Protect Yourself When
Choosing a Mold Inspection
Here are 5 ways to protect your finances and health when choosing to do mold testing and remidiation:
1. Don’t use the inspector for your remediation.
This is a recipe for disaster as some inspectors will exaggerate the extent of mold damage in order to make more money on the remediation.
When your remediation is complete, you should have your home tested to verify that the mold is actually gone. If your inspector does your remediation, you cannot necessarily count on him or her to tell you if the remediation wasn’t done properly and completely.
2. Choose independent professionals and step through each part of the process to protect yourself.
Again, this is a way to protect yourself from conflicts of interest that can cost you money and impact your health.
3. Have your mold inspector use a third-party certified laboratory to process your mold samples and make sure you are given the actual lab reports.
Proper identification of mold spores is important. Mold identification courses for amateurs have popped up throughout the country so it is difficult to know who knows what they’re doing without laboratory certification. You don’t want to worry that Stachybotrys (“toxic black mold”) was mistaken for Cladosporium (a mold commonly found on houseplants) or vice versa.
4. Ask what certifications your inspector holds.
In most of the United States, mold inspectors must complete only a three-day certification course. Mold inspection isn’t rocket science but additional education and certifications can provide you with reassurance that you’re working with someone who is truly interested in protecting your health.
5. Request as many samples as you feel you need. Don’t skimp on testing.
Apparently, mold inspectors incur additional costs with each mold sample they take which can chip away at their profits. While a thorough inspection for water intrusion and areas of elevated moisture is very important, taking an adequate number of mold samples is equally important. Mold hidden within wall cavities or within HVAC systems or ductwork is often discovered only through sampling. The more samples the inspector takes, the higher the chances of catching a hidden problem area.
To order mold testing for your house: EnviroBiomics, or RealTime Labs, can run testing on samples you provide from your house. Unfortunately, as much testing as we did, and as terrible as the ERMI was for our house, we didn’t know exactly where the mold was concentrated. Besides, the Real Time labs test came back all clear, with absolutely no mold problems in the house.
This wasn’t an accurate way for us to test in either circumstance. We went ahead and removed everything from our bathroom and discovered a sodden concrete floor where our bath had been leaking. We removed the floor joints, and all the tile and took the room back to studs. We then renovated every inch of the bathroom. Using a mold remediation company for some removal but undertaking 80% of the work ourselves. We decided to call Sarge and Bill to check we had gotten the bathroom straight. Sarge was able to pass the bathroom with no issue; however, the bedroom clearly had a significant problem as did our chimney.
We contracted again with our mold remediation company and had them completely remove every piece of drywall in our bedroom and treat, sand and remediate the mold in the room.
We had Sarge and Bill come back. The bedroom is clear. Unfortunately, until we come up with a way to finance the chimney removal we are stuck. Sarge is the Mold Dog and can pinpoint the worst areas and give targets for remediation but it still has to get done.
So overall this has been a journey back to where we started. Mold is probably one of the biggest instigators in our neurological challenges but due to the excessive cost of treating everything this wasn’t, we now are stuck in the house that cause the problem in the first place or at least is a big contributor to what we are dealing with. There is still the GLUT1 and the impossible task of autism.