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Mold Inspections 101: What Is Mold Assessment and Why Do You Need It?

Mold is a species of fungus that lives in dark, moist places and spreads by continuously releasing microscoping spores into the air. It plays an important role in the environment and can be found in all parts of the world where there is organic matter for it to break down. 

Unfortunately, “all parts of the world” means this fungus can also infest our homes and, if we’re unlucky, spread to the point where it endangers our health, causes long-term damage to our property, and requires extensive (and costly) mold cleanup and remediation.  

With the above in mind, it’s no surprise that homeowners and home buyers will often schedule a professional mold inspection in San Diego to make sure there’s no mold in their property or in the property they’re thinking of buying. Keep reading to learn more. 

Is a mold inspection worth it?

The terms mold inspection, mold evaluation, mold assessment, mold testing, and so on, all basically mean the same thing: a trained technician gathers mold samples and runs a variety of scientific tests in order to provide their client with crucial and objective information. 

Mold inspections are important because:

  • They help home buyers “dodge the bullet”.

The more extensive a mold infestation is, the greater the damage to the property will be and the more expensive it will be to remediate it. What’s more, mold infestations don’t exist in a vacuum: they’re usually caused by other problems with the property itself. 

As a home buyer, the last thing you want is to invest in a house or apartment that has a mold problem. Finding out about it as soon as possible will save you a lot of money and frustration down the road. 

  • They create parameters for mold removal.

Depending on the extent of the infestation, mold removal can take a lot of time and include destructive cleanup approaches. For this reason, thorough testing is needed to help define the boundaries of the infestation before the remediators can get to work.

  • It identifies the type of mold.

Not all species of mold endanger the occupants’ health in the same way. Knowing which type of mold you’re dealing with can be vital in determining whether your medical symptoms are caused by mold or something else. 

  • It provides legal evidence.

Depending on the specifics of your legal case, you may be required to provide scientific proof that the mold infestation is in fact present. The good news is, a mold inspector’s findings are fully admissible in court as objective evidence. 

What happens during a mold inspection?

During a mold assessment, a technician takes mold samples from the air and one or more surfaces. These samples are then taken to a mold laboratory and tested to determine which type of mold it is and whether it’s able to grow in that particular area. 

The most commonly used air testing method takes a “spore trap sample” with a special spore trap sampling device. Surface samples are more varied, with the 3 most common methods being bulk samples, swab samples, and tape samples.  

Where can I book an in-depth mold inspection in San Diego?

Is a mold inspection worth itEven the most seemingly perfect home in Mission Beach can hide nasty surprises such as extensive mold infestations, structural damage, and other problems that can be prohibitively expensive and time-consuming to fix. 

As a property buyer or owner, you want to know about these things long before you sign any legally-binding documents. Here at Inspectors Company, we can help you with that. As a fully certified and highly experienced provider of San Diego home inspection services, we’re uniquely equipped to thoroughly test any house or apartment. Call us today. 

The Ins and Outs of Mold Cleanup and Remediation

Your San Diego mold inspector has gathered fungal samples from your home, had them tested in a mold laboratory, and concluded that you have a mold infestation on your hands. To say that this is bad news would be a considerable understatement. 

A mold infestation can damage your belongings, reduce the value of your property, and worst of all, damage your health by exacerbating existing respiratory conditions or causing you to become ill even if you were perfectly healthy before. Clearly, you should have mold removed from your property as soon as possible. 

But what’s the best way to do this? Do you have to hire professional mold remediators, or can you perform mold cleanup yourself? How do you prevent mold from appearing again in the future? Read on to learn the answers to these questions. 

Can you clean up mold by yourself?

It depends. If you have a background in mold removal and access to the necessary equipment, you should be able to take care of your mold problem yourself. However, if you’re a total layperson when it comes to mold cleanup, you may only be able to deal with a mold infestation if it’s not too extensive. 

For example, here’s how to take care of moldy carpets or rugs:

  • Step #1: Liberally sprinkle baking soda over the moldy area and leave it overnight.
  • Step #2: Thoroughly vacuum the carpet.
  • Step #3: Grab a stiff bristle brush and scrub the moldy area with vinegar.
  • Step #4: Vacuum again with a HEPA vacuum cleaner. Throw away the filter afterwards.
  • Step #5: Take the carpet outside and leave it in the sun to dry completely.

How do professionals remove mold?

If your mold infestation is the result of serious water damage (for instance, after a flood) or underlying problems such as leaky roofs or damaged pipes, it’s almost always better to have it taken care of by the experts. 

Professional mold removal usually follows these steps:

  1. Address the water issue. To prevent mold from reappearing in the same area, you must first deal with the source of the moisture (eg., water damage).
  2. Cordon off the contaminated area. The moldy area needs to be sealed off from the rest of the house to prevent cross-contamination. 
  3. Minimize dust. This is typically done by thoroughly misting the contaminated area.
  4. Gather materials that are wet or mold-damaged, place them in thick plastic bags, tie the bags closed, and throw them in the trash.
  5. Cleanup. All wood surfaces and non-porous materials that are moldy should be carefully scrubbed with a wire brush and then wiped down using disposable wipes. Finally, all moldy surfaces should be scrubbed with a detergent solution. 
  6. Visually examine the cleaned areas to make sure there are no signs of debris or contamination. 
  7. Deal with leftover moisture by drying the area completely. You can speed up the drying process by using dehumidifiers, fans, or increasing the indoor air temperature.
  8. Get replacements for any materials that had to be disposed of. 

Where can I find a fully certified San Diego mold inspector?

How do pros remediate moldMold is a serious issue that can affect a home regardless of whether it’s located right next to Petco Park or out in the countryside. That’s why, if you’re thinking of purchasing a new property or you suspect your home has a mold problem, you should immediately have it tested by a licensed inspector.

At Inspectors Company, we specialize in providing the good people of San Diego with the full range of home inspection services, including mold, sewer line, pool & spa, and septic tank inspections. Reach out to us today.