Here are some examples of when a mold inspection would be appropriate.
When there is any type of leak or water damage that has occurred there should be some suspicion that mold growth has occured. These are the most common scenarios in which a mold inspection will help providing valuable information about whether mold exists in the air or behind walls.When there are health concerns. Many times doctors will ask patients to get an inspection performed to try and explain health issues they cannot pinpoint. For example, long term coughing, sneezing, headaches, nausea, etc., can be an indication of a mold problem
A clearance test performed by a third party company once mold removal has already been performed. A certified mold inspection is the only way to truly tell if the mold levels have returned to normal.
When there is no visible mold but there is a musty smell that is present. In this case, a mold inspection can reveal if there are elevated levels of mold and possibly where it can be found.
Before a real estate transaction is finalized a mold inspection can protect both the seller and the buyer.
Sometimes there is a dispute between and landlord and a tenant over whether there is mold in a rented property. A mold inspection can definitely solve the dispute.
Sometimes someone just smells something or sees something that could be mold but they are not sure, a mold inspection can confirm or calm your suspicion.
If you just want to get a general idea of indoor air quality.
It is argued that if you can see visible mold then you don't need an inspection, you can just call a remediation company and have them remove the mold. This sounds right in theory and in even the (EPA) Environmental Protection Agency agrees to some degree. However, this idea that you should immediately call a remediation company does not take into account that sometimes mold is harmless and can just be wiped away and you can do remediation yourself. Considering that an inspection will cost somewhere between $350-$500 (depending on the size of the house and number of samples being taken), and remediation will likely be $1000's of dollars, it is possible that getting an inspection before calling a remediation company may save you lots of money. In the scenario that there is an allergen or toxic mold present, and inspector will also write out a "scope of work" to accompany their report. The "scope of work" lets a remediation company know exactly what standards to follow and where remediation needs to be done. This also prevents any unnecessary work being done. In the end, either way you go, definitely have a 3rd party inspector do a clearance test after any remediation is complete. This is one thing that all honest inspectors and remediation companies will agree on, no doubt.
If you are thinking of getting a do-it-yourself home mold test kit, please take this advice into consideration before spending your money. Home mold test kits do not tell you anything you don’t already know. There are mold spores floating in the air at all times. The key to determining if there is a mold problem is to sample the indoor air as well as the outdoor air and compare them to see if there are unusually elevated spore counts indoors. The problem with DIY mold tests is that they are essentially a petri dish with growth medium in it that you set in your home and you wait to see if mold colonies grow. It is guaranteed to show mold growth because there is mold in every home, it is the level of mold that matters.
In addition, it is important for a professional to visually inspect and take humidity and moisture readings. This is one of the only ways to possibly locate where a mold problem may be. The home test kit does not include any type of inspection.
So in the case that you suspect mold may be present in your home or business, it is worth the money to hire a professional instead of trying to do it yourself.