Mold inspection is the process of identifying and diagnosing mold growth in residential buildings, commercial buildings, and other enclosed areas. Mold, also sometimes called mold, is an organism that grows on damp organic materials, including wood, paper, fabric, and drywall. Although some forms of mold are beneficial, most of them are considered toxic and cause diseases that can affect humans, animals, and plants. Mold is part of nature and is necessary in the breakdown of organic material like dead trees and fallen leaves; inside, mold proliferation should be prevented. Some types of mold are toxic, but they can usually be detected and controlled before serious damage and illness occurs. For some types of mold, identification and control are easy enough; for others, determining mold growth may be more complicated.
For homes and offices, mold inspection is usually conducted during routine maintenance and cleaning by professionals who are familiar with the signs and symptoms of mold and its potential health hazards. Mold growth may not only be a concern for those who suffer from allergies, asthma, and allergic reactions; people living or working in affected areas also should take note of the air quality they’re experiencing. Homeowners and office managers can take note of visible mold or mildew on surfaces and walls, and check for leaks, stains, and discolorations in the walls, floor, and/or ceilings.
An inspection of the air quality of a home is one way to detect hidden mold and to determine if a leak or other problem is imminent. There are several types of mold testing kits available for use in homes, commercial buildings, and offices; the most common are the moisture meter, the moisture analyzer, and the moisture analyzer/thermometer combination. In addition, moisture level indicators or leak detection hoses are useful in finding leaks in the walls, floors, and ceiling. Often, professionals conducting a mold inspection also use heat or cool gas mixtures to find moisture sources; these may be leaking cogs, pipe fittings, or ducts.
During a mold inspection, the inspector checks for evidence of mildew or mold growth in visible areas and seals off affected areas using plastic sheeting or clear plastic barriers. He collects samples of walls, ceilings, and floors, and tests them for mold spores using sensitive instruments. The results of these tests are then compared with the moisture content of the surrounding air and with the local mold remediation standards. Based on the findings, a mold remediation company may suggest repairs or make recommendations for mold removal or prevention.
Since many mold inspections are done by certified inspectors, the client is guaranteed that his or her health is not in danger from the mold growth. Many mold remediation companies also offer mold testing kits for use by consumers, which are designed to be used at home. The kit includes a sample collection kit and a small instrument for mold detection. Mold spores in indoor air quality samples are not always detected right away, so the test results will not be as accurate as results obtained by an expert.
Mold inspection and remediation companies often combine the services of a mold inspector with those of a water damage restoration contractor. These companies may offer mold testing and remediation, or they may conduct the initial inspection and cleaning, while the water damage company handles the cleanup and repairs. When comparing the costs of these two services, it’s important to consider how much time and effort the lab would have to spend on the job if the damage caused by the water damage is not detected right away, as well as what kind of money might be saved through a mold inspection and remediation plan.
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