attention to detail and leading-edge technologies are combined to bring you
inspection and testing services unsurpassed in quality and value!
What is 'Mold'?
Molds are primitive plant-like fungal organisms that make
spores instead of seeds. Spores float in the air like pollen. The spores and chemicals that molds
produce are a common trigger for allergies and sometimes more serious health consequences.
Molds have been in
our environment for millions of years, and as you have probably seen on TV ads,
all homes have mold to some degree.
How do I know if I have a 'Mold Problem''?
Some of the signs that mold may be prevalent include:
persistent musty or 'earthy' odors indoors, mold seen growing on walls,
ceilings or other surfaces and/or experiencing cold, flu or allergy-like
symptoms when in the home. In some cases, people may suffer
sneezing, itching watery eyes, runny nose, coughing, and congestion.
Mold is a foreign protein. It releases spores, hyphae parts, and volatile
organic chemicals. Exposure can aggravate respiratory illness, trigger asthma attacks, and cause
other serious maladies. Not all molds cause the same reactions and people
react differently to different molds. In some cases, these reactions can
What is a 'Mold
A Mold Inspection is really two inspections: one is for mold, the
second is for the source of moisture and dampness that allows mold to
flourish. A detailed report with findings and
recommendations is provided. Click here to see a sample
Mold Inspection Report: Sample Mold
Report.pdf. The laboratory analysis report is sent
The strategy for dealing with mold includes
detection, containment, removal and prevention.
American Home Inspections provides thorough mold inspection and
reporting services designed to locate and document the amount of mold in
the home and identify sources of moisture that allow it to flourish.
The inspection involves the use of sophisticated equipment including
infrared camera and moisture meters to detect sources of dampness and
moisture in the building; laser particle counter to determine the
quantity and sizes of the airborne contaminants; and sampling equipment
for laboratory analysis of viable and / or non-viable air, swab, and bulk
& Removal: Depending upon the scope of contamination found, a
company specializing in mold remediation may be recommended. Ordinary
contractors are not equipped to handle mold problems. If the
proper containment, disposal, and safety measures are not observed,
demolition and construction may worsen the situation by spreading the
contamination and increasing occupant exposure. American
Home Inspections may be asked to provide Clearance Testing to
measure the effectiveness of the remediation.
If moisture and dampness problems are not corrected, even the best
remediation work can be undone by return of the mold organisms. An American
Home Inspections report will identify those areas were
moisture was found and how to remedy the problems. It is critical that
moisture and dampness be eliminated to keep mold from coming back.
Key Features of the Inspection (not an exhaustive list)
The following equipment and processes may be used:
- Particle counters use lasers to provide intense light and thereby
count very small particles.
- Counts are taken to determine the amount of contaminants in the
air. The counter used by American Home
Inspections measures particles in 3 sizes:
- 0.3 um -- These are particles which can
be inhaled deeply into the lungs and include viruses, smoke
particles, atmospheric dust, etc. Counts are often in the 10's
of thousands per ft3 of air.
- 0.5 um -- These are particles caught near
the bottom of the bronchial portion of your respiratory system and
include bacteria, copier toner, insecticide dusts, etc.
Typical count levels are in the low to mid thousands per ft3 of
- 5.0 um -- These are particles that are usually
arrested mid to early in the bronchial portion of your respiratory
system and include small mold spores, mold body parts, dusts,
etc. Typical count levels are less than one hundred per ft3
of air. Elevated levels help confirm the presence
meters and hygrometer measurements
- Because water releases its heat differently than the material around
it, infrared scanning of walls, ceilings and floors can tell if moisture
is present and where it is emanating from. (See sample report for
examples.) Without moisture, mold
will not grow.
- Two types of moisture meters are used. One uses ultrasound to
detect surface and sub-surface moisture in the tested material.
The second is a pin-style meter which measures conductivity between two
points -- moisture reduces electrical resistance and results in an
- Hygrometer meters measure humidity in the air. The more water
vapor present, the more moisture that will precipitate out when the dew
point is reached such as when warm, humid air comes in contact with a
cool concrete floor in a basement. (Mold is frequently found under
direct lift and/or bulk sampling
- Air sampling is done with air impaction cassettes that trap spores
and mold pieces on a sticky microscope slide that is analyzed at a
laboratory. Testing can be done for viable (culture-able)
samples and non-viable (non-culture-able) samples. Species are
identified and counted.
- Direct lift sampling is done with either a culture swap or or
pressed onto transparent media (tape) for species
- Bulk sampling involves cutting away a section of contaminated
material and sending for analysis.