Are you looking for a reliable mold inspector for your home? Click here for six questions you should ask before hiring local mold inspectors.
Not 1,000, not even 10,000, but a whopping 100,000+ types of mold exist around us. These microorganisms aren’t just outside; they’re ubiquitous, meaning they’re everywhere, including indoors.
Indoor molds aren’t always a problem, but they can be if allowed to grow and multiply. Not only are their colonies disgusting, but they can also damage structural materials. Even worse, they can pose health concerns, including respiratory and skin symptoms.
Those are all good enough reasons to routinely hire local mold inspectors. With their help, you can determine if you have a mold issue that requires addressing ASAP.
To that end, we created this guide on the most crucial questions to ask inspectors before hiring them. So read on, as what you learn here can help you choose the right service provider.
1. What Are Your Qualifications?
Reputable mold inspectors have undergone rigorous training to obtain their certification. One is the Certified Mold Inspector (CMI) from the Indoor Air Quality Association. Another popular one is from the Environmental Assessment Association (EAA).
Some states also require mold inspectors to carry a valid license. An example is Florida, where only licensed professionals can perform mold inspections. Moreover, they must have EAA certification.
Those who wish to get a mold inspector license in license-requiring states must pass an exam. Only after they do can they get licensed to perform mold inspections legally.
So before hiring a mold inspector, check your state’s certification and licensing requirements. At the very least, these are the qualifications your prospective inspector must possess.
Even if your state doesn’t require a license, you should still hire a certified mold inspector. Their certification, which they also acquired after passing a test, proves their competence.
2. How Long Have You Been Doing Mold Inspections?
The ideal answer to this question is at least five years. The longer, the better, as time in business often indicates service quality. This is also a telling sign of how experienced they are.
It’s also easier to find numerous reviews of established mold inspection services. By contrast, those new to the industry likely only have a handful.
3. How Soon Can You Inspect My Home?
Remember: When mold spores land on damp, organic materials, they can start growing within a day or two. From there, they can keep reproducing and become a full-blown mold infestation.
That’s why every single day counts when it comes to combatting molds. The sooner the inspector can test your home, the sooner they can determine if you have a severe mold problem. If they do, then you can address the issue before it worsens.
Fortunately, certified mold testing and inspection professionals offer 24/7 or next-day services. If you have a severe mold infestation, consider emergency services.
4. What Is Your Inspection Process?
Mold colonies are visible, but not if they’re in “hidden” spots around your home. They may hide under the floor, between wall covers and walls, or within walls themselves. Likewise, the spores they emit into the air are too tiny for the naked eye to see.
For those reasons, reliable mold inspectors follow a multi-step inspection protocol.
When you ask inspectors about their process, they’ll often respond with questions. It’s like an interview that lets them initially assess your potential mold problem.
Here are some questions you can expect reliable mold inspectors to ask you:
- Have you had any recent water intrusion problems?
- Did you have plumbing, roofing, or HVAC leaks, and have you had them fixed?
- Are you or any household member experiencing allergy-like symptoms only at home?
If an inspector doesn’t ask those questions and only wants you to schedule an inspection, take that as a red flag.
During inspection day, the inspector must visually check your home for molds first. They’ll start with the areas where you saw or suspect mold growth. From there, expect a reliable professional to test your entire home.
Inspectors use tools like moisture meters and air and physical testers to do their jobs. They also use thermal imaging to track down hidden colonies.
When inspectors find mold growths, they’ll take samples for testing. They’ll also test the indoor air to gauge its mold content and possible toxicity.
5. When Will You Tell Me the Results?
Reputable mold inspectors may need a few days to give you your mold test results. This is because they must send the samples to an accredited third-party laboratory. The third-party lab then performs the accurate, unbiased mold evaluation.
However, there are cases wherein mold inspectors may expedite the testing procedure. An example is if they find severe infestation or molds they suspect are toxigenic. The latter may emit substances called mycotoxins, which can sometimes cause poisoning.
In those situations, expect the inspectors to tell you the results within 24 hours.
6. Can You Also Help With Remediation?
If the inspectors find significant mold growth in your home, they’d recommend remediation. It’s the process of removing mold colonies infesting an area. It often includes containment, biocide treatment, and mold-damaged material removal.
Depending on the extent of your mold problem, remediation may also involve fogging. It’s like a spray deployed through an HVAC system to kill lingering spores in indoor air.
Remediation is a separate specialization that not all local mold inspectors can perform. This is because many inspectors only specialize in inspections. However, they should still be able to recommend reliable mold remediation companies.
On the other hand, some inspectors also provide remediation services. Thus, you can hire one of these firms to deal only with a single company. Just ensure they also meet the qualifications to provide remediation services.
Start Interviewing Reputable Local Mold Inspectors
Local mold inspectors should be your first point of contact when dealing with a mold issue. This is even more crucial if you suspect you have a house-wide problem and not just a specific area.
So as soon as you notice mold infestation signs, please don’t delay calling inspectors. Then, ask them all the questions above, and hire the one with the most satisfactory answers.
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