mold consultants Phillip Fry and Divine Montero to find
air conditioning mold,
workplace mold, and mold hidden inside the walls, ceilings, floors,
crawl space, attic, basement, and HVAC equipment and system of your house,
condominium, office, workplace, or other building anywhere in Phoenix,
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Mold Inspection Blog Questions & Answers
Building Mold Inspection Questions and Steps
A thorough, comprehensive, and effective
building mold inspection involves answering these key mold inspection
Do any of the residential or
workplace building residents, occupants, or workers suffer from any of the
most frequent general mold health symptoms listed at Top 100
Mold Symptoms? If so, you need to
be very thorough in both mold inspection and mold testing of the home and
workplaces of the residents to find the possible mold cause of occupant
health problems. Occupant mold health symptoms is one of the biggest clues
that the building contains mold infestation, either visible or hidden
beneath or behind furniture and carpeting/padding, heating/air conditioning
equipment and ducts, walls, ceilings, floors, attic, basement, crawl space,
and other out-of-sight locations.
Do shrubs, trees, and other
landscaping plants grow close to the building? Too many trees and other
vegetation too close to the building protect mold growth from the killing
effect of ultraviolet sun light. In addition, dead leaves and plants provide
food to enable mold to grow. Growing mold close to the building creates
airborne mold spores that enter the building through open windows and doors.
Is the land around the building
sloping away from the building (thus carrying rainfall and snow melt
away from the building) or toward the building (thus bringing excess water
to the building and causing possible water intrusion into the building's
foundation, concrete flood slabs, basement walls, and crawl space area)?
Is the roof in good repair? Good
condition shingles and no cracks or holes in flashings around plumbing vent
pipes, air conditioning units, and roof valleys and transitions keep
rainfall and snow melt out of the attic of the building. Have the roof
thoroughly inspected by a qualified roof maintenance professional.
In the attic, are their water stains,
water damage, or mold growth on the under side of the roof surface, the
roof wood joists and timbers, the attic floor, and on and beneath
insulation? Mold cannot eat fiberglass insulation, but it can eat the paper
backing of such insulation, and mold can also eat and grow on organic dirt
deposited onto the fiberglass strands. Use a good flash light, your
eyesight, and your sense of smell to carefully inspect all areas inside the
attic. If you find water stains, water damage, or mold growth in the attic,
that finding tells you that you have likely roof leaks. Water intrusion
attic results in water flowing by gravity downward into the insides of the
ceiling and walls below, causing hidden and dangerous mold growth therein.
Are there physical signs or evidence
of water intrusion or mold growth anywhere in water-oriented rooms such as
bathrooms, the kitchen, and the laundry room? Be very thorough in
inspecting and testing for water stains, water damage, and mold growth in
those areas. Use a flashlight to examine carefully cabinets in those areas
after removing all contents from drawers and inside cabinet doors. Water
leaks in those areas often cause hidden mold growth beneath and behind
cabinets. Use a good quality moisture meter to scan all wall, floor, and
ceiling surfaces for possible elevated levels of moisture therein.
Are their water stains, water damage
areas, suspicious discolorations or mold growth on any other building’s room
ceilings, walls, floors, and on, behind, or beneath furniture and
carpeting/padding that would indicate or document water and mold growth
hidden water moisture inside wall
cavities, beneath floors, above ceilings, or behind ceramic tiles of
bathroom walls, tubs and showers? Use a good quality moisture meter to test
non-invasively (no holes required) such surfaces. You can look INSIDE
walls, ceiling, and floors through cut or drilled one inch holes using a
fiber optics inspection tool (available at
property ever experienced roof leaks, water leaks, floods, or other water
problems and water intrusions? If so,
pay particular attention to inspecting and mold testing building areas that
experienced such past or present water intrusions. Use both a good quality
moisture meter and a fiber optics inspection device to inspect for mold
growth and water problems inside walls, above ceilings, and beneath floors.
humidity level of the crawl space, basement, attic, or any room of the
building higher than seventy percent [70%] humidity some or all of the time?
Humidity levels above 70% in any area of the building can provide sufficient
moisture to enable mold to grow. Use a digital hygrometer to check the
humidity in each area of the building.
elevated levels of unhealthy mold spores in the air
of the attic, crawl space, basement, and the various rooms of the home or
other building? Are the levels of mold spores indoors greater than
outside levels, and/or different as to the types of mold species present?
Use a mold air testing pump and testing cassettes to collect mold air
samples both indoors and outdoors (“outdoor control test”).
Because a 5 minute air sample of a room underreports the true mold condition
of a room, also use---
(a) mold culture petri dishes or mold test kits (set on the floor in the
middle of a room) upon which airborne mold settles onto during a full one
hour test period after you stir up the air in the room with a disinfected
fan for 15 minutes.
(b) controlled air testing impactors that use an air pump to draw in and
impact airborne mold spores for at least 15 minutes onto the sticky surface
of the mold culture petri dish contained inside the impactor..
(c) direct sampling of visually-noticeable mold growth through scraping of
the suspect mold substance into a mold culture plate, or Scotch tape lift
tape sampling, or actually cutting and cutting out a test piece (“bulk
sampling”) of what the suspect mold is growing on or in such as drywall,
wood, carpeting, etc.
(d) Using Scotch tape lift sampling
or surface samplers to collect samples of deposited
dirt and likely mold spores in out of the way places like the
tops of a refrigerator or the
top side of the wood trim around doors and windows.
mold contamination inside the building's heating, ventilating, and air
conditioning system [hvac], and/or hvac ducts?
Take off the duct register and use a strong flash light to search inside the
heating/cooling duct or mold growth. Mold growth inside air con equipment
and ducts is extremely common. Air con systems and window air conditioners
are mold factories, harboring and fostering mold growth, and spreading the
mold growth by continually putting mold spores into the air flow out of the
air con registers. Tape opened tape a mold culture petri dish (sticky
surface facing inward toward the out coming air flow) onto at least one air
supply register grill of each zone of your hvac system, and then run the
hvac system on ventilation (not heating or air conditioning) for 15 minutes
to impact possible mold infestation spores onto the sticky surface of the
mold culture plates. You can also do Scotch tape
lift tape sampling to take samples from just inside each heating/cooling
Observe your collected mold samples as they grow
in the petri dishes for 5 to 7 days and then accurately record the growth
results by digital pictures and written notes.
Growing the mold samples is called viable mold lab
analysis, which will let you know whether the collected mold samples are of
live mold spores (the only ones that will grow) or dead spores (no growth).
Alternatively, you can use direct lab analysis with no growth required.
Direct analysis is quick (2 to 3 days) and lets you know not only living but
dead mold spore counts. Even the smell of dead mold can make mold-sensitive
Who is a
Certified Mold Inspector?
is a mold professional who has been specially trained and certified in
environmental inspection and testing for the detection of mold, fungi, &
fungal infestation & contamination, whether visible or hidden inside walls,
ceilings, floors, attics, basements, crawl spaces, & HVAC in residences,
offices, workplaces, & other commercial and public buildings.
Who is a Certified Mold Remediator? A
is a mold professional who has been specially trained and certified to
remove, remediate, & prevent mold, fungi, & fungal infestation &
contamination, whether visible or hidden inside walls, ceilings, floors,
attics, basements, crawl spaces, & HVAC in residences, offices, workplaces,
& other commercial and public buildings.