Mold Inspections Step-by-Step

Mold Inspection Industry Leader of Florida

Unbiased Mold Testing & Consulting Since 1992

The Florida State licensed and certified mold inspection experts at Indoor Environmental Technologies (IET) have been helping residential and commercial clients with their indoor air quality (IAQ) problems since 1992. If your home or business is in need of an unbiased mold inspection, you’ve come to the right place. Our team of expert mold professionals and mold assessors will help you through the difficult process of testing for these potential health hazards in your indoor environment; and, more importantly, interpreting and applying the results accurately. Our goal is to return your building to a safe and healthy indoor environment using applied science.

IET’s mold inspection services are provided in the entire Tampa Bay Area, including St. Pete, Tampa, Bradenton, Sarasota, Apollo Beach, Lakeland and Brooksville.  We also travel throughout Florida, southeast US and the Caribbean. Click here for a more detailed list of the areas we have served.

 

When a Mold Inspection may be Necessary
Mold spores will sooner or later grow anywhere they encounter suitable levels of food and moisture. Molds readily proliferate in buildings that contain excessive moisture, as many building materials are suitable food sources. Mold and mildew can cause odors and aggravate breathing problems such as allergies and asthma. Toxic mold can cause indoor air quality problems leading to allergic reactions and other symptoms. IET will test for these unhealthy molds, including such potentially toxic molds as Stachybotrys, also known as “black mold”, which may be polluting your indoor environment. Studies have linked some so-called “mold species of concern” to multiple air quality problems, popularly known as "Sick Building Syndrome.” Within a sick building, you could be breathing mold spores and mycotoxins that are compromising the long-term health of your family or employees.

What About Mold Testing Kits? Are they Reliable?
Do-It-Yourself mold test kits have become more popular in recent years to test your home for mold. The fact is you will find some type of mold in your home environment. Therefore, questions that remain are: Is there mold growing in the home? What kind of mold is prevalent? How do you know whether the type of mold is a concern or not? How far has the mold issue spread inside the home? What proper procedures do I need to take to fix the mold problem? A mold professional from IET can answer those concerns. A mold testing kit, unfortunately, cannot.

Mold Inspection Scams
News about mold inspection scams lately have brought on some concerns for consumers on whether any mold testing company can be trusted. For example, companies providing free or extremely low cost mold inspections and then profiting through the remediation process is clearly unethical and a conflict of interest. Homeowners and businesses may spend thousands of dollars on work they didn't need. IET prides themselves on providing unbiased, independent mold testing and strongly recommends using an independent environmental firm. IET does not perform mold remediation nor do we compete with restoration firms. However, a homeowner or property manager can hire us to oversee a mold remediation project to ensure that the work is done properly.

Below is our five-step mold inspection process that, if followed, can successfully return your home or office back to normal concentrations common for healthy buildings.

IET's Five Step Mold and Moisture Inspection Process

If you experience unusual odors or suspect that you may have a mold problem, IET’s mold professionals can assess the indoor environmental condition of your home or building using our Five Step Mold and Moisture Inspection Process. Our test results can be ready in less than 24 hours for basic projects and within two weeks where samples need to incubate for identification. IET uses this multi-step technique which has been developed since 1992 to help homeowners and business-professionals with their mold and moisture issues. Mold is everywhere, both inside our homes, office buildings and outside. A healthy building should have similar mold species indoors as outdoors with levels less than those found outdoors. It is the indoor moisture that creates the opportunity for mold to grow out of control in buildings. It is our goal to return your home or office to normal background mold levels acceptable in indoor environments.

 

Step One: Interview and Building History
We start by obtaining information regarding current and past problems and conditions: humidity or condensation problems, moldy odors, past or present building envelope leaks, plumbing leaks, or any visible mold. We also interview you regarding your health concerns and symptoms. While we inspect and diagnose buildings, not people, your health concerns and symptoms may coincide with changes in your indoor environment. This can help us better understand the situation. The mold investigator’s interview will help narrow down the potential causes of issues in your home or business.

Step Two: Mold Inspection
A complete visual inspection of all accessible areas of concern in your home or building is performed to locate areas of elevated moisture and other problem conditions as well as to identify any visible evidence of mold growth. IET employs the most technologically advanced equipment to locate areas of concern. Many problems are hidden within air conditioning systems, walls, floors, or ceilings and are concealed from view. Specialized equipment such as moisture meters, hygrometers, borescopes, particle counters, thermal imaging cameras and laser thermometers may be used to help find those hidden problems. Thermal imaging (infrared) cameras help identify areas of elevated moisture invisible to the naked eye. Digital photography documents these problematic conditions and provides clear evidence of your home or buildings issues. At IET, we really do make the invisible world visible.

Step Three: Mold Testing & Analysis
Mold spores in the air, on surfaces and in carpeting and upholstered furnishings can be invisible to the naked eye. Microscopic mold spores are detected by collecting samples from the air and from surfaces and analyzing them under a microscope or by culturing (growing them in a controlled laboratory environment). Typically, in addition to the inside air samples, an outdoor air sample is also collected. This is done to determine if mold spore concentrations from the indoor air are unusually high in comparison to mold spore concentrations in the outside air. It is crucial that a trained professional microscopist perform the lab analysis of the samples collected from your property. Indoor Environmental Technologies’ staff of expert mold professionals are fully trained in mold spore analysis at the internationally renowned McCrone Research Institute in Chicago or the USF school of Public Health. The mold inspection report you receive will include an analysis of the mold spore concentrations and types of species. In legal, insurance claims or workman’s compensation cases, or where medical concerns are raised, IET recommends submitting samples to an independent laboratory for analysis.


Step Four: Mold Report & Protocol
IET provides you with a detailed written report of the inspector’s findings, which may include photo documentation, floor plans, spore levels and analysis of species, along with the inspector’s conclusions and recommendations. But knowing what present conditions are does not by itself solve the problems. If requested, IET has the expertise to guide the mold remediation process by developing a mold remediation protocol, which provides detailed instructions to the restoration contractor on how to perform removal and cleaning safely and efficiently.

Step Five: Post-Remediation Verification (PRV)
This investigation is performed after remediation has been completed. A Post-Remediation Verification (PRV) survey, also known as a “Clearance Test” includes a visual inspection and moisture assessment of the construction materials that were part of the remediation work. Air and surface samples are also taken for analysis. The PRV inspection is necessary to properly assess whether or not the mold remediation was performed completely and successfully and to provide a document that can be filed for future reference should the need arise.

It is IET’s goal to create healthy buildings through applied science. If these steps are followed properly they will lead to a successful completion of your mold and moisture challenges and reduce or eliminate symptoms in sensitive individuals.

 
When a Mold Inspection May be Necessary

What about Mold-Testing Kits?

Mold Inspection Scams

 
Step-by-Step

Step 1: Interview & Building History

Step 2: Mold Inspection

Step 3: Mold Testing & Analysis

Step 4: Mold Report & Protocol

Step 5: Post Remediation Verification

 


Downloads are provided in PDF format and require Adobe Acrobat Reader.

 

Mold may be invisible,

but its effects can be VERY REAL. IET will make this invisible world visible so mold problems can be identified and addressed effectively.

 

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