achieved through extensive training but some can be acquired with as little as a $50.00 online “honor system” test and the purchase of a $35.00 book.
2. Time Will Tell. Be wary of inspectors that reach a conclusion too quickly. A thorough visual inspection, questions about your home’s history of problems, health concerns of the home’s inhabitants, and moisture and temperature readings should be part of the investigation. This is not an in-and-out the door process.
3. Tests Are Not The Entire Story. According to the EPA, “in most cases, if visible mold growth is present, sampling is unnecessary.” Testing is a great tool for detecting hidden mold. But remediation based on testing alone is not recommended by some government agencies. Sampling can be affected by events as minor as which way the wind blew that day and how many windows or doors had been opened and for how long.
4. Don’t Be Extreme. All inspections should start with the least intrusive means first. Think of an onion; there can be many layers and a good inspector will become more invasive only as conditions warrant it. Mold inspection is a step-by-step process based on what is revealed.