Mold and/or mold spores are present in every home. The mold type, quantity (spore count), and environment determines how to deal with it. The only way to determine the type of mold that is present in your home is to have it tested.
Not all molds are the same. Some molds produce harmful mycotoxins and most molds give allergic reactions. Such as; itchy watery eyes, sneezing, coughing, skin rash; and various infections. Other molds such as stachybotrys chartarum also known as "black mold" or "toxic mold" can cause asthma or other severe respiratory health problems and should be remediated and reported to your health provider if you have been exposed and are experiencing respiratory problems.
As a certified IAQ/Mold Inspector and a member of the International Association of Certified Indoor Air Consultants (IAC2) we can perform mold testing that provide you with the information you need in order to determine how to deal with the presence of mold.
Our mold inspection services include sampling (by means of swab, lift, and/or air), lab testing, environmental assessment, and proposed suggestions for mold remediation and/or sanitization. You can rely on our services to collect the information you need to make the educated decisions required to provide a healthier indoor environment for you and your family or business.
Cardinal Home Inspections LLC conducts mold testing only. We do not conduct remediation services, therefore we provide you with an unbiased mold assessment and recommendations that may save you thousands. This insures that you are not being sold expensive mold remediation services if not needed. Our air testing is a snapshot to determine if a problem exists and if more in depth testing and remediation is necessary.
*The mold inspection is not included in a standard home inspection. It is a separate service that can only be conducted by our certified mold inspector.
For years there have been debates over how to set a standard for mold spore levels in homes. Because mold spore species and levels differ from state to state, no one has been able to agree. So a comparison to an outdoor air sample has been the rule of thumb. This is because you are letting mold spores into a home every time you open a door or window. It is not a perfect method and can lead to false positives. For this guide use the cubic centimeter spore/cm3 number and not the raw count for each species when you interpret an Air Sample Report from a Lab. There are exceptions at every level. False positives can be caused by a number of different issues. Normal life examples are dust and dirt on fan blades or other surfaces of the home, something in a garbage can or household pets that have been playing outside. When a general home or termite inspection is performed at the same time as the mold inspection it can inadvertently raise the spore counts. This can happen if an interior attic access is opened or the A/C filter is removed from the return before the air sample is performed.
These are only trace levels and are not an issue. Even Stachybotrys is not considered an issue at these levels if the sample does not also contain water markers like Chaetomium and Fusarium or high levels of Penicillium/Aspergillus.
These are still very low levels. The toxic mold species Stachybotrys and Memnoniella are just about the only species that are considered an issue at this level.
Up to this point, the most common species (Penicillium/Aspergillus, Cladosporium and Curvularia) are still not an issue and are in the normal range.
Sometimes the Penicillium/Aspergillus & Cladosporium levels are in this range and there is not an issue that needs to be remediated. If no water intrusion or mold issue is found during the inspection, these levels can be caused by normal life in an enclosed environment.
When levels reach this point there may be an issue that needs to be addressed unless there is a corresponding number in the outdoor sample. If no water intrusion or mold issue is found during the inspection these levels can be achieved by a dusty home or A/C system.
Unless there is a corresponding number in the outdoor sample, this is the point were some remediation may be necessary. If a mold spore source has been identified, then clean up of that area is needed. If there was no water intrusion or mold issue found, the home may need to be cleaned and the duct system should be evaluated.
Unless there is a corresponding number in the outdoor sample, a mold spore source has usually been identified and remediation of the area is needed. If there was no water intrusion or mold issue found, the duct system may need to be cleaned and/or a general "Spring Cleaning" of the home.
When spore levels are at this point, a mold issue will be easy to identify. Clean up will be required and should be performed by a Professional Mold Remediator.
When spore levels are at this point a mold issue will be evident. Remediation will be required and needs to be performed by a Professional Mold Remediator.